Flowery Language

I was productive today! Any amount of productivity higher than none is generally better than my base line so I don’t have to do an awful lot in order for a day to be abnormally productive. Today is one of those abnormally productive days. It turns out all you have to do to fix a problem is complain about it. I said I was having some troubles with my creativity and back it comes, flowing like usual. Lovely.

But what to do with it? Thanks go again to my reader’s tag suggestions. ‘Psychology’ and ‘Flowers’ probably aren’t normally something that people search for together so I’m sure it didn’t mean for me to do that. But it put me in mind of the Victorian English language of flowers. Probably not something many people are all that familiar with these days. I must confess my botanical knowledge comes almost entirely from my mother, had I any other mother I would almost certainly know little more than grass is green and trees are painful to fall from. I appear to have learned much of this knowledge through some kind of osmosis because I don’t care that much about botany but I did once identify a Lime tree (not the fruit) from a leaf…

Anyway back to the language of flowers. The meaning of roses tends to be a bit general knowledge, red is love, yellow is friendship, white is purity and black is death… yada yada. But that’s barely scratching the surface. You see those Victorian English men and women were pretty uptight and thought it was very inappropriate to openly express feelings. Yeesh. So that leaves you with the problem of how to express your feelings without expressing them. Well you make a ‘nosegay’ (if that didn’t make you chuckle a little you need to grow down a bit). Which is a selection of flowers that any good English man or woman would know the meaning of because they carried around their dictionary of flowers… (actually true, which is hard to believe).

When I was studying a bit of World War One poetry a long time ago (I don’t remember which poem exactly) there was mention of the poppy. Everyone including the teacher used an imaginary trampoline to jump to the obvious conclusion that it’s because poppies were a symbol of the war. Not me though. I said to myself ‘you know S this is a poem. And what do poets like to do? That’s right, beat around the bush. So the obvious answer must be wrong.’ I raised my hand triumphantly and suggested actually everyone was wrong and the poppy was representative of the death of WW1, on account of the poppy meaning ‘oblivion’ or ‘endless sleep’ in the Victorian language of flowers (It also means ‘imagination’ and a red one specifically means ‘pleasure’, so someone could really misread that nosegay). I was shot down and shot down hard. But to this day I contend I’m right…

Made you guys a lovely painting of some flowers. Don’t read anything into the meaning, they’re just some flowers I wanted to paint so it doesn’t say ‘Love, Regard, Beautiful Eyes, Pleasure’ (…unless you want it to I guess).


You know what else I did today? I made pizza! Heck yeah. I should pretty much just give up on writing and open my own pizzeria, it’s that good. But I kind of like writing.

S. Hansen


14 thoughts on “Flowery Language

  1. No reason you can’t be a pizzerian-novelist (!)
    Interesting and informative as ever: as an odd aside from before your time, the word ‘nosegay’ always reminds me of 1980s kids’ TV character, ‘Mr Noseybonk’ (seriously) in his greenhouse.
    Good Lord, that man was downright creepy, for adults and kids alike… not sure what they were thinking…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know there’s something slightly terrifying about most kids TV characters… though the one that really springs to mind for me was the original Bungle in the first episode of Rainbow. The quickly made him less terrifying and more kid friendly afterwards but that first episode was a rollercoaster ride of fright.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yowser, I’ve just looked Bungle #1 up on YouTube… I’m glad I didn’t see that at the time! Noseybonk reminded me of the villain from the Saw films. Brr. Don’t think I’ll be sleeping tonight…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Haha, that would certianly be alarmingly creepy. I would now like to imagine that the Daleks are lead by a villainous Zippy. Bent on the destruction of humanity for sewing a zip on his face and calling it a mouth.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Joonas Kopponen

      There are many very creepy Finnish kids show characters too, shall they not be named, amen. They are more scary than any horror movies those kids shows.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Joonas Kopponen

    Glad to hear your creativity is flowing! πŸ™‚ Oh them victorian english feelings… Interesting to hear more about the flowers colors meanings. πŸ™‚ Lovely picture, we are so touched you feel such way towards your readers. πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

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