Gender: Feminine
Origin: German
Meaning: debated
Germ: (hroze-VEET-tah; rōs-vē’tä); Eng (rahz-WITH-uh)

She feels a bit rosy and a bit vintage, once a popular German name now, now considered rather dated in its home country, it may make an appealing choice for American parents looking for a rose themed name, but want something that has more oomph, so to say. Though it has a rosy element, the name in actuality has no relation etymologically to the flower. The meaning is debated, the first part of the name Ros could be a derivative of the old Germanic element hros meaning “horse”, or the old Germanic hrod meaning “fame” and the second element being a derivative of swinþ meaning “strength”. According to Wikipedia as well as to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Roswitha of Gandersheim, attested that her name was Saxon for “strong voice; ” or “mighty voice.” Though a pleasant meaning, I could not find any evidence, (and not saying that its wrong), to back this up. Roswitha of Gandersheim was a Benedictine abbess, (935-1003), who was considered to be the first female poetess and playwright since Antiquity. Though originally a Saxon noblewoman, she wrote mostly in Latin. Her most pieces centered mostly around religious piety in the style of Greek tragedy, one of her most famous pieces was about Emperor Otto I. Till this day, the town from which she hailed from, Bad Gandershaim, is proud to call her their own, and since 1973, has awarded an annual prize called the Roswitha Prize to outstanding female writers. The name appears in older documents in such forms as Hrosvit, Hrotsvitha, and Hrotsvit. Possible nickname option for the parents who dare uses this is Rosie, Rose, Ros, Vita or Vitty. Roswitha of Gandershaim’s feast day is September 5th.

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