Blossom & Bloom

Sakura

I mentioned the name Bloom briefly a post or two ago, and I remain fascinated by it – especially when I pair the name up with Blossom.

On the surface, Bloom and Blossom share many attributes:

  • Both are B Names
  • They start with the same three letters, Blo- …
  • …and end with the same two letters, -om
  • All the letters you find in Bloom are in Blossom
  • Both are nature names
  • As well as both being connected to nature, both are also specifically related to the floral world of names
  • As words, both could be used to refer to beauty

So basically, these names are best buds (holla unintended pun).

The thing is, there are are a plethora of inspirations you can find in the garden in the form of flower names: think Lily, Rose and Poppy, for example. Unlike these names, however, neither Bloom nor Blossom really refer to a specific flower, but that doesn’t stop them from being wonderful names.

Take Blossom, for example, which is defined in the Oxford dictionary thusly:

(noun)

  • flower or a mass of flowers, especially on a tree or bush:tiny white blossoms[mass noun]:the slopes were ablaze with almond blossom
  • [mass noun] the state or period of flowering:fruit trees in blossom

(verb)

  • (of a tree or bush) produce flowers or masses of flowers:a garden in which roses blossom(as adjective blossoming)blossoming magnolia
  • mature or develop in a promising or healthy way:their friendship blossomed into romance(as noun blossoming)the blossoming of experimental theatre

Whilst not refer to one specific flower, there are several flowers with the name blossom, including cherry blossom which is notable as it helps explain the illustration accompanying this post. There exists a wonderful Japanese name, Sakura, which means cherry blossom.

As well as cherry blossom, I’m keen to note the orange blossom as it’s currently one of my fragrances of choice when it comes to diffusers (the other two being lavender and blueberry).

But let us quickly backtrack to the Victorian era, and another wonderfully quirky invention of theirs: the Language of Flowers. It was, at it’s most basic, a created means of communication in which various flowers were assigned various meanings and thus could be used to send so-called coded messages.

There are some geographical differences, but here is what several different blossom flowers means in this quirky language:

  • Apple Blossom – preference, promise
  • Cherry Blossom – beauty, spirituality
  • Lemon Blossom – discretion
  • Orange Blossom – women’s worth, bridal festivities, fertility
  • Peach Blossom – I am your captive

For me, growing up in the 90s, I think of The Powerpuff Girls when I hear the name Blossom. For those not ‘versed in this children’s cartoon, the tale revolves around three sisters with superhero abilities – and their names were Blossom, Buttercup and Bubbles.

Of the three names, only Blossom really seems a plausible option. Indeed, my own sister shared a school classroom with a girl named Blossom, born in the mid-90s.

These days, Blossom enjoys a reasonable standard of use: she ranked at #673 in 2011 in England&Wales, with 58 girls given the name. Just as many girls were given the name Elspeth, don’t cha’ know.

Then we have Bloom, which the Oxford Dictionary defines as thus:

noun

  •  flower, especially one cultivated for its beauty
  • [mass noun] the state or period of flowering
  • [mass noun] the state or period of greatest beauty, freshness, or vigour
  • [in singular] a youthful or healthy glow in a person’s complexion
  • [mass noun] a full, bright sound in a recording
  • a delicate powdery surface deposit on certain fresh fruits, leaves, or stems

verb

  • [no object] produce flowers; be in flower
  • come into or be in full beauty or health; flourish
  • (of fire, colour, or light) become radiant and glowing
The word has origins in Middle English, and can be related to a handful of Old Norse words:

  • blóm: flower, blossom
  • blómi: prosperity
  • blómar: flowers

When it comes to Bloom as a name, you’re more likely to meet a John Bloom than a Bloom Smith, if we’re honest (since Bloom does not rank in England&Wales). Of course, the most notable Bloom family is that of Orlando Bloom, with wife Miranda Kerr and son Flynn Christopher Bloom.

A problem with Bloom, at least in my part of the world, is the word blooming, an informal word usually used to express annoyance, or simply used for emphasis, comme:

  • that’s blooming good
  • he has such blooming cheek

You could easily swap blooming out for a favourite word of mine: ruddy.

At the end of the day, both names are a little out there for most – that much I’ll give you – but they make wonderful options for anyone looking for a quirky botanical pick.

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Categories: Name Profile | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Blossom & Bloom

  1. There is also Blomma, which is a Swedish word name with the meaning flower.

    Like

  2. I love the name Blossom, so sweet – Bloom seems more middle-name material, and it seems like a flowery name that you could potentially give to a boy, as it’s a surname.

    Like

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