Florence (given name)
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Florence Nightingale inspired use of the name, especially in English-speaking countries.
|Word/name||English < French < Latin|
|Meaning||blossoming in faith, in belief (mystic name)|
|Related names||Fiorenza, Flo, Florencia, Florencita, Florentia, Florrie, Floss, Flossie, Flossy, Flora, Florella, Florentina, Florentine, Florian, Florina, Florinda|
Florence is an English given name for girls. It is the French version after Saint Florentia, Roman martyr under Diocletian. It comes from Latin florens, florentius "blossoming", verb floreo, meaning "to flower", in the sense of a blossom. Florence was in olden times also used as a translation of the Latin version Florentius, and may be used in this context as a male given name.
A notable Florence was Florence Nightingale, who was a nurse in British hospitals during the Crimean War and is usually considered the founder of modern nursing. She was given the name because she was born in Florence, Italy.
Contrary to popular belief, Florence Nightingale was not the first person to be given this name. A much earlier example was Florence Wrey (d.1718), wife of John Cole of the Irish County of Fermanagh (married in 1707), who was herself named after her mother, Florence Rolle, the wife of Sir Bourchier Wrey, 4th Baronet (c. 1653-1696) of Tawstock, Devon, and the daughter of Sir John Rolle (d.1706) of Stevenstone, by his wife and distant cousin Florence Rolle (1630-1705), an even earlier Florence, the daughter and heiress of Denys Rolle (1614–1638), of Stevenstone and Bicton in Devon. This name is also of note because John Cole built a large mansion in Northern Ireland which he named Florence Court after his wife. One of John Cole's descendants, who had become "Lord Enniskillen", planted a peculiarly upright yew tree in the grounds of Florence Court, which was to become the mother tree of all Irish Yews or "Florence Court Yews".
Florencia, a Spanish version, is among the most popular names for baby girls in Argentina and Uruguay. Florence was most popular in the United States between 1900 and 1940, when it was in the top 100 names given to baby girls. The name last ranked in the top 1,000 names given to baby girls in the 1970s. Florence was the fourth most popular name given to baby girls in Quebec, Canada in 2007 and the name has also risen in popularity in the England and Wales, where Florence was the 109th most popular name given to baby girls in 2007.
Alternate forms include:
- Flo, Flora, Florance, Florella, Florentina, Florentine, Florentyna, Florice, Florina, Florinda, Florine, Floris, Florrance, Florynce (English)
- Florentia (German)
- Fiorentina, Fiorenza (Italian)
- Florencia, Florencita, Floriana, Florinia (Spanish)
English nicknames for Florence include:
- Flo, Flor, Florie, Flory, Florrie, Florry, Floss, Flossey, Flossie, Flossy
Florent is a masculine equivalent. Florence (diminutive "Flurry") itself has also been used for boys (Latin Florentius), particularly in Ireland where it was used as an anglicisation of Irish Finnian.
People with this given name
- Florence Auer (1880–1962), American actress
- Florence Ballard (1943–1976), African-American singer
- Florence Bascom (1862–1945), American geologist
- Florence Beaumont (d. 1967), one of eight Americans known to have set themselves on fire in protest of the Vietnam war
- Florence Bjelke-Petersen (b. 1920), politician, writer and wife of the longest serving premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen
- Florence Caddy (1837–1923), English writer
- Florence Delay (b. 1941), French actress
- Florence Eid-Oakden, Lebanese-British economist
- Florence Ezeh (b. 1977), French-Togolese hammer thrower
- Florence Hackett (1884–1954), American silent film actress
- Florence Harding (1860-1924), wife of American president Warren G. Harding
- Florence Henderson (1934-2016), American actress and singer
- Florence Foster Jenkins (1868-1944), American soprano
- Florence Griffith Joyner (1959-1998), American athlete in track and field
- Florence Hoath (b. 1984), British actress
- Florence Kelley (1859-1932), American social reformist and feminist
- Florence King (1936-2016), Mississippi author
- Florence Knapp, (1873-1988) American supercentenarian
- Florence E. S. Knapp (1875–1949), American politician
- Florence LaBadie (1888-1917), Canadian silent movie actress
- Florence Lawrence (1890-1938), inventor and actress, referred to as "The First Movie Star"
- Florence Mills (1896-1927), actress in 1920s black theatre and the Harlem Renaissance
- Florence Newton (fl. 1661), Irish alleged witch
- Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), pioneer of modern nursing
- Florence Price (1887-1953), African-American composer and teacher
- Florence Marjorie Robertson (1904-1986), British actress and singer
- Florence Sabin (1871–1953), anatomist and pathologist, first female professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School
- Florence Stephens (1881-1979), landholder and the main figure of the Huseby court case
- Florence M. Sullivan (b. 1930), New York politician
- Florence Turner (1885-1946), actress
- Florence Welch (b. 1986), singer and frontwoman of Florence & the Machine
- Florence of Worcester (d. 1118), medieval chronicler
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