French Language Blog

Top 10 Funniest French Names of Flowers (Part 1) Posted by on Jan 19, 2013 in Culture, Vocabulary


If you pay attention to English, you’ll notice here and there a few names of flowers which are quite funny: Ever heard of “Busy Lizzie“, or even better, of the slightly pushy-sounding “Forget-Me-Not” (“…especially on my birthdays”, kind of thing)?

Now, how about le français?

Thanks to our carefully selected TOP 10, there’s no shred of doubt about it:

Yes, French people do have a sens de l’humour (sense of humor), and they even, as the expression goes, say it with flowers.”


In English, this flower is called “Forget-me-not.”

In French, however, it maintained its equally funny Greek name: “Myosotis”, meaning “Ear of a Mouse”

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  • NUMÉRO DIX (NUMBER TEN): Bonnet bleu

Formally, the Scabiosa flower is called “Scabieuse” in French. But this fleur has also a pretty funny nickname: “Bonnet bleu“, meaning “blue hat“, or “bobble cap“!

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  • NUMÉRO NEUF (NUMBER NINE): Bonbon de minuit: Zaluzianskya

You may have a hard time pronouncing the name of the flower Zaluzianskya (not really her fault, she’s got it from her “papa“, Czech physician Adam Zaluziansky.)

In French, however, it’s really easy peasy. Just “Bonbon de minuit.

And yes, you probably guessed it right. Bonbon is French for “candy”, which makes the whole thing stand for “Midnight Candy

Of course, don’t forget to brush your teeth before heading to bed (only if you don’t feel like saying bonjour to a toothach the next morning, that is. Entirely your call.)

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  • NUMÉRO HUIT (NUMBER EIGHT): Échelle de Jacob: Polemonium

Although its technical name is Polemonium, this flower is also called in English “Jacob’s ladder“, which is precisely its meaning in French: “Échelle de Jacob.

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  • NUMÉRO SEPT (NUMBER SEVEN): Goutte de Sang: Adonis

Adonis is called Adonis in French as well. However, it is also known as Goutte de sang, the same as the English “Blooddrops“.

This nickname did not blossom, so to speak, from a Count Dracula horror story (and if you thought of “Twilight” or “Vampire Diaries“, double shame on you.)

Instead, it came from an age-old Greek myth: The superhot goddess Aphrodite, who was passionately enamored with Adonis, turned this young handsom man into the red flower which famously bears his name today.

As a reminder, her poor lover died as a result of a “death-by-sanglier” (wild boar.)

Tough luck, you may think. But that happened all the time in Ancient Greece.

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  • NUMÉRO SIX (NUMBER SIX): Chèvrefeuille: Honeysuckle

If you think that the English honeysuckle somehow sounds funny or strange, then wait till you hear its French sobriquet.

It’s Chèvrefeuille, literally standing for “Goat-Leaf“… (I know, go figure.)

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La suite est pour la prochaine fois (To be continued next time)!



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