Ostensibly from the vocabulary word denoting the flower (Latin rosa). However, the name was in use throughout the Middle Ages, long before any of the other girls' names derived from flowers, which are generally of 19th-century origin. In part it may refer to the flower as a symbol of the Virgin Mary, but it seems more likely that it also has a Germanic origin, probably as a short form of various girls' names based on hros ‘horse’ or hrōd ‘fame’. The Latinate form Rohesia is commonly found in documents of the Middle Ages. As well as being a name in its own right, it is currently used as a short form of Rosemary and, less often (because of their different pronunciation), of other names beginning Ros-, such as Rosalind and Rosamund.