Florence is a feminine English given name. It is derived from the French version of (Saint) Florentia, a Roman martyr under Diocletian. The Latin florens, florentius means “blossoming”, verb floreo, meaning “I blossom / I flower / I flourish”. 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 increase use of the name came in the aftermath of Florence Nightingale, 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, Nightingale was not the first person to be given this given name in the English-speaking world. The wife of Richard de Wylughby, of London, was Florence, in 1349. A later 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 England and Wales, where it was the 109th most popular name given to baby girls in 2007.
Alternate forms include:
- Florance (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, Flozza
Florent and Florenz are masculine eq