Talk to me about Primrose for a First Name

I am looking for a second choice for a daughter's name in case I have twin girls. My first choice is Elora. When I made a poll of my shortlist for a twin name that would go well with Elora, I was very surprised to find Primrose was a clear favourite, with Emmeline a close second. 

To me, Emmeline would be the "safer" choice of the two names. It's unusual still, but much more common than Primrose. And it relates to the extremely common "Emma" and "Emily".

However, my heart leans heavily towards Primrose. It's a name I've loved since childhood. I used to write stories to entertain myself as a child, and one of my heroines was a feisty Princess called Primrose. In my stories her nickname was "Prim". 

I never thought Primrose would be a real consideration for a real life child but it seems it is becoming slightly more mainstream, mainly from a Hunger Games character (not that I know those stories myself but I have seen references to that character when I've Googled Primrose).

So I find myself seriously considering Primrose for a daughter. My main hesitation about this name is, as adorable and pretty as it would be on a baby and a young child, how would it age? Can you imagine a teenage Primrose, an adult and a grandmother? If you met an adult Primrose what would be your impression of her based on her name?

I think nicknames are important, and can change with age. I know many seem to have an objection to the nickname "Prim" but I personally think it's cute. Prim is short for "prima", meaning "first". Primroseliterally means "first rose". So I don't have any negative feeling about "prim and proper" as some seem to have. 

I also love "Posey" as a nickname and think it would age well. As a child she could be "Rosie-Posey" which I think is adorable. And she would have the option of the more formal "Rose" or "Rosie" if she wished as she got older.

Do you have any other great nickname ideas for Primrose?

Sorry for my long post! I tend to overthink these things! I'm looking forward to feedback! 


June 27, 2018 12:34 AM

I like Primrose. It's not a name I'd use but I'd be pleased to meet one!  I think it would age just fine an dthere is definitely the option to go by just Rose if she ever wanted.  I love some of the nickname options.
I think it works well with Elora as a twin name or as a sibling name down the track.  I like Emmeline too but Primrose is definitely less 'cutesey matchy' with a twin of Elora.

June 27, 2018 3:27 AM

I wouldnt have 2 E names for twins.  It seems you've had a love with Primrose for a very long time,  I say use it.  It's nice,  I know a Primrose in her 40s and it ages well.  I think Rose or Rosie are lovely nn,  not keen on Prim,  maybe Posey, Immy, Mimi, Rima, Primmy



June 27, 2018 9:49 AM

I agree with the previous commenters on both of their main points: 1. Primrose is lovely and would age perfectly well, and 2. Don't give twins names with the same initial.

I've expanded on point 2 many times on this board. One objection is due to the common use of surname, initial, and birthdate as main identifiers in places like pharmacies and doctor's offices. If you give twins matching initials, then every single one of those identifiers will be the same. Also, twins need things labeled more often than different-aged siblings, because they're usually the same size, attend the same school and activities, take the same bus, etc. Having different initials to write on the lunch bags can be very handy. Third, and perhaps most important, having different initials can help twins feel individually valued, instead of always just being part of a set.

June 27, 2018 11:25 AM

Ditto the previous comments about matching initials for twins.

I also quite like Primrose as a name.  The "prim" associaiton is diluted for me within the whole name, but I would probably not use it as a nickname.  It just becomes a word name to me then, and Prim is not a word name I'd want for myself.  However, I love your idea of Posey and agree it would age well.  If she wants something less unusual, she would also have Rose/Rosie as potential nicknames.

By mk
June 27, 2018 11:55 AM

Honestly, I am personally not a fan as it is not my style. However, I wouldn't think anything of someone with the name, and it doesn't really matter if I like it or not. I don't know Hunger Games at all, though.

Posey and any of the Rose nicknames work great.



June 27, 2018 1:15 PM

I think Primrose could work, especially with a sister Elora. There are nicknames Ellie and Rosie if the kids ever want to blend in sometime in the future.

Is Elora from the movie Willow? Both names feature in well known films/stories. You may want to read some detailed Hunger Games summaries to learn about Primrose Everdeen in pop culture.

June 28, 2018 8:21 PM

Google has led me to discussions about a sequel for the great movie Willow, where the linchpin for the story is a baby named Elora Danan. 

 Elora and Primrose are a very pop culturey pair. Not necessarily bad, but something to be aware of. 

June 27, 2018 1:56 PM

I think Primose ages well, but if she doesn’t grow up to think so, she’ll have lots of nicknames to choose from.

Primose in the Hunger Games is an extremely (probably completely) positive character. The only negative thing I can think of is that some inattentive (or maybe just racist) book readers were upset the character was cast as black for the movie, despite the fact that she was described as having dark skin in the book. I’m fairly sure this is something 99.8% of the population forgets by now, though.

I do think that would be many people’s primary association with the name (including mine), so I’d encourage you to familiarize yourself with the story and the character specifically. I didn’t care for the movie as much as the book, but if you’re using Primose for your daughter, I think it’s well-worth a couple hours if you don’t want to read the book. It might help you handle future comments.

June 27, 2018 2:32 PM

You're actually thinking of the casting issues with another of the characters in the Hunger Games series, Rue. Primrose is the main character's younger sister and was always cast as a young caucasian girl. I would say confidently, as a person who knows the series well, that there are no negative associations with Primrose the character

That said, I also do think it would do some good to consider that for most people, this would be the only association with Primrose as a name. Thus, it would be more likely that people would ask if you were fans. However, this seems like a situation where a quick "No, we just liked the name" would suffice. I think it's a lovely name.

June 27, 2018 11:24 PM

Yep, you’re right. Somehow I confused her with Rue. Ignore that paragraph, OP!

June 28, 2018 4:52 PM

I want to preface my comments by noting that your children's peers probably won't have the associations I do to any significant degree and even the other adults here don't seem to have a problem with them, so this is not a deal-breaker by any means but just something to be aware of going in.

With that said, Primrose fails the "would I want it for my name" test rather spectacularly for me, especially with twin sister Elora. 

Despite the etymology* for Primrose, I can't help but see "prim + rose" and therefore get a very Victorian, buttoned-down, judgmentally-virginal feel from the name that I personally wouldn't want to carry around. My first association for Elora, on the other hand, is the Ellora Caves and, by extension, Ellora's Cave, the now-defunct eBook publisher that trademarked the term "romantica" as in "romantic erotica" (presumably named partially because the Ellora Caves feature some sensual sculptures and themes). Elora on its own works for me in spite of those associations, as it so effortlessly fits into the current liquid naming trends and the association is not front-and-center for most folks in the US, but paired with Primrose I find the juxtaposition really uncomfortable.

As I said, I think these associations are already fading fast, and maybe your daughters won't ever hear phrases like "prim and proper" or "up the primrose path"--and hopefully by the time they're in middle school the whole virgin/whore dichotomy will be dead enough that no one would ever make any of these connections, anyway.

With all that heavy stuff out of the way, Posey is a very cute nickname and Rose is an easy blending-in option. I think Prima or Primma would also work well, though I really still can't like Prim. Primula would also be a good elaboration-type nickname.


*The OED doesn't fully buy the "first rose" definition but agrees that it has nothing to do with primness.

July 2, 2018 9:34 AM

I'm not a huge fan of Primrose due to the prominent "prim" sound (although, strangely, I quite like Prim as a nickname!) but I don't see this as a particular problem.

Two families I internet-follow have recently had daughters named Primrose, so I certainly have a sense that it is becoming more mainstream, and should be familiar to many people who have never met a Primrose though the universally-positive (although somewhat lacking in agency) Hunger Games character.

Elora to me is a picturesque but boring town in Ontario, but I imagine this isn't most people's primary association.

July 4, 2018 10:32 AM

I will agree with much of what has been said above... I would not personally use the name, but I think in today's naming climate, she would not be looked at as having an unusual name. In fact, there is a pretty popular Instagrammer (with 131k followers) that just named her daughter Primrose El0wen- very close to Primrose and Elora. I have heard a LOT of "Rose" names lately- most of them in the middle name slot, but nonetheless there- so I think Primrose may even be an up-and-coming name.