One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis. Now rare.
2Poetic. Dew occurring at sea; sea spray.
Old English; earliest use found in Pseudo-Apuleius' Herbarium. From classical Latin rōs marīnus or rōsmarīnum sea dew, rosemary from rōs dew + marīnus or marīnum, masculine and neuter respectively of marīnus. Compare Old French rosmarin, Middle French rommarin, rousmarin, roumarin, Middle French, French romarin, Old Occitan romanin, Catalan romani, Portuguese rosmaninho, Italian rosmarino; Spanish romero is probably from classical Latin rōs maris in this sense: see below. Compare also in the Germanic languages Middle Dutch rosemarine, rosemarijn (Dutch rosmarijn, rozemarijn), Middle Low German rōsmarīn, rōsemarīn, rōsemarīne (late 15th cent), rōsemarīne, early modern German rosenmarin, roszmarin, Swedish rosmarin, † rosenmarin, Danish rosmarin.
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