\ \ [15] French pensée means literally ‘thought’, and it was presumably the pensive look of these flowers of the viola family that earned them the name. English originally took it over as pensee, but later anglicized it to pansy.
\ \ The use of the word for an effeminate male homosexual dates from the 1920s.
\ \ French pensée itself is the feminine past participle of penserthink’ (source also of English pensive [14]). This was descended from Latin pēnsāreweigh’, which in post-classical times was used for ‘think’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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, (Viola tricolor)

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  • Pansy — Pan sy, n.; pl. {Pansies}. [F. Pens[ e]e thought, pansy, fr. penser to think, L. pensare to weigh, ponder. See {Pensive}.] (Bot.) A plant of the genus {Viola} ({Viola tricolor}) and its blossom, originally purple and yellow. Cultivated varieties… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pansy — f English: 19th century flower name, from the garden flower that got its name from Old French pensee thought. This was never especially popular, and is seldom chosen at all now that the word pansy has acquired a derogatory slang sense denoting an …   First names dictionary

  • pansy — (n.) mid 15c., from M.Fr. pensée a pansy, lit. thought, remembrance, from fem. pp. of penser to think, from L. pensare consider, frequentative of pendere to weigh (see PENSIVE (Cf. pensive)). So called because it was regarded as a symbol of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • pansy — ► NOUN 1) a plant of the viola family, with flowers in rich colours. 2) informal, derogatory an effeminate or homosexual man. ORIGIN French pensée thought, pansy …   English terms dictionary

  • pansy — [pan′zē] n. pl. pansies [Fr pensée, a thought < penser, to think < L pensare: see PENSIVE] 1. any of various violets, esp. a popular garden hybrid (Viola tricolor hortensis), with flat, broad, velvety petals in many colors ☆ 2. Slang an… …   English World dictionary

  • Pansy — For other uses of the name, see Pansy (disambiguation). Pansy Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • pansy — /pan zee/, n., pl. pansies. 1. a violet, Viola tricolor hortensis, cultivated in many varieties, having richly and variously colored flowers. 2. the flower of this plant. 3. Slang (disparaging and offensive). a. a male homosexual. b. a weak,… …   Universalium

  • Pansy — /pan zee/, n. a female given name. * * * Any of several popular cultivated violets (genus Viola). Pansies have been grown for so long under such diverse conditions with such striking variations in colour and form that their origin is uncertain.… …   Universalium

  • pansy — /ˈpænzi / (say panzee) noun (plural pansies) 1. any of several species of herbaceous plants of the genus Viola, especially the wild pansy, V. tricolor, and the garden pansy, V. × wittrockiana, a hybrid with many cultivated varieties. 2. its… …  

  • pansy — trispalvė našlaitė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Našlaitinių šeimos daržovinis, dekoratyvinis, maistinis, vaistinis augalas (Viola tricolor), paplitęs Europoje ir vakarų Azijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Viola tricolor angl. European wild pansy; …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • pansy — Heart s ease Heart s ease (h[aum]rts [=e]z ), n. 1. Ease of heart; peace or tranquillity of mind or feeling. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. (Bot.) A species of violet ({Viola tricolor}), a common and long cultivated European herb from which most common… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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