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Florence

Florence (f) This is now used only as a feminine name
in Scotland, though formerly, as it still is in Ireland, it
was well known as a male name. Florence Wilson of Moray was a famous Latin scholar in the sixteenth century, his Christian name being rendered Florentius in Latin. In Britain its use mainly honoured Florence Nightingale (1820-1912). It was very popular in England from 1875- 1925, but then died away. It followed roughly the same pattern in Scotland, arriving a little later but surviving longer. In 1935 it was the 65th most frequently used name in Scotland. The various diminutive forms, Flo, Florrie, Flossie, Floy, etc., do not seem to have been used as independent names. Florence Nightingale received her name because she was born in the city of Florence, but the name had been used as a personal name in Roman times. It derives from the Latin florens, ‘flourishing.’ Some remarks concerning the use of Florence and its pet forms occur in Cards of Identity, by Nigel Dennis: ‘The hideous abbreviation “Florrie” may safely be used by you two, on account of your being creatures of
tenderness, jollity and enthusiasm. To me, however, as
master of the house, she must always be Florence
Florence is fraught with grave, inhibitory influence, Florrie
is suggestive of loose hair and even misappropriation.’

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