Perhaps you think being called a “pansy” is a put-down.
…You may be right.
Urban Dictionary defines “pansy” as a person who is “very pathetic and wimpy; weak, spineless, a sissy”. It is generally used as an insult.
Although, this term is more than contradictory. Surprisingly, one of this season’s most strong and resilient flowers is actually the pansy.
Pansies are one of the most popular and recognizable cool weather annuals.
Floral breeding has actually produced pansies that are better able to stand up to the cold:
for more information on icicle pansies!)
Many pansies are bicolored, making them striking plants for their small size.
And although they appear delicate, they are surprisingly hardy. (Especially in the snow!)
Symbolically, a honeyflower and a pansy left by a lover for his beloved means “I am thinking of our forbidden love”. In 1858, the writer James Shirley Hibberd wrote that the French custom of giving a bride a bouquet of pansies (thoughts) and marigolds (cares) symbolized the woes of domestic life rather than marital bliss.
There really isn’t any room to call the pansy “pathetic” or “wimpy”.
In fact, if you are ever called a pansy, just reply with a simple “Why, thank you!”
And if you’re still in a winter slump, remember that pansies are in full bloom in the Spring…
which is just around the corner!