Meaning: “Strong, vigourous, healthy”
Gender: Unisex
Pronunciation: VAL-ehn-tien
Origin: Latin
Other forms of the name: Valentinus, Valentin, Valentino, Valent, Valentina (girl), Folant

Happy St. Valentine’s!

Valentine comes from the Roman family name, Valentinus, which comes from the Latin valent. Valentine’s is a holiday celebrating a few different Christian Saints. It was first associated with romance in the middle ages by Geoffrey Chaucer and friends; Geoffrey wrote in his poem “Parlement of Foules”:

“For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.”

[“For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”]

Later on it became a day in which lovers would confess their feelings for eachother and give flowers, cards, and sweets. The little poem we know today goes like this:

The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.”

The whole “roses are red, violets are blue” bit goes all the way back to Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”:

“She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.”