9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pan-zee] /ˈpæn zi/
noun, plural pansies.
a violet, Viola tricolor hortensis, cultivated in many varieties, having richly and variously colored flowers.
the flower of this plant.
  1. Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a male homosexual.
  2. Offensive. a weak, effeminate, and often cowardly man.
Origin of pansy
1490-1500; 1930-35 for def 3; < Middle French pensée pansy, literally, thought, noun use of feminine of past participle of penser to think < Latin pēnsāre to weigh, consider. See pensive Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pansies
  • In fall, bulbs are interplanted with pansies and other spring bloomers.
  • Apply appropriate fungicide drenches to seeding flats of petunias, pansies, and vinca immediately after seeding.
  • pansies require dead heading so that they continue to bloom adequately.
  • The calendar may say spring has arrived, but don't plant those pansies too soon.
  • Vendors will be on hand with fall garden favorites such as hardy pansies, snap dragons, mums and ornamental cabbage.
  • Plant hardy mums, pansies, and ornamental cabbage and kale so they will become well established prior to cool weather.
British Dictionary definitions for pansies


noun (pl) -sies
any violaceous garden plant that is a variety of Viola tricolor, having flowers with rounded velvety petals, white, yellow, or purple in colour See also wild pansy
(slang, offensive) an effeminate or homosexual man or boy
  1. a strong violet colour
  2. (as adjective): a pansy carpet
Word Origin
C15: from Old French pensée thought, from penser to think, from Latin pensāre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pansies



mid-15c., from Middle French pensée "a pansy," literally "thought, remembrance," from fem. past participle of penser "to think," from Latin pensare "consider," frequentative of pendere "to weigh" (see pensive). So called because it was regarded as a symbol of thought or remembrance. Meaning "effeminate homosexual man" is first recorded 1929.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for pansies



: Stage and screen voices in recent years have become so pansy

  1. A male homosexual; queen: if someone had bluntly said that her friends were pansies
  2. A weak or effeminate male; lily, sissy (1929+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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