from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various plants of the genera Achimenes or Viola, especially V. tricolor or its hybrids, having flowers with velvety petals of various colors.
  • n. A deep to strong violet.
  • n. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a man or boy who is considered effeminate.
  • n. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a homosexual man.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Common name for a cultivated flowering plant, Viola tricolor hortensis, derived from heartsease; many garden varieties are hybrids.
  • n. A deep purple colour, like that of the pansy.
  • n. A male homosexual, especially one who is effeminate.
  • n. A timid, weak man or boy; a wuss.
  • adj. Wimpy; spineless; feeble.
  • adj. Of a deep purple colour, like that of the pansy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A plant of the genus Viola (Viola tricolor) and its blossom, originally purple and yellow. Cultivated varieties have very large flowers of a great diversity of colors. Called also heart's-ease, love-in-idleness, and many other quaint names.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A favorite species of violet, Viola tricolor; the heart's-ease.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. offensive term for an openly homosexual man
  • n. large-flowered garden plant derived chiefly from the wild pansy of Europe and having velvety petals of various colors
  • n. a timid man or boy considered childish or unassertive


Middle English pancy, from Old French pensee, thought, remembrance, pansy, from feminine past participle of penser, to think; see pensive.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the French pensée ("thought"), as the plant resembles someone that is in deep thought, with a lowered head. (Wiktionary)



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  • Tee hee! I love this word in all its slangy meanings... John, we were inspired by the same article today. See here.

    June 4, 2009

  • “The Alexander merited a place of honor on Esquire’s list of “the pansies,” the worst drinks of the Prohibition era. These included long-forgotten abominations like the Sweetheart, the Fluffy Ruffles, the Pom Pom and the Cream Fizz.”

    The New York Times, Bar? What Bar?, by William Grimes, June 2, 2009

    June 4, 2009

  • Beautiful. I've been meaning to do this list for a while.

    March 3, 2009

  • This is also called "stepmother" in Slovene: ma�?eha.

    Edit: And in Russian, "Annie's little eyes": анютины глазки (anyútiny glázki)

    March 2, 2009

  • Lovely translations: German Stiefmütterchen "little stepmother", Portuguese amor-perfeito "perfect love".

    March 2, 2009

  • January 22, 2007