English, Latin: what does sub rosa mean?

Tutoring English, I constantly await new vocabulary discoveries. The tutor shares the meaning of sub rosa.

sub rosa: (adverb) covertly; secretly

Sub rosa, in Latin, has the literal meaning “under the rose.” Roses carried the implication of confidentiality even in ancient times; a room might be stocked with roses before a meeting to remind attendees not to share what’s said there.


Gilmour, Lorna (editor). Collins Essential Canadian English Dictionary & Thesaurus. Glasgow: HarperCollins, 2006.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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