Why do we say "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."?

Well-Known Expressions

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Meaning:

The name of something does not affect its character.

Background:


Juliet:
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

Romeo & Juliet, Act II, Scene II

Alphabetical list of expressions

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