Origin of sub rosaL, literally , under the rose, an ancient symbol of secrecy
Origin of sub rosaLatin sub rosā under the rose (from the practice of hanging a rose over a meeting as a symbol of confidentiality) sub under rosā ablative of rosa rose
- Carried out secretly or confidentially
- (slang) Used in workers' compensation cases to mean covert surveillance video used to catch Workers' compensation applicants and show that they are in fact not injured.
The rose's connotation for secrecy dates back to Greek mythology. Aphrodite gave a rose to her son Eros, the god of love; he, in turn, gave it to Harpocrates, the god of silence, to ensure that his mother's indiscretions (those of the gods in general, in other accounts) were kept under wraps. In the Middle Ages a rose suspended from the ceiling of a council chamber pledged all present - those under the rose, that is - to secrecy.