Prunella is the name of a genus of herbaceous plants, also known as the self-heals, heal-alls, and allheal as well as the name of a genus of birds. It’s a variant spelling of Medieval Latin brunella, made up from Latin brunus (brown) combined with diminutive suffix ella.
Prunella is also the name of a fabric which in this case seems to derive from French prunelle which means both “sloe (as in the wild fruit of the blackthorn)” as well as “plum”, apparently getting its name from the color of the fabric. Prunelle is a diminutive of prune (plum) which comes from Vulgar Latin *pruna via prunum (plum fruit) derived from Ancient Greek proumnon, which itself seems to be borrowed from a language of Asia Minor.
Prunella is the name of an Italian fairytale in which the eponymous character, so named because she picked a plum from a tree everyday, is captured and enslaved by a wicked witch who sets her on a series of impossible tasks to do. She is helped by the witch’s son, Bensiabel, and the two eventually get married.
Nicknames: Pru, Nella, Nell/Nellie
- Prunelle (French)
- Pruna (Latin, Catalan)
- Prune (French, English, Latin)