I have had this saying stuck in my head for a couple of weeks now. "A rose, by any other name, is still a rose." I have told several friends that I needed to look up where it came from. Finally I did and realized I was fusing together two popular "rose" sayings:
Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 1594: "That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet" (what matters is what something is, not what it is called - Juliet was using this to inform Romeo that even though he is Mantague by name, he is still sweet).
Gertrude Stein, Sacred Emily, 1913: "A rose is a rose is a rose" (things are what they are).
And just for fun.....
Poison, 1988: "Every rose has its thorns"