I was thinking this morning about our names for colors--at least our names for colors in the USA.
Now there are the eight basic ones that appear in a child's Crayola box:
(I'm ignoring Roy G. Biv here on purpose.)
OK. When I go to the museum with my new Macedonian friend, I'll make sure she's got those basic eight.
However, this morning I was thinking that certain ones of those, when mixed with a good helping of white--and, yes, I'll include white--become colors we all use here.
Red plus a good helping of white is pink, and pink we see as being distninctive from red.
Purple plus a good helping of white is lavender, which again we see as being distinctive from purple.
Brown plus that same good helping of white becomes tan in our eyes and finally beige. I would think she could use both of those in general conversation.
And black plus white becomes gray, and gray is pretty essential.
I think I can eliminate other colors (shades, hues, whatever) and still give her a good lesson on colors for the art museum
However--and the point of this meandering thread--I find it kind of weird that we don't have specific, generic names for:
Green plus a good helping of white.
Yellow plus a good helping of the same.
Orange plus the same..
Blue plus the same.
We might say light green, pale yellow, cream-sicle orange, and sky-blue, but we don't have brand new words for those basic colors plus a lot of white. Or do we? I mean here single word colors for a basic color plus white, as in pink, lavender, beige, tan, and gray.
If we do, I beg to be informed. (I'm not including colors, such as chartreuse which have some other color added in, such as yellow added into green plus white.)
I hope I've made sense. Basic color plus white = single word that no longer contains the original word for the orginal color.
Dear WW: I didn't see mention of "pastel" (Dict) #4 a soft, pale shade of any color
Pastel is a useful word, but it's not what I'm after here.
I'm wondering why we don't have a single word term that would indicate one of the basic colors with white added in. Red becomes pink, for instance. But what does yellow become? Sure, we could say pastel yellow, but do we have a single-word term for that shade? I don't think so. and I don't think we have one for green, orange and blue. Skyblue comes close, but it still includes the word 'blue' in it. And I wonder why. If we've got lavendar, pink, beige, and gray, why not single term shades for the other colors? It's just puzzling to think about, especially since the language has been evolving all these years. You would think that something as fundamental as color would have long ago covered something as simple as adding white to yellow to get that pale shade we can all imagine, yet we don't have a single English word for it. That is, unless I'm incorrect here--and I would welcome being incorrect!--and there is already a specific word for each pastel color that most people speaking English would immediately recognize.
I would really love a term for Cream-sicle orange, for instance--that lovely, pale orange. It's not exactly apricot, which has some yellow in it, or peach, which has some yellow, too... It's, yes, pastel orange, but it should have a name of its own. And that very pale green, too, should have a single name. I'd call it butter-mint green, but that's too complicated as is Cream-sicle orange. Some might say ice green or ice orange. But you're right. Pastel works well. I just wish there were single word terms for these pastel colors.
Thanks for thinking about this, wwh.
well there is blue, but that is a pretty pale color.. and then there is indigo, and/or navy
there is aqua and turquoise, but i think of them as tints of blue/green, and darker, a shade is teal, and darker still, prussan blue.
basic color can become tints (lighter) by adding white, and become shades(darker) by adding black. but in common usage, we use the word shade for both pastels and deep tones. (a shade of pink)
there are many specific names for specific colors; nile (green) chartrues, etc. and many come from things of a similar color.
Pink(s)is from the plant, (a simple carnation type plant, including flowers such as sweet williams,) that were called "pincts" from their pinked edges (as in pinking shears) and "rose" is a pale tone too, since wild roses are not usually as dark as, say "american beauty" but tend to be "rosy" ; closer to red than pink, but not red.
Your examples, (and mine) are from natural experiences. there are very few pure "blue" tones in flowers (and organic material) but many red tones..
so we have madder, cinnebar, vermillion, crimson, copper, apple, rust, pink, rose, russet, raspberry, ruby, and many other reds. but lapis, ultramarine, robins egg, saphire, delphilium, and only a few other blues.
but there are lots of names once again for purple shades, since these shades are found in nature; lavender, lilac, heliatrope, hyacinth, grape, amathyst, come to mind.
and there are many names for white, snow, milk, cream, winter, linen, lead (the ore), titanium (an other ore),
There is somewhere, (i saw it long ago) this large array of colors (think of a giant tinker toy type cube, blocks of color connected by shorts sticks to other blocks of color.
the colors range (a cube has 6 corners, one is red, one blue, one yellow, one white, one black.. and i forget the last..)
as the colors move away from "pure" towards another color, you get thousands of tones, tints and shades..
what is interesting is where languages "divide colors"
the word blue is from blanc (white) and original meant a shade of grey. Not all people "see" colors the same..
when i was a child, we took a sweetened, liquid form of antibiotics "the pink medicine" but our pharmathist called it "purple".
the cube has wavy wires dividing blocks into color groups.. and seeing were(which grouping) other languages/people place a color is interesting..
We have discussed aspects of this (NO, its not a YART) you might want to go way back (Over 1 year!) and look for some threads, and see some of the stuff we found last time round...
Yellow and white give Primrose:
Orange and white probably give what you mioght call apricot ( or possibly peach, although meself I think of that as being a yellowy-orange.) another possibility are ochre :
Blue and white give you cerulean (another name for sky-blue)
Green and white give you jade.
Is that any help?
Thanks, Rhubarb, for primrose. I never knew that primrose was pale yellow. What a revelation.
And cerulean for light blue is terrific, too.
I think of jade as being darker than light green, but I have seen very pale jade, which was lovely.
Apricot I would think of as having a bit too much yellow in it to be light orange...but maybe. And maybe peach, too, yellow aside. I suppose those would work.
But ochre? I don't think of that at all as yellow plus white. I see ochre with a bit of brown, orange, or even green in it.
Thanks a lot. I'm quite satisfied now.
Yes - orange is s adifficult one.
As to jade, some of the prettiest I've seen is pink! But the usual perception of jade is green, and I have seen some very dark jade indeed; but my own perception is of a lightish green.
but AHD give the first sense of 'primrose yellow' as a light to moderate greenish yellow.
And I just checked OneLook.com The second definition of "primrose yellow" ("primrose" itself not being listed as an adjective) was light to moderate yellow:
"Main Entry: primrose yellow
1 : a light to moderate greenish yellow
2 : a light to moderate yellow "
Edit Addition: And I just checked my AHD (1992) and primrose is not listed as an adjective at all. I, for one, am going to start using primrose as an adjective all the time until somebody comes up with another color adjective that means light yellow.
... Which is a very accurate description of how you would mix the colours from the palette in your paint box.
However, when you buy goods from the shops - especially fashion goods - primrose nearly always signifies a tint of yellow rather than the genuine greenish tone.
So from a practical, day-to-day pint of view, I believe that primrose describes the colour that Dub-Dub was after
Lest we forget:
orange - c.1380, from O.Fr. orenge, from M.L. pomum de
orenge, alt. of Ar. naranj, from Pers. narang, from Sansk.
naranga-s "orange tree." Loss of initial n- probably due to
confusion with definite article. Introduced in Florida (along with
lemons) 1513 by Sp. explorer Juan Ponce de Leon.
Introduced to Hawaii 1792. Not used as the name of a color
until 1542. Orangemen refers to Irish secret society founded
1795 in Belfast, named for William of Orange (who became
William III of England), of the Ger. House of Nassau; the
name from the town of Orange on the Rhone in France, which
was part of the principality, so called because it was said to
have been a center for importing oranges.
Citrus is, in last consequence, derived from Greek
kedromÍlon "apple of cedar" (Greek mÍlon is cognate to
Latin malum "apple"); this name, however, did not signify
lemon, but citron (see above), whose cultivation in Egypt is reported by Greek travelers.
The Romans, then, shortened the Greek name to citrus.
For the botanical species name, limon, and the English name lemon, see lime.
The German formation Zitronatzitrone "citron", rather puzzling at first sight, is a simple
compound (primary word Zitrone "lemon", determinative element Zitronat "succade")
meaning "lemon whose peel is used for making succade".
Here's something I'll paste from a OneLook source:
"ing of a bright saffronlike colour; of the colour of gold or brass; having the hue of that part of the rainbow, or of the solar spectrum, which is between the orange and the green. "Her yellow hair was browded [braided] in a tress." (Chaucer) "A sweaty reaper from his tillage brought First fruits, the green ear and the yellow sheaf." (Milton) "The line of yellow light dies fast away.
<medicine> " (Keble) Yellow atrophy, a North American fresh water bass (Morone interrupta) native of the lower parts of the Mississippi and its tributaries. It is yellow, with several more or less broken black stripes or bars.
Synonym: barfish. Yellow berry.
<botany> The European willow warbler. The European wood warbler.
Origin: OE. Yelow, yelwe, yelow, yeoluw, from AS. Geolu; akin to D. Geel, OS. & OHG. Gelo, G. Gelb, Icel. Gulr, Sw. Gul, Dan. Guul, L. Helvus light bay, Gr. Young verdure, greenish yellow, Skr. Hari tawny, yellowish. Cf. Chlorine, Gall a bitter liquid, Gold, Yolk.
1. A bright golden colour, reflecting more light than any other except white; the colour of that part of the spectrum which is between the orange and green. "A long motley coat guarded with yellow."
2. A yellow pigment. Cadmium yellow, Chrome yellow, Indigo yellow, King's yellow, etc. See Cadmium, Chrome, etc. Naples yellow, a yellow amorphous pigment, used in oil, porcelain, and enamel painting, consisting of a basic lead metantimonate, obtained by fusing together tartar emetic lead nitrate, and common salt.
<chemistry> Patent yellow, a yellow pigment consisting essentially of a lead oxychloride.
Synonym: Turner's yellow.
Source: Websters Dictionary
(01 Mar 1998) "http://cancerweb.ncl.ac.uk/cgi-bin/omd?yellow
And I just checked my AHD (1992) and primrose is not listed as an adjective at all.
OED doesn't formally list is as an adj. but gives and example of "the primrose path."
And Mrs Rhuby has just suggested "cream" as being yellow and white, and "aqua" as being pale blue.
Dear RC: I was never able to find a pleasurable termination of the primrose path.All I
ever found was a bed of poison ivy.
(Orange) Not used as the name of a color
Makes me wonder what it was in 1541?
This site lists named html colours.
I'm not sure about cream being yellow + gobs of white Rhu. It seems cream has the slightest tinge of bluish-beige in it. Well the 35% cream does.
Hmmm, now that I think about it, it seems that cream in maternal milk is extremely light yellow.
Remember in Bible, Joseph's coat of many colors. I wonder how many colors it could have had.
"And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they strip Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on him; And they took him, and cast him into a pit. and the pit was empty, there was no water in it." (Genesis 37:23 -24)
If the time of Moses crossing the Reed Sea was about 4700 B.C., then when was the time of Joseph? We could take a look at the dyes available during the time of Joseph and then make a pretty good guess about the colors that could have been used in his coat...
Dear WW: I nominate you a committee of one to report on the possible colors.
what colors were available for Joseph's coat?
white, (plain wool
yellows (onion skins)
greens (various green plants)
browns (various tannins--from tree bark)
reds (various insect shells yeild red)
grey, brown, tan and black (natural woolens again)
indigo was already being used in india, and i supect blue would be available.
(purple was available, but very expensive)
many plants will make wonderful dyes, all that is needed is salt for mordant. onion skins will give shades from the palest yellow to deep amber gold. most plant dyes will give deeper colors the longer the fabric sits in the dye bath.
something as simple as adding white to yellow
On second thought, this is not as simple as it sounds. The basic colors are not "symmetrical" in their perceptual properties. Yellow as such has a much higher "lightness value" than e.g. red or green, which means that "adding white" to yellow causes less of a difference than for the latter 2 colors. This is probably one reason why there is no common name for this diluted yellow. If, on the other hand, you look at a concentrated yellow dye solution (ink) it looks brown rather than yellow.
random thoughts on color...
When I was in medical school I was always confused when the histology profs would describe something as "blue" when it was clearly purple. Drove me crazy.
In residency a middle eastern friend of mine once commented on the the "golden hair" of an attractive redhead.
"Cornflower" comes to mind as a term for light blue. With a hint of purple, periwinkle.
A lot of the names for lighter colors that I see used don't seem very official, like "sage" for a light green matching the plant of the same name. IS that really the name of the color or did the J. Crew and Williams-Sonoma catalogues just make it the in vogue term?
I think Helen was on the right track when she suggested that colors took their names from nature. [thanks] WW, I have occasionally heard simply the word lemon used, or sometimes, "lemon-colored".
Speaking of cultural references, Alex, the sagebrush plant that grows out west is a grayish-green. So much so that I would not call it a true green.
I have to say, I take utter delight in the room I am sitting in. I wanted an "under water" look; the walls are a light mix of blue and green, and the carpet is a dark shade of the same. Neither is truly blue nor truly green, which fascinates me, besides the fact that to me they are beautiful. The carpet-store lady said there wasn't another shade like this one in the whole store. A white ceiling adds a welcome and placement-appropriate lightening effect, plus white curtains that I tell myself look billowy...
Hey, Jackie - your room sounds like my room, but mine is a bit more blue than green. The official paint colour name was Aegean Blue. My billowy curtains are green and purple, with sailboats on them. Impossible to be sad in this bright, cheery room. I LUV it!
Yes, blues and greens are very cool, comfortable colors.
studies show them to be calming colors.. and they have been used to excess.. hospitals and schools where, in the past painted bilgious shade of green, with the hope of creating a calm environment..
but with color, shades and tints are everything! One shade can be cool water, and another sea sick green!
In my family, we had a wool blanket that was a particularly hideous shade of green. My mother said it was a wedding gift. All us kids called it "monkey-puke green" and it became known as the monkey-puke blanket. That was the blanket we all reached for when running a fever. We didn't care what color it was, it was so good for sweating out the fever.
Consuelo, thank you so very, very much for adding MONKEY PUKE GREEN to our ever-expanding vocabularies. I plan on using monkey puke green in my opening comments when the kids return to school. I'm going to be a big hit this year--I just know it!
WW, i have gone all the way back to your original post, because of something i read to day.. in the todays book review, (If not, Winter, by Anne Carson, about the poet Sappho) the reviewer quotes Alcaeus, who called Sappho, "violet haired, pure, honey smiling" and quotes a translation of Sappho using Sappho's phrase "rosey-fingered moon"
Silver moon, waxy moon, golden harvst moon, but "rosey-fingered moon"? rosey is not a color i would associate with the moon. and violet haired?
i often wonder about colors, and if things looked different in times past. i have read, in ancient times, one could see venus in the day time (just as we can see the moon in the sky in the daytime)
Pollution has given everything a yellow orange haze, and made many things harder to see, and duller. Has it also changed how we see certain colors? was the sea really wine dark, and did it look different? will "blue" mean something different in the future? will increased pollution make the sky not blue, but give it a yellow cast, and make it look a pale green? and thousand of years from now, will people wonder how could we have called the sky blue?
or did ancients, used to seeing natural colors, (even today, the sky is not the same color from sun up to sun down, but changes constantly in color, not just from night to day, but during the night and day!)- did they see (and by this i mean associciate in there mind) colors differently? where grapes (which take weeks to change from small hard green marbles to soft, dark purple grapes,) seen differently than the colors of the sky (which changes almost hourly)?
I watch the sea grass in the bay, and every day it is a different color-- the first rains of spring, and the first hard frost yeild dramatic color changes, but every day the grass is different. i could say the grass is green.. and while the is "correct" it also inadequate.
We'll have to keep our eyes peeled on the moon this year. For a fact I've seen an orange moon. Can't ever recall having seen a rose moon, but who knows? I'll turn moon watcher this year and keep you posted.
Now purple hair: Yes. Some jet black hair, very silkly and oily, will get a purple cast to it in certain light.
And colors are affected, as you've noted, in different ways at various times of day and by various workings in the sky with or against the sun.
I read an account of historical volcanic eruptions recently in which the eruption of Tambora on the island of Sumbawa in 1815 caused snow to fall in 1816 in a variety of colors: red, brown and yellow snow. What's happening in the stratosphere has a lot to do with the colors we see. The sun in 1816 wasn't quite right either. It was described as not shining, but was often dull red. And the earth was cold with corn in some locations not developing fully--staying green through Novemember. A contemporary observer said what occurred was a reverse greenhouse effect.
And I thought: Hmmmm. Need to reverse the greenhouse effect? Well, just go construct a volcanic eruption on the amplitutde of Tambora. Of course, make sure that there's enough food stored for everybody before you carry out the construction and cause the eruption!
Here's a little more on Tamboro I just googled--only here the sun is described as being bluish. My first source, Tales of the Earth
did not mention this bluish color:Recognition of the climatic changes associated with volcanic eruptions can be traced back to 1783, when Benjamin Franklin observed the "dry fog" in Europe following the Laki Fissure eruption in Iceland. In fact, historical records are quite useful to re-write the history of the effects of past eruptions on past climates. Records that describe prolonged darkness, cold summers and colder winters, failed crops, and famine, all indicate post-eruption conditions. After the 1883 Krakatoa eruption, observations of atmospheric optical phenomenon were made, including blurring of celestial objects, an odd bluish color of the sun, and extreme sunrises and sunsets (Rampino, Self and Stothers, 1988).
Examples of climate change due to past volcanic eruptions
Perhaps one of the best known climatic alterations due to a volcanic eruption is the year 1816; the "year without a summer" following the 1815 Tambora eruption on Sumbawa Island in Indonesia. Tambora is one of the largest known eruptions in the past 10,000 years (Rampino, Self, and Stothers, 1988). It produced ash fallout over a 4x105 km2 area and caused darkness for about 2 days as far away as 600 km from the volcano. Studies including tree ring observations, indicate that the 1816 summer was approximately 1.5 įC cooler than the summer of 1815. The year following the eruption was one of hardship felt across the globe. The summer was cold and wet in western Europe, crops failed, people starved, disease spread and social unrest grew (Rampino, Self, and Stothers, 1988).
I thought sky-blue was azure.
Kids raised in schools that are monkey puke green will be later more able to tolerate working in a VA hospital whose walls are baby s**t brown...
Jackie your underwater room sounds awesome. One of these days I will own a house and I think I may have to decorate one of the rooms just so, or rather, have someone decorate it for me while I take a nap.
Speaking of the color of rooms (and perhaps digressing a bit), I love the warm look of craftsman style cottages, with lots of brown and tan wood colors and the amber light of stained glass lamps.
I thought sky-blue was azure.
Depends on where you are and how polluted the atmosphere is. In Zild, it's generally considered to be cerulean. Or sky-blue, take your pick ..
"violet haired, pure, honey smiling"..."rosey-fingered moon"
Roses come in a lot of different colors as do wines. If the violet was the same as the purple that was used on senators' togas it was from a shellfish and about the color of Theresa's hair. If I remember Theresa's hair aright. The ASp seems to agree with me about what I remember her hair color to be, so.
We could take a look at the dyes available during the time of Joseph and then make a pretty good guess about the colors that could have been used in his coat...
It was red and yellow and green and brown
And scarlet and black and ochre and peach
And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve
And cream and crimson and silver and rose
And azure and lemon and russet and grey
And purple and white and pink and orange
- according to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice (Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
according to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
Well, as long as you have it on good authority.
>according to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
Well, as long as you have it on good authority.
Actually I saw it in a dream, Falro, but nobody would believe that, eh?
blues and greens are very cool, comfortable colors.
I've heard that this is why default computer wallpapers are primarily blue and green. For instance, Win XP uses a rolling landscape with a rich blue sky and deep green grass. Mac OS X uses an abstract swooping fold of blues. These are supposed to make you feel calm while you're using your computer, so you like their product more.
These are supposed to make you feel calm while you're using your computer, so you like their product more. Good grief, people will do everything they can to make more money, won't they? I think I've posted this before--I am convinced that the food court at one of our malls was deliberately designed to have sounds reverberate through it, and with uncomfortable chairs, so that customers will want to hurry up and get out of there, making way for more people to spend their money. Mind you, it looks nice: lots of big potted plants, lovely-looking wooden chairs and tables. Very subtle effects. I don't hate greed quite as much as I hate lying, but it ranks right up there; it's just so unnecessary.
Indeed, Jackie. And is the food court decorated in warm colors?
Interesting, Jazz; I'd never noticed! And although I've changed my Mac wallpaper, it's still a shade of blue.
I remember learning about the emotional reactions to warm and cool colors in an article I read years ago about a restaurant chain, Denny's. Its walls were papered in vertical red and orange stripes, to get customers in and out quickly. Dunno if it's still that way these days.
You're running a delicate balance when you design your restaurant facilities to move people out quickly. It works fine if you have a captive audience. The messdecks (eating space) on the ship I was on in the Navy was once painted a hideous orange that was created, so the story went, by mixing the two main primers the Navy used, red lead and zinc chromate. When we were out at sea there was no place else to go and in port they were saving money by driving customers away. In a restaurant that has nearby competitors it would seem disadvantageous to make the surroundings uncomfortable.
"Shall we eat at Denny's or Friendly's, dear?"
"Oh not Denny's; their food makes me ill for some reason."
In a mall food court you're on the line. It's often easier to eat there rather than go elsewhere but.
Re: with uncomfortable chairs
Yes, McDonald's has special designed chairs that are pretty, but tend to become uncomfortable after about 30 minutes-- so that people will not loiter in MickyD's too long...
this was reported years ago...(i read in NY times)
McDonald's has special designed chairs that are pretty, but tend to become uncomfortable after about 30 minutes
Yes, and food that looks good but tastes of nothing and leaves you hungry again after about 5 minutes.
Though this may well be the cheap UK imitation. Obviously licensed to use the name but no License To Fill. Food Thread Alert
Read Fast Food Nation and you will never ever go to a MacDonald's again.
Read Fast Food Nation and you will never ever go to a MacDonald's again
My dear Auntie, I require no persuasion whatsoever; monkey puke is haute cuisine by comparison.
But try telling that to my kids.
Actually they'd love monkey puke, and maybe I'll start renaming greens accordingly. Hey, nice one, connie!
You're welcome, pezcy.