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#78901 08/24/02 04:47 PM
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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:

red
orange
yellow
green
blue
purple
brown
black

(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.

Best regards,
WordWondering...


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Dear WW: I didn't see mention of "pastel" (Dict) #4 a soft, pale shade of any color



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wwh,

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.

Best regards,
WW


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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...


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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?


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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.

Best regards,
WW


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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.


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but AHD give the first sense of 'primrose yellow' as a light to moderate greenish yellow.



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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
Function: noun
Date: 1882
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.

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... 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


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