Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Odd imponderables

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    35,282

    Odd imponderables

    Why are people whose hair is generally some shade of orange or auburn called redheads? Their hair is orange, not red!

    And "ginger" which some people use a derogatory term, is actually kind of a tan color on the outside of the root, and more yellow than orange in its ground form, so why use the term ginger either? And ginger ale is downright yellow!

    Anything from hair the color of a new penny to an almost-but-not-quite-brown the shade of rusting iron is called a redhead. Why?

    Any why do people who learn I like winter, and snow, automatically assume I am a skier?

    Do you have questions you wonder about?


    For the record, although I do ponder these things, the definition of imponderables is "a factor that is difficult or impossible to estimate or assess."
    I've Been Frosted

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Munich
    Posts
    15,214
    Some time ago, I read a book about linguistics. One of the themes covered in it was the development of words for colors. When language developped, the words for colors were not here straight away, especially when you see that the environments in which humans developped were rather green-brownish, so anyone knew what color it was-not much sense to discuss it at all. So the first color words in most languages were dark and light or black and white. And the third in most languages which appeared later, was red. Those words were used for more colors than we have today, e.g. a dark brown animal would be described with the word for black, and not differentiated. There are still languages (e.g. Some polynesian languages) which only use 3 terms for all color. I suppose that red for red hair etc. dates from older times.
    The ability to create so many different colors -like teal, pink, skyblue, jade etc. is new, so the names are new as well.
    BTW, the book, which has much more insight in this question and which I loved very much is called "Through the Language Glass-How Words Colour Your World" and is by Guy Deutscher who is at university in Manchester.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    35,282
    You'd think we would have applied a different word for the hair color when we came up with words like orange and rust and russet and .... other parts of the language changed, why not that one?
    I've Been Frosted

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark - GMT+1
    Posts
    14,666
    It's also odd that so many with paté coloured hair are called blondes. I've noticed it especially outside of Scandinavia.

    Anyway, it's amazing so many colour names there are, If you go to paint shop and want a colour for your wall, there are hundreds of different names, even for white. But of course, every one knows what colour you mean, when you say racing green or air force blue. Think I may colour my bathroom Buff next time. See this:

    In a RGB color space, hex #f0dc82 (also known as Buff) is composed of 94.1% red, 86.3% green and 51% blue. Whereas in a CMYK color space, it is composed of 0% cyan, 8.3% magenta, 45.8% yellow and 5.9% black. It has a hue angle of 49.1 degrees, a saturation of 78.6% and a lightness of 72.5%. #f0dc82 color hex could be obtained by blending #ffffff with #e1b905. Closest websafe color is: #ffcc99.

    Here's a list of some: http://www.colorhexa.com/color-names
    Randi



    "I don't know which weapons will be used in the third World war, but in the fourth, it will be sticks and stones" --- Albert Einstein.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    12,501
    Randi, is that the case in Danish too? Or are you folks just much more straightforward about such things?
    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    "Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

    -- Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Copyright © 2001-2013 Pet of the Day.com