March 09, 2005

the sneeze mailbag

Some interesting new emails in the mailbag. The first is actually a little exchange I had with a reader...

Hey Steve,

I'm a fan of your site and figured I'd share my latest tattoo which was inspired by the Final Blow painting.

Thanks for the funny,

The tattoo is awesome, but I'm finding it a little hard to believe it was actually inspired by the painting. Is that really true?


No, really it started with the painting. It's not a direct copy of the painting, but the guy on my leg is in the crowd at the bottom left.

Seeing it got me looking at the other paintings on Eric Joyner's site and this particular robot shows up in a lot of his paintings. I really liked him, so when I got to thinking about my next tattoo, I thought a cool toy robot would be something different. I also bought a reproduction tin robot from these guys.

So, The Final Blow was the first step on the road to painful leg tattooing and a big toy on top of my monitor at work.

It was either going to be the robot or the scary tree brain fungus and I thought the robot was a little more bad ass.

How great! And if any of you decide to get a tattoo of The Sneeze logo on your leg, let me know. (So I can get started on your restraining order.)


Our next letter comes from Jen...


I've got a question for you. Actually, I just have a question that needs answering - I've asked many people who could not answer this question, so I turn to you, oh wise and wonderful Steve of the Sneeze.

When mixing colours (let's say you're painting) and you mix white and red you get "Pink", but when you mix white and blue you only get light blue. Why does light blue not have its own separate name? You would never call Pink "light red". That would be silliness.

I am confused and perplexed by this. Thanks much,

Jentrifigul Force,

You ask an excellent question!

I don't know if this answers your question, but I believe if you mix Avril Lavigne with a few boxes of donuts, you also get Pink.

Hope that helps!


If any of you can answer Jen's question of why light red gets to have its own official name, the comment board is open NOW CLOSED. (And Pink, if you're reading this, I apologize for the cheap shot. It was completely uncalled for, especially since we both know you could kick my ass.)

Click here for The Sneeze Home Page!
Posted by Steven | Archive

another way to ask this question is why does light red have a special name? white plus orange = light orange, etc. etc. right?

Posted by: Felix at March 9, 2005 08:06 AM

oh, and by the way, first post.

Posted by: Felix at March 9, 2005 08:07 AM

Isn't light blue, called periwinkle or some shit?

Posted by: Jamie at March 9, 2005 08:08 AM

I thought periwinkles were underwater snails. As for pink, I blame Barbie T. Doll.

Posted by: Jamie at March 9, 2005 08:11 AM

If I'm not mistaken, periwinkle is a shade of light blue which has some purple in it too, like the sky at dusk...
I think most people only use the colour names when shopping for paint though.. You know, they have like 50 shades of white, each with their own name... ;o)
In Denmark we keep it simple though: Light blue, light red, light yellow, etc. etc.

Posted by: Malene at March 9, 2005 08:26 AM

Funnily enough, I was thinking the same thing about pink/light red the other day. And I think I heard somewhere that the Japanese consider blue and green to be different shades of the same colour. Or am I making that up? Any Japanese readers care to comment?

Posted by: Kimber at March 9, 2005 08:30 AM

No offense to Chris, because I have my share of body hair ( no, I don't prescribe to the current fashion of men getting waxed so as to be as smooth as J-Lo's privates), but hair growing through the tattoo changes the art of it a bit. Kind of like looking at a painting (let's say the Mona Lisa for imagerys' sake) after it's been laying on the floor at Great Clips.

Posted by: Felix at March 9, 2005 08:42 AM

You're right, Kimber: the adjective "aoi" in Japanese means both blue and green. The sky is aoi; so is a traffic light when it's not red or yellow. So is your face when you don't feel so hot.

Thankfully, when you need to be specific, Japanese also has the words "midori", which, like the liqueur, is definitely green, and the loan word "buruu" which is definitely blue. Then there's a whole bunch of other words describing kinds of green and blue like we have (aqua, teal, turquoise, indigo...).

Posted by: Nora at March 9, 2005 08:49 AM

I think blue and white is called baby blue.
But I think this question might be better directed at Crayola.

Posted by: val at March 9, 2005 08:50 AM

Hate to point it out Felix but orange + white = peach (not light orange). Black + white = grey. See... there are a few other "special" colors out there that get their own names.

Posted by: ... at March 9, 2005 08:53 AM

Yes, and watermelon, and brick, and wine, and fuchia, and magenta, and cherry, strawberry, razzberry, and rose, and fire engine--these are just some terms that can describe red. Especially when picking your spring palet where clothing and lipstick are concerned. It is all so very complicated!

Posted by: LL Locke at March 9, 2005 09:02 AM

There is a name for light blue, it's called Sky Blue. Even lighter and it's Powder Blue. Add more saturation to Sky Blue and it becomes Aqua, just as Pink becomes Hot Pink.

The problem is, there are many colors such as Fuchsia, Plum, Coral, Salmon, and even Magenta that are often referred to by women (who tend to admire these colors the most) as simply "Pink". Criticism of this practice is however, strongly discouraged. Let me give an example:

Woman: "Thanks for coming shopping with me, Honey. I know you wanted to watch the game, but I hate shopping alone and Debra coundn't co- Ooohhhh!! Look at that sweater! Isn't it gorgeous?!?!?!"

Man: "Which one?"

Woman: "That pink one, right there."

Man: "You mean that Light Burgundy one next to the Teal blouse?"

Woman: "Why do you always have to disagree with me??? You're so critical. I don't even know why you came to the mall with me in the first place."

Man: "I'm sorry. I like the sweater. I think it would look great on you."

Posted by: R-itch at March 9, 2005 09:10 AM

If there is no special name for the colour light blue yet, this proves to be a perfect opportunity to make up your own. ie. white and blue = wlue or blite

Good luck!

Posted by: Carl at March 9, 2005 09:29 AM


I think you get blite when you accidently get bleach on your blue jeans.

Posted by: Merrin at March 9, 2005 09:47 AM

I've been wondering about this for a long time. Everyone else thinks I'm dumb for asking this question, but it really is weird. And as far as "periwinkle" goes, that's named after something else. And baby blue or sky blue still has blue in the title. Pink is its own unique name. I find it very unfair to the other colours, and I would like to start a petition to remove its special name, or give names to the other light colours. This is colour discrimination!

Posted by: Shayne at March 9, 2005 10:16 AM

Let's name the color (Canadian translation: colour) light blue something like 'Pale Smurf', or 'Albino Smurf'.

Posted by: Zclone at March 9, 2005 10:40 AM

I think we should call the light blue color "Gert" I just like the way it rolls.

Posted by: Toaod at March 9, 2005 11:02 AM

To get back on topic...

Baby Blue, Sky Blue or Powder Blue... also "Cornflower" and, as Jamie suggested, "Periwinkle"... are all "light" shades of blue.

I did find this, which is mildly entertainting and deceptively educational for those of us who lack excess estrogen:

"Makita Blue"... hehe.

Posted by: Smidge204 at March 9, 2005 11:44 AM

Light blue is pretty descriptive though. I mean, it gets the job done without leaving any room for second guessing. Pink could be anything, even a singer....

Posted by: the entire state of washington at March 9, 2005 12:46 PM

Some languages have fewer agreed-upon color names than english, some probably have more. Another weird fact is that languages that have only 3 color names will always have the same three, even if they're unrelated languages (black, white, red).
None of this means that people speaking those languages can't see the colors or anything. It's just like light blue in English. There's just no special word. Weird, huh?

Posted by: shirky at March 9, 2005 12:49 PM

Uhh no one has mentioned it yet but, blue + white equals cyan.

But that is moot cause pink is more well known.

Posted by: endothermal at March 9, 2005 12:50 PM

Hey R-itch...I could very easily take offense at your claim that women are somehow deficient in naming colors aptly...but I'll try not to. I hope you're not making a sweeping generalization. I bet there are just as many men who can barely tell one color from the next, let alone different shades (and those are the ones who AREN'T color blind), and in my personal experience, probably more. I'm a graphic designer and artist; I knows me some colors. Yet, I am female. Go figure!

And for the record, I hate "Fuchsia, Plum, Coral, Salmon, and even Magenta". Especially magenta. It makes me want to ralph.

And a question: what, exactly, is light burgundy, anyway? Wouldn't that be more of a rose or mauve? How light are we talking here? (And yeah, does this really matter? Of course not. I'm just bored.)

Posted by: butterstar at March 9, 2005 01:04 PM

I think we should call Blue+White: Douche. And as for Pink, Fuck Pink.

Posted by: anon at March 9, 2005 01:26 PM

butterstar, if you were a color, would you be goldenrod? Or maybe lemon? No, wait, how about pale yellow, with metalic gold--get it, butter + star. Magenta is not my fav color either, but it is a good color to accent other colors, like seafoam, and turquoise, and aqua, and grass, and kelly green, and lime, and sage, and violet, and grape, and royal purple.

Posted by: LL Locke at March 9, 2005 01:38 PM

Very astute observation endothermal, CYAN, but what about all the other light colors of the world? and what about the dark(er) colors? Do they not have feelings also? Can't we all just get along????

Posted by: people are sheep at March 9, 2005 01:39 PM

Can't we just call it Bink? I know it might be conusing because it sounds like pink, but maybe it will catch on that way. You know, because they sound so similar it will be easy to remember.

Posted by: trophyhusband at March 9, 2005 01:42 PM

Light blue has all sorts of special names, just look in the crayola box.

Posted by: Skeeve at March 9, 2005 01:51 PM

But lots of special names is not one name. When you point to pink, and you say - "What color is that?" Just about everybody is going to say pink. If you point to light blue you aren't not going to get the majority of people saying "Sky blue" or "Powder blue." It's just not as official as pink has become.

Posted by: Steve at March 9, 2005 02:31 PM

Hmmm, well, not to contradict ya, Steve, but I might say Cotton Candy, or Bubble Gum. Those are shades of pink. And I would do that just to annoy you, really. And to be different, and stand out in the crowd, desperate for attention. Tee-hee!.......sorry.

Dang! Now I'm hungry for cotton candy..............instant karma....?

Posted by: LL Locke at March 9, 2005 02:46 PM

What about Robin's egg blue?

Posted by: kathy at March 9, 2005 02:52 PM

"Baby Blue." I bet you'ld get that fairly often.

I think, perhaps, it may be because blue is not an often seen color in nature. Besides the sky (or the ocean, which only looks blue because it's reflecting the light from the sky...) how often do you see blue? Not nearly as often as "pink."

Posted by: Smidge204 at March 9, 2005 02:53 PM

Good point Smidge....unless you think about birds and flowers and bugs...some of them are very pretty shades of blue

Posted by: kathy at March 9, 2005 02:55 PM

in continuation with Zclone's idea of Smurf-based names (and with a nod to one of the teams in this past summer's Ulti league), I propose that a light shade of blue be named 'Diet Smurf'

Posted by: salamander at March 9, 2005 03:05 PM

Why is it called baby blue? I've never seen a baby that color....

Posted by: Colin's hot sister at March 9, 2005 03:22 PM

and what about brown? orange+black=brown. why not dark orange?

Posted by: Katt at March 9, 2005 03:23 PM

Isn't dark orange Burnt Sienna???

Posted by: LL Locke at March 9, 2005 03:25 PM

Russian has a word for light blue: goluboy. It also means "gay".

Posted by: phil at March 9, 2005 04:05 PM

I wouldn't say that Blue + white = cyan.
Technically, Cyan is part of the CYMK (cyan, yellow, magenta, black) color scheme which is different from RGB. Red, Green, and Blue are the "additive colors " - combine red, green and blue light, and you get white light. Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are "subtractive colors" - if you print cyan, magenta and yellow inks on paper, they ought to absorb all the light shown on them. Simply put, RGB is what is used on a monitor, CYMK is what comes out of the printer.

As far as my opinion of blue + white, I'd probably side with baby or sky blue.... I can't think of a popular one word name.

Posted by: Sarah at March 9, 2005 04:11 PM

I don't care how much white you add to blue, it will never make cyan. Just won't happen.

Sorry for the previous post about the toy robot tattoo. The change in subject was somewhat jarring.

Posted by: Felix at March 9, 2005 04:13 PM

It's turning into Pleasantville with all this uproar about colors!

LL's post reminded me that other day I had cotton candy that had pink AND light blue smooshed together and the co-mingling of these two hotly debated colors produced only description: CRAYOLA CRACK!

MMMM. I loves me some cotton candy! (in any color - debated or not)

Posted by: Taunia at March 9, 2005 04:13 PM

Hey, Taunia, I've had that stuff, it came in a shiny package, kinda like potato chips, got it out of a vending machine no less And it was YUMMY, but also had a bitter aftertaste. And it was soooooo purty!--but that was probably the sugar talking.

I have been thinking about this since my first post: Is white a color or a shade? How about black? Does that make pastel colors both colors and shades? I'm getting a headache...

Posted by: LL Locke at March 9, 2005 04:20 PM

white is the presence of light, the combination of all colors of light. black is the absence of light and therefore absence of color. grey is the combination of all pigments (as in paint, not light) on the color wheel, it is the ultimate neutral.

as far as that whole "not a whole lot of blue in nature" crap from smidge's post, that's a damn dirty lie. blue is one of if not the most recognized colors in the human and animal brain. and the ocean is blue because of the grotesque amount of cyanophyta (yeah, cyan, as in blue-green, phyta as in plant-like algae) present in clear water. the color is then reflected in the suspended water and particles in the sky.

p.s. i was never a fan of pink, but i think i could get accustomed to diet smurf

Posted by: muffin at March 9, 2005 05:13 PM

After reading all of those comments, I have to say... who cares? Just be happy that you can tell the difference between light blue and pink.

I also have to say... you all have way too much time on your hands (I'll include myself in there as well, since I read all of the comments first)

Posted by: crookedfinger at March 9, 2005 05:58 PM

The real name for Light Blueis Powder Blue, Talcum, or, depending on the amount of black originally in the blue color before adding the white, Slate blue. The etymology of such names can be traced back to L.L. Bean clothing company as long ago as the 1994 Fall Catalog. The designers wanted something a little catchier than light blue to make their product more appealing to three distinct demographics: Women, metrosexuals, and extremely rich men who spend their summers flyfishing and living in log cabins on thousand-acre properties in Montana, thereby bringing themselves closer to nature.

Posted by: Dr. Seymour Bibbons, Esq. at March 9, 2005 06:14 PM

I don't know why light red is pink and light blue is sad, but i looooooved that comment about Pink... jajaj.. loved it!

Posted by: Lily at March 9, 2005 06:17 PM

I always thought the use of "pink" for that particular range of colour derived from the flowers, i.e. dianthus (carnations and Sweet Williams), which are called "pinks" and which are often... well, pink. Or did it go in the other direction? Any etymologists online?

Posted by: Katchan at March 9, 2005 06:24 PM


Kindly go out in a boat at night and shine a reasonably powerful light onto the ocean... then tell me what color the water is. It ain't gonna be blue. Better yet, look at the ocean during sunset/sunrise, or during a very cloudy day and look straight down at it... It won't be all that blue then either.

The water looks blue because it reflects the blue of the sky. The sky is blue because the atmosphere bends and diffuses the sunlight like a lens. It has nothing to do with "particles" in the air (unless you count nitrogen as a "particle"... which I suppose it is in a nuclear physics type of way). Nitrogen happens to diffuse blue light better than other wavelengths, so you get more blue light being scattered and thus you see a blue sky. This is also why the sky appears red/orange at sunset, even before the sun itself is visible over the horizon.

Only to a very limited degree does this same diffusion effect happen in the water itself, and usually in very clear water. But the water itself is NOT blue. When you look out from a beach you're seeing a reflection of the sky. (And if there's a bloom of plankton large enough to turn the water blue/blue-green, you've got a problem on your hands... but better than red I suppose.)

As for actual occurrences of blue in nature, of course you'll find it but it's comparatively rare. "Organic" colors are oranges, yellows, greens, greys and browns. With the exception of only a handful of birds, insects, flowers (which tend to be rather purplish for the most part), highly poisonous frogs and misc. aquatic life, actual blue coloring is a rare sight. I propose that's *why* it's so recognisable.

( Smurf? I thought Smurfs were hallucinogenic. They DO live in giant mushrooms...)

Posted by: Smidge204 at March 9, 2005 07:29 PM

And you know what's sad? It's hard to see blue in a rainbow--it fades into the indigo so easily.

Posted by: LL Locke at March 9, 2005 08:14 PM

Yeah the colour is called Cornflower.
Better known to some as #6495ED.

It also works as a mild insult:
Friend1: ever watched the monty python movies?
Friend2: yeah he's a very funny guy!
Friend1: okaaay cornflower...

Kinda like hayseed but corn is funnier.

Posted by: VoodooVince at March 9, 2005 09:43 PM

The answer is already up there in previous posts. In Italian, there are two words for blue, azzuro (azure), which is the colour of the horizon on the ocean, and celeste (celestial) which is the colour of the mediterranean sky. In English, this translates to blue and sky blue. But now I'm wondering about the etymology of PINK. In every other language, light red is "rose."

Posted by: atmikha at March 9, 2005 10:19 PM

Hey, no one's said anything about that picture of Pink yet. Isn't she kinda gettin' a Wendy O. Williams thing going?

Posted by: Bruce at March 10, 2005 12:11 AM

In Korea, it is called sky blue, it is its own colour. I wasn't so surprised about this, but I was surprised about "sky green" (white and green) I corrected everyone who used it, untill one day I saw a korean smog-set (sort of like a sunset) and the sky turned green from polution, but a light plesant green, a true sky green.

Posted by: pat at March 10, 2005 12:36 AM

Actually, I believe that the word "pink" (as we know it today -- a color) originally comes from a flower (not sure what the latin name is). That flower is a light red in color and the petals have a "pinked" edge (zig-zag shape -- hence "pinking shears"). Eventually over the years, we came to know that same light red shade as "pink".

Posted by: Mellisa at March 10, 2005 04:25 AM

I think pink may be a conjunction. Cause when I think pink, only one thing comes to mind: P-ussy st-INK = PINK

Posted by: pornstarwannabe at March 10, 2005 06:17 AM

Funny, I thought the cheap shot was aimed at Avril, not at Pink. Pink looks like a normal person to me, not a freaky animated skeleton.

Posted by: Gambit at March 10, 2005 07:27 AM

It sounds like everyone has come to the conclusion that light blue does have other names, but I haven't heard anybody say anything about the varying shades of pink, like light pink and dark pink. You don't see things like light cornflower or light sky blue or light baby blue, because they become another color when that happens.

Just a thought. I have read, typed, and said the word "Pink" so many times now the word has lost all meaning to me.

Posted by: KoryBing at March 10, 2005 08:03 AM

The primary colors of pigment are different from the primary colors of light.

Posted by: tim at March 10, 2005 08:58 AM


But I did! I said Cotton Candy, and Bubble Gum. Carnation was also mentioned. Sorry, don't recall who by...

Posted by: LL Locke at March 10, 2005 09:46 AM

We have a different name for light blue in Hebrew, blue is called 'kahol' and light blue is 'thelet' (pronounced te-he-let).

Posted by: Yair of Israel at March 10, 2005 10:32 AM

I think the assumption that all shades of light red are called 'Pink' is false. What about 'Rose' (i.e. rose colored glasses, or rosy cheeks). What about 'Hot Pink'?

As those of you who have young daughters surely know, there are many shades of 'Pink', and when you put them all together (clothes, bedding, wall paper, toys, etc.) it's extremely nauseating.

Posted by: Zclone at March 10, 2005 10:32 AM

Avril is a Canadian (points) who plays hockey (big points). Pink is from Philly (ewww) and rides motorcycles (little mannish, dontcha think?)

Nevertheless, it might be interesting to try the supersize move on Avril and see how close she gets to the Pink Thing.

All this really proves is that the 8-crayon box is a lot better than the 64-crayon box. Kinda like the NCAA we really need Northeast Alabama Tech in as a 16 seed? Methinks not.

Posted by: Bruce at March 10, 2005 12:02 PM

Avril gets negative points for being canadian, Mr. Bruce.

Also, I have delved back into fasion catalog history and found another name for pink: Rose. Why its taken so long for people to realize this is beyond me.

Posted by: Dr. Seymour Bibbons, Esq. at March 10, 2005 01:53 PM

I think you could gat that "problem" fixed by the crayola company. They will probably make up names for thos colors.

Posted by: Tom at March 10, 2005 01:56 PM

Dr., you need to read the 11th post...

Posted by: LL Locke at March 10, 2005 02:47 PM

Hallmark created pink.

Posted by: George at March 10, 2005 06:12 PM

OK, time for a decision. Tempting as it is to go with the hebrew terms, "Coal" and "Toilet" might create more confusion, when trying to be accurate about the blueness of things. --Well, toilet blue might work. I am likeing "cyan." The word is not only 1) accurate, 2) English, but 3) has a bitter-whitish aftertaste. Mmmm.

Posted by: atmikha at March 10, 2005 09:27 PM

Steve, you rock dude! Thanks for helping a girl out here. I also love that I've started a small uproar. This made my whole week.
What I'm really looking for is a name that doesn't have "blue" attatched to the end of it. (ie. sky blue, baby blue, cornflower blue...)
I was thinking since Red + white = Pink, maybe blue + white could = Funk....

Posted by: Jen at March 10, 2005 09:32 PM

Bruce, what exactly is wrong with a chick riding a motorcycle? I personally think it is fun to do and chicks on motorcycles is a Hot thing indeed.
How many calendars are there that use this theme?

Posted by: Jen at March 10, 2005 09:35 PM

I like the idea of not having "blue" stuck onto the end of word..."blight" kind of captures it, don't you think?

Here are some other color names I've come up with in my spare time; maybe all you Sneezers can assign actual colors to the names! Won't that be fun?

Phlegm; wart; puddle; flash; wrinkle; barf; encrustation; snag; knob; flux; bondo; discharge; and finally, snivel.

See what you can come up with!

Posted by: El Impulso! at March 11, 2005 01:36 AM

Phlegm = Light green-grey
Wart = Tanish brown (Darker than khaki)
Puddle = Dark, shiney purple.
Flash = Brigth white with a hint of yellow
Wrinkle = Tanish grey
Barf = Pale green-grey with some yellow
Encrustation = Dark (almost black) brown
Snag = Dark red
Knob = Bright/shiney yellow-orange
Flux = Green with a hint of yellow
Bondo = Reddish tan
Discharge = Bluish Purple
Snivel = Bluish tan

...that WAS kinda fun.

Posted by: Smidge204 at March 11, 2005 05:26 AM

Someone already mentioned that pink is not unique as a separate, commonly used descriptor of a color with white added. See below:

Black + white = gray
Brown + white = tan
Purple + white = lavender

IMO that ends the discussion. Pink is not unique. Let's get real, cornflower and periwinkle are not commonly used descriptors of a color with white added. But gray, tan and lavender are.

Posted by: Nom at March 11, 2005 06:19 AM

Smidge, you crack me up!

Posted by: LL Locke at March 11, 2005 07:26 AM

I would acknowledge that gray is as viable a universal name as pink. I think a lot of people might say beige instead of tan. And if you were to take a survey, I'm also not so sure how many people would look at light purple and say "that's lavender!" with conviction.

Posted by: Steve at March 11, 2005 07:28 AM

Yes, and let's not forget that there are two types of lavendar, lavendar blue, and lavendar green...

(dilly, dilly)

Sorry....this particular subject on the board is slowly but surely driving me insane....but at least the scenery is colorful!

Posted by: LL Locke at March 11, 2005 09:28 AM

Re: lavender being a universally used descriptor of purple + white-

What do you hear people say more often? Lavender? Or light purple? I think Lavender, but that's just my opinion. Maybe it's a man/ woman thing (I am a woman).

Posted by: Nom at March 11, 2005 10:28 AM

Lavender is light blue.

Its hex code is #E6E6FA. The first E6 is red, the second E6 is green, and the FA is blue, showing that the red and green contents are equal and lower than the blue content.

Lavender is not purple + white. That would be something more along the lines of thistle, which is #D8BFD8 (red and blue content equal and higher than green content).

These are web standard color names and the hex codes they result in, not my opinion. Try it out for yourself.

Posted by: Angry Space Goat at March 11, 2005 03:06 PM

I think it's because pink is a special color.
I think you know what I mean. There's a big difference between red and pink, in their cultural significance, but blue and light blue... well, I guess only artists and those types can tell them apart.

Posted by: ben at March 11, 2005 03:57 PM

(1) Russians, as someone mentioned, have two words for blue, one bark, the other light. Many Russians regard the two as separate colors and are perplexed, upon learning English, to find that they share the same name. So to answer your question, Jen, if that is your real name, some people do give light blue its own separate name.

(2) Steve, I much prefer the "quick, infectious, occasionally snotty" tagline over the fractions one. just saying.

Posted by: N at March 11, 2005 06:27 PM

I do call light blue cyan, powder, sky, periwinkle, cerulean or 60's Mustang depending on the shade.

You know blue has been around since like the 50's so you'd think this controversy would have cleared up by now.

I vote for light blue = hypoxic.

Posted by: Ru at March 11, 2005 06:59 PM

I didn't do a ton of research for answering the question, but looking at the Crayola Crayon Chronology, the first introduction of "pink" was called Carnation Pink, circa 1949-1957. I think people just got lazy and started calling it plain pink.

They've also added shades of pink over the years: Ultra Pink (renamed Shocking Pink in 1990), Tickle Me Pink, Pig Pink and Pink Flamingo.

According to some other site, the average North American uses up 730 crayons by age 10. So I think Crayola should have the last word in the debate...anyone contact them yet?

Oh and I'm clueless on the light blue debate.

Praying to the Crayola Color Naming Gurus,
marvelous m

Posted by: marvelous m at March 11, 2005 10:13 PM

1) Jen is, in fact, my real name... well it's Jennifer if you want to get specific, but only my mother calls me Jennifer and then only when she's mad.

2) The fractions tagline makes me laugh every damn time I come here... just sayinng.

Posted by: Jen at March 11, 2005 10:16 PM

Steve, I'm going to kick your ass.

Posted by: Pink at March 12, 2005 04:35 AM

i thought this tidbit interesting on the medieval origins of the colour pink.

"The word pink is generally agreed to be derived from the similar Dutch word pinck. However, there are two theories about which sense of the Dutch word was involved, and how it became applied to the colour. One is that it came from pinck in the sense of “small” (which turns up in the modern English word pinky for “little finger”), through the expression pinck oogen “small eyes”—that is, “half-closed eyes”—and that this was borrowed into English and applied to the flowers of the common English cottage-garden species Dianthus plumarius, which has been called a pink since the seventeenth century. The other theory says it came from pinck in the sense of “hole” (which is the origin of pinking shears, the device used to make ornamental holes in cloth) and was applied to the flowers of Dianthus because they resembled the shape of the holes. Either way, the colour comes from the plant, not the other way round."

there is more on colours and their theorized origins here:

Posted by: mary at March 12, 2005 07:25 AM

Well all I know is that "Poppycock" comes from the Dutch word meaning "Soft Dung".

Posted by: Jen at March 12, 2005 11:49 AM

This topic made me think of a coat I had once. I once had a coat that was down filled and puffy and a wonderful shade of snot green. er...I was the type of person who liked to wear things just so people would ask why I was wearing that, and so I could answer, why not? anyway, the tag on the coat tried to tell me that the colour was not in fact snot green, it was forrest green. Umm...excuse me? I know forrest green, and it doesn't resemble snot.
I guess snot green wasn't exactly marketable.

not that this has anything to do with anything at all.

Posted by: dee at March 12, 2005 02:51 PM

That's snot true, it is a meaningful contribution! After all,we are grateful to Smidge for:
Phlegm = Light green-grey
Wart = Tanish brown (Darker than khaki)
Puddle = Dark, shiney purple.
Flash = Brigth white with a hint of yellow
Wrinkle = Tanish grey
Barf = Pale green-grey with some yellow
Encrustation = Dark (almost black) brown
Snag = Dark red
Knob = Bright/shiney yellow-orange
Flux = Green with a hint of yellow
Bondo = Reddish tan
Discharge = Bluish Purple
Snivel = Bluish tan

Posted by: LL Locke at March 12, 2005 03:45 PM

I AM colorblind and people know this and use it to torment me. Clothes shopping is an ordeal because I have to go with someone or ask random people for help.

I once held up a pair of pants and asked a lady what color they were and she said "Forest". "Forest" is meaningless to someone who's colorblind, I then asked for a Primary color and she said "Olive Drab". Goddamned people.

I used to take a specific friend shopping until one day I annoyed her and she picked out a purple shirt. People kept singing: I love you, you love me...." all day.

So, the short answer is: I don't know.

P.S. I'd do Pink before Avril.

Posted by: Bitter Old Man at March 12, 2005 11:06 PM

nobody cares.

Posted by: Lenny at March 13, 2005 07:11 AM

chris should do something about that wispy body hair before he gets another fakakta tatoo.

Posted by: lenny at March 13, 2005 07:13 AM

Posted by: Enron at March 17, 2005 03:12 PM

It's true -- you people really DO have too much time on your hands. "Trophy Husband" gets major points for having a clever nickname, BUT . . . I can't vote for "bink" because it sounds too much like pink, and light blue is not even close to pink. I do agree that we should create a new, individual name -- one word, not something added to the word blue (e.g. baby blue, sky blue, etc.). How about this: pretty much every swimming pool you've ever seen is light blue. (And, for most of us at least, it conjures up a pleasant mental image or association.) Shorten it . . . and we have either "Swool" (doesn't exactly roll off the tongue) or "Swimple." Hmmm. Maybe not. Fuck it -- let's just go with aquamarine -- close enough, and besides, it already exists in the language!!!!!!!! AND . . . I like the fractions tagline better too, so there.

Posted by: Big Dog at March 18, 2005 04:51 PM

The medieval and/or Dutch origins of the word pink as mentioned in previous posts, do not apply to the use of the word to describe the colour (there’s a give-away that I’m not American) of something that is a light shade of red.

The actual etymology of pink being used in the context of a colour is of recent origin and can be dated with great precision. In fact, it dates to Thursday, 22nd June 1911.…

A few months earlier, Henry Ford had appointed one Wolfgang de Jesus Franco as the chief engineer in the internal combustion engine development section (there were several other engines also under development at the time but they have nothing to do with this story).

A brilliant design engineer, Twodolla (as he was generally known in the machine shop – but not directly to his face of course – he had a violent temper) exhibited all the extreme personality traits of his mother, a notorious prostitute who tagged along with a Spanish circus that entertained the backwaters of neo-industrial America.

On that particular Thursday, Twodolla had made what he considered to be final adjustments to his latest overhead camshaft prototype and departed the shop for an early lunch, leaving the testing in the hands of a crusty senior foreman, Joe Lagonda.

Try as he may, Lagonda couldn’t eliminate the engine’s tendency for pre-ignition which resulted in the phenomena known as “pinking” – which every non-Microsoft certified mechanic is familiar with. Finally at his wits end, Lagonda stormed into the canteen and confronting Twodolla emphatically proclaimed that his new engine “was a piece of shit”.

Lagonda briefly regained consciousness in the infirmary a few hours later and when asked what had happened, he managed only a few words: “Twodolla … face …. pink …” before succumbing to his injuries and going wherever dead people go.

Posted by: Skliros at March 20, 2005 07:10 AM

Do you people not have a life? Who cares about what the colors are called or if they are 'not being treated equally' as long as you can look at the color and see something beautiful. Also, why is there so much commotion about 'pink vs. light blue' when there are PEOPLE not being treated equally. I would say they take far more presidence over some stupid color names. I don't undersand this.

Posted by: art teacher at March 22, 2005 01:42 PM

Uh, that's "precedence."

Posted by: English Teacher at March 23, 2005 08:34 AM

Hmmm, as an art teacher (if that is your real occupation) it's a shame you didn't catch the creativity, the wacky humor and lightheartness, as well as intellectual banter, in this particular board. Unless of course you're just being a smart-ass. Then, well done! If not, well sweetness, there are plenty of other boards, and even politically-themed chat rooms, out there for ya!


Posted by: LL Locke at March 24, 2005 07:48 AM

blue should be characterized only by the color of our favorite jeans - those really good ones that you wear everywhere - dark blue, dark blue washed a few times, medium blue, still looking good, clean and pressed, wish i owned those jeans, LIGHT BLUE, light blue and soft, pockets ripping out, hem gone, i just wear these at home.

Posted by: tearE at March 25, 2005 01:47 AM

I'm sorta new to theSneeze, so, here are my thoughts. I love Diet Smurf, it could be the light blue presented on the Diet Pepsi can. Or, hey, we could go with Diet Pepsi, come to think of it. But I like the light heartedness of Diet Smurf.

Sarah, very eloquently spoken about the differences between CMYK and RGB. I'm a digital tech for a printing company.

Angry Space Goat, not to be a bitch, but the colors you see on your screen are RBG colors and the colors that most people are talking about on this site are the colors seen by the naked eye on everyday objects (which are generally CMYK), so, it's a little like apples and oranges.

Posted by: Serpentia at March 26, 2005 04:04 AM

I'm touched. But really guys, you needn't bother.

After all, what's in a name? A Rose, to coin a phrase, by any other name smells just as sweet.

I'm happy being light blue, so just leave the fuck alone, okey?
I can't stand the limelight, lemme get on with my life.

Posted by: Light Blue at March 27, 2005 04:35 AM

I haffta laugh! Is this the Dulux colour chart page or the meeting place for People Who Desperately Need A New Topic? Try this one...Will the snot-green of my kitchen walls clash with the ass-brown of my kitchen shelves? HELP!

Posted by: Pinkie at March 28, 2005 11:41 PM

Holy Crap Guys!
Seriously! You guys rock! I laugh every time I come here... this keeps getting funnier and funnier.
I really didn't think this would go this far, but I'm definately enjoying it.
And to everyone who's commented on the subject - Yes, I do have entirely too much time on my hands and yes, I know that the subject at hand is a pointless one, but generally speaking it's the pointless questions that keep me up at night wondering when, God, when!? When will I find the answer!? So forgive me... but this is how I amuse myself.
But don't stop now! We must not rest until we find the answer!
Perhaps Em of the Banana mystery can help us?

Posted by: Jen at March 29, 2005 06:44 PM
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