Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Color N R Lives

Colors make their ways into many facets of our lives. They have strong associations with moods and emotions. They also appear frequently in names, particularly surnames. When they're associated with specific nouns, they often conjure up images.

Color first names don't seem common. Blanca, Blanche, and Bianca are all variations of foreign words for white (feminine). Notable names include actress Blanca Guerra, fictional character Blanche DuBois, and actress Bianca Jagger, Mick's ex-wife. Other color first names include Gray, as in Gray Davis, former California governor, and some Reds, as in Red Skelton, Red Adair (oil-well firefighter whose given first name is Paul), and Redd Foxx. (OK, so Redd has two d's.) Color surnames are a lot more common—Black, White, Gray, Green (and Greene), Brown, Blue, Gold, Golden come to mind.

Moods and emotions have numerous color associations—Blue Monday, blues music, having the blues, purple with rage, red-faced (rage, embarrassment), green (envy), yellow (cowardice), ashen (shock), white (fear, shock), gray day (somber day), black day (depressing day), Black Friday (3 definitions), black heart (negativity)

Green is versatile for associations besides mood or emotion (envy). It also has associations for the following characteristics: green around the gills (nauseated), green (inexperienced), greenhorn (noun form). Related to characteristics, we often differentiate figures and teams by colors of clothing or uniforms. Depending on whom you're favoring, color can become a positive or negative visual stimulus. An archetype for clothing color association is hat color—white vs. black. In the case of white and black hats, they even have iconic positive and negative connotations.

Moving on to color and "people", color-associated characters or personas evoke images, such as the following examples: Blue Meanies, Jolly Green Giant, Yella Fella, White Knight, Black Knight, Blue Santa, Brown Santa, Bluebeard, Blackbeard, blueblood, Blackhawk (helicopter).

At this point, I am segueing to "colorful" comic book characters. For those who want to reach back to their inner child, comicvine offers great revisits to favorite names in addition to the colorful ones I've listed as follows: Blackhawk, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Green Goblin, Silver Surfer.

In a similar vein about comic book characters, there are several who do not have "green" in their names, but appear green-themed—Loki (Thor's brother), Cobra, the Incredible Hulk, J'onn J'onzz (Martian Manhunter), Brainiac, and Brainiac 5.

A pastel color with associations—some of them characters—is pink: the singer Pink, Pink Lady drink, Pink Lady apple, Pinky (of Pinky and the Brain) , being in the pink, pinky (finger), pinking shears, pinko, and pink elephant .

BTW, a pink elephant is not related to a white elephant.

The economic association with colors contrasts with the electronic association:

  • Economic—black (positive numbers, good), red (negative numbers, bad)
  • Electronics (car batteries)—black (ground), red (positive voltage)

Related to electronics and color is the resistor color code—BBROYGBVGW (black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, gray, white), for which acronymnfinder lists several mnemonics.

Silver, and especially gold, are metals (noun) and colors (adjective) that connote value, desirability, and other positive characteristics:

  • Silver screen, silver spoon (born with a silver spoon, IOW, a great orator)
  • Heart of gold, pot of gold, golden parachute, golden rule, golden years, streets paved with gold

Economics and politics are closely associated. Green is tied to both economics (greenbacks) and politics (environmentalism as a movement, reuse, recycling, etc.). Red, blue, and purple connote political leanings if shown on a map of the US, especially around election times.

Orange u glad to read about color associations here?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

red-headed stepchild
better dead than red
red & yellow kill a fella
red sky at night sailor's delight
red red wine

ric

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