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The Bolsheviks knew the power of words, from Vladimir Lenin’s famously fiery speeches to popular slogans like ‘Peace, land, bread!’ and ‘All power to the Soviets!’ (To be fair, they sound catchier in Russian.) To mark the passing of a century since the October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks seized power on 7 November 1917 (25 […]more
Do you know what the translation for the French taupe is? Or which language has two words for blue? Take our quiz to test your knowledge of colours in language. Photo credit: Natalia Deriabina / Shutterstock.commore
As Katherine Shaw noted in a rather colourful article for this blog, the origins of the English primary colour names are ultimately either non-referential, in that they aren’t derived from the colour of some previously known entity, or have such long histories that their origins are simply unknown. This, she notes, is in contrast with […]more
Many of us learn the colours of the rainbow from an early age, but have you ever wondered where the names for the different shades we see around us come from? The origins of many of the words for the colours of the visible spectrum go back far in time, and are ultimately unknown. But […]more
There used to be nothing erotic about grey. Until E. L. James it was, for me, the colour of John Major’s underpants because that’s how Steve Bell always drew them in his cartoons for the British newspaper The Guardian. Grey is the colour of brains (grey matter) but I don’t think that’s the point of […]more