The semantic boundaries of colour terms

There was a study on the Japanese language with regards to its word for blue (ao) which also historically described things that were green. Actually English did something similar at some point or another. A good point of comparison is that dark grey furred mammals are often called blue. So is the greenish-blues which would have a specific name in other languages.

For another matter, red. Purple vegetables are called red, so is the dull orange-brown of mammalian fur. The red coats of some English hunters were called pink. German and Irish call some mountains blue, especially if they’re far away. Though this isn’t always the case, it seems in some early French dictionaries rouge and roux were already that differentiated.

Rouge being most red things (especially a brighter red, barring the robin, wood* and some vegetables) whereas roux often refers to dull-orange mammalian hair and what’s called the red moon. Roux was historically referred to as the colour between red and yellow, the original colour term for orange so to speak. Russian, Polish, Belarussian, Irish and Ukrainian languages likely do similar things.

So this is what I’ve gleaned over time when it comes to colour terms at all.

*If it was in Irish, it would be adhmad rua.

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