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The meaning of colours

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16 messages over 2 pages: 1
Kartof
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 Message 9 of 16
13 October 2012 at 4:10am | IP Logged 
PillowRock wrote:

Ogrim wrote:
Estar verde. lit. "be green" (being a beginner)
prensa amarailla "yellow press" – tabloid press.

These two work basically the same way in English. Someone who is "green" is inexperienced at whatever activity or
skill you're talking about. However, I don't notice "yellow press" much in more recent sources, so maybe it is
becoming an archaic usage.

I don't think it's so much archaic usage as it is referring to the specific type of press around the turn of the 20th
century, more specifically the sensationalist press that developed as large newspaper companies would compete
for readers with the use of unfair reporting. I haven't heard it used in the context of modern tabloid press.
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Zimena
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 Message 10 of 16
13 October 2012 at 6:02pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
And in Russian "blue stocking" means being old-fashioned and boring :D


This is quite funny, as the "opposite" color is used for the opposite meaning in Norwegian... at least if you're lenient in your interpretations :)

"Rødstrømpe" ("red-stocking") means a feminist, and I'd say especially the sort of militant 1970s version of the word. I believe the same word is/was also used in Danish.
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Siberiano
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 Message 11 of 16
14 October 2012 at 7:11am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
And in Russian "blue stocking" means being old-fashioned and boring :D

I'd rather remember синий (blue) meaning drunk, синяк (black-eye, or literally blue-eye) as drunkard. And голубой (azure) meaning gay.

The funny thing is most English-speaking Russians do not know the word azure and use blue for both, so if you say "I'm blue", you'll have to explain.

Зелёный (green) means immature (like green apple), although red does'n mean mature. :)
Чёрная зависть (lit. black envy) = strong (prolly mean) envy.
Мне всё фиолетово (all is purple to me) = I don't give a ***t about anything.
Жёлтый дом (yellow house) = mental hospital.
Цвет детской неожиданности (baby's surprise color) = orange or brown.
Белый и пушистый (white and furry) = someone obviously pretending to be innocent.
Белыми нитками шито (sewn with white threads) = something obviously fake
Красноглазый (red eyed) = Linux zealot (me xD)

Красный (red) in older Russian meant beautiful, so words with this meaning are abundant, but have oldfashioned flavor:
краснобай = phrasemaker
красна девица = gorgeous girl



Edited by Siberiano on 14 October 2012 at 7:17am

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pingvin10
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 Message 12 of 16
14 October 2012 at 7:08pm | IP Logged 
Some Hungarian examples:

with yellow:

sárga az irigységtől means very envious (lit.: yellow of envy)
leissza magát a sárga földig means sy is very drunk (lit.: sy drinks himself to
the yellow ground)

with green:

zöldfülű means imamture, naive, being a rookie in something (lit.: green-eared)
zöld utat kap means get permission for something (lit.: get a green light)



with purple:

lila álmok means unrealistic ideas (lit.: purple dreams)
the same expression with pink: rózsaszín felhők

with white:

ritka, mint a fehér holló means very rare (lit.: rare as a white raven)
fehérnép means women (lit.: white people)

with black:

feketemunkás means a worker who doesn't report income (lit.: a black worker)
fekete bárány means scapegoat (lit.: black sheep)

Edited by pingvin10 on 14 October 2012 at 7:09pm

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Medulin
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 Message 13 of 16
15 October 2012 at 4:36am | IP Logged 
In Croatian ZELEN and in Brazilian Portuguese (verde, verdinho, verdolengo, verdoengo) ''green'' means young or novice, inexperienced.


Black (Crn/negro) means sad or pessimistic.

Edited by Medulin on 15 October 2012 at 4:41am

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vonPeterhof
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 Message 14 of 16
15 October 2012 at 3:10pm | IP Logged 
A few Japanese ones`:

赤の他人 (lit. red stranger) - complete stranger
黒幕 (lit. black curtain) - mastermind, power broker
黄色い声 (lit. yellow voice) - shrill voice
[運命の]赤い糸 (lit. red string [of fate]) - based on the legend that lovers destined for each other are joined together by an invisible red string, often used more generally to denote the concept of destined love or the perceived omens of such a connection.
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Monox D. I-Fly
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 Message 15 of 16
02 January 2016 at 3:18pm | IP Logged 
Ari wrote:
and it's probably not a coincidence that "chicken" is Canto slang for "prostitute".


In Indonesia, "chicken" equals "prostitute" only in college level. As such, "college chicken" means "college prostitute".
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Alphathon
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 Message 16 of 16
06 January 2016 at 6:55pm | IP Logged 
Siberiano wrote:
The funny thing is most English-speaking Russians do not know the word azure and use blue for both, so if you say "I'm blue", you'll have to explain.
To be fair an awful lot of native English speakers don't know it either. (I only know it because of its use in heraldry and would probably normally use sky blue instead in everyday conversation.)

This isn't quite the same thing, but some languages used to use colours to indicate cardinal directions. In Salvic languages white meant west, red meant south, black meant north; I'm not sure what the colour for east was. This is ultimately where the name of Belarus comes from: I believe it means White Rus’ and in English it used to be called "White Russia/Ruthenia". Similarly in the early middle ages the were red and white Croatias (red in modern Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, white stretched across the borders between modern Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine) and red and white Serbias (red in modern Serbia, white in what later became Sorbia, and today is Saxony and southern Bavaria). I believe that concept is also the origin of the name of the Black Sea (and possibly the Red Sea), and the mediaeval Khanate the Golden Horde (where the "golden" means something like middle I think).

On a slightly more related note, there's the German phrase gelb vor Neid, or "yellow with envy", while schwarzsehen (to see black) means to be pessimistic/cynical. Like in Russian blau (blue) can mean drunk (intoxicated).


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