And they found what they were looking for. Blue has significant religious meanings around the world. Thus, blue remained rare for many centuries, though it slowly became popular enough to earn its own name in various languages. In fact, blindness to red-yellow is the most prevalent. In fact, jeans are one fashion item that has definitely had its ups and downs and evolved significantly throughout time. Blue is the color of the sky, large bodies of water, probably more than one wall in your office, and perhaps even a number of your outfits. Rather, our genome is affected (modified) by the environment through a mechanism known as epigenetics. You have entered an incorrect email address! Could be they were working from a Mor basic but actually more inclusive understanding of color white includes all could black non. In ancient Rome, blue was worn by the public servants, thus marking the beginning of the idea for today's police uniforms. Similar surnames: Belue, Brue, Lue, Bose, Baum, Plume, Bruer, Bale, Prue, Balle. The name may derive from Samuel A. Peters’s General History of Connecticut (1781), which purported to list the stiff Sabbath regulations at New Haven, Connecticut; the work was printed on blue paper. This same navy blue was adopted by militaries and police to convey a similar essence of trust. It was at this time that an Egyptian word for "blue" emerged. […]. Where calmness is present, so too is the color blue. The blue field was to contain 13 white stars and represent a new constellation, a symbol for the new country. The linguist Lazarus Geiger noted almost a hundred years ago that ancient Indian epics dating to about four millennia ago, like the Mahabharata, describe the ocean in many ways, but never mention the color blue. You can argue that history's single greatest act of cultural appropriation was the ransacking of blues and R&B by White performers and music executives in the mid- to late 1950s. Email. We can go even farther back in time. In Christian art, the Virgin Mary is almost always shown wearing blue, reflecting her role as the Queen of Heaven. And more importantly: Assuming that we didn’t start seeing the color blue until 1000 years ago. Amun, the chief deity of the Egyptian Empire (also known as King of Gods), would turn his skin blue in order to fly (invisibly) across the sky. The term Blues may have come from "blue devils", meaning melancholy and sadness; an early use of the term in this sense is in George Colman's one-act farce Blue Devils (1798). Select shopping experience to find products and pricing, Dunn-Edwards Unveils the 2021 Color of the Year: Wild Blue Yonder (DE5855), Moonwake: Dunn-Edwards 2021 Color + Design Trends, Big Rock Ranch: A Thomboy Properties Summer Hideaway, January Color of the Month: Chill In The Air (DE5911), Dunn-Edwards and Lamps Plus Collab Forms The Perfect Pairing. If you look at Homer and all the Greek poets who came before him, it was an external matter. Philip Bump . He loves to write about the brain and human behavior as well as translate knowledge and complicated basic science concepts into entertainment for the rest of us. English: generally a fairly recent Americanized form of German Blau or the French cognate Bleu. Is this unusual? 4000 years ago. Modern neurobiological research is providing ample evidence for that. Summary: Blue Color Meaning. However, I am not aware that the color blindness to blue is more prevalent than blindness to other colors. Thanks for link to info on Egyptian blue. While the color green evokes nature and renewal, its pigments have been some of the most poisonous in history. Yet, it seems that not so long ago in history, colors were far less important to the human experience than they are today. Within a decade of the end of the war (even before the end of Reconstruction in 1877), white Southerners began using the Confederate flag as a memorial symbol for fallen heroes. Blue appeared last. Blue is a cool color, it’s the color of the sky and sea. The first blue pigment was azurite, a natural mineral. ( I don’t know when you wrote the article but it could be that need. Scientists believe that it is not just a simple case of nomenclature; the Islanders indeed perceive the sky a bit darker than we do. Is this unusual? What's the origin of the phrase 'Blue blood'? The dyes were expensive -- only royalty could afford them. Such transmitted poetry was common in other cultures of the time. Lazarus Geiger, the linguist, discovered that in the modern European languages words for ‘blue’ are derived from ancient words for ‘black’ or ‘green’. He posited that reality is an illusion, it is like the shadows of cave dwellers cast on the walls of a cave by a fire at the cave’s opening. In ancient literature, the sea and sky were described as anything but blue, perhaps because it was not as important to them as black, white, and red. What creates the meaning of blue? 2. Yes, you guessed it: the Bible. They wanted to see how primitive cultures that lived with limited or no contact with modern civilizations perceive colors. The book was translated into 8 languages and was selected by the New York Times, The Economist, and the Financial Times as one of the best books of 2010. Giving your own outdoor space a hint of blue is the perfect way to play into history, and it just might keep wasps, evil spirits and nightfall away, too. Blue Pigments Used in Art. If you think about it, there is not a lot of blue in nature. Your first criticism, that the sources are invalid because they are translated from their original version, is not really valid. Additional info on Biblical Meaning of blue. Digging a little deeper into the history of blue, historians concluded that the word "blue" did not even exist in Greek times. National correspondent focused largely on the numbers behind politics. It is the meaning in black and blue, and blue in the face "livid with effort" (1864, earlier black and blue in the face, 1829). Blue fruits are not very common, and the color of the sky is not really vital for survival. Your (probably accidental) changing of the analogy makes it seem like we’re all outside, which was certainly not something in the original analogy of Plato (the rare individual is the one who turns around, walks past the mummer show, and goes outside to see the Sun, Truth, God, etc.). The first color words to appear in English, and most other languages for that matter, were words for "white" and "black." Sale . Over time, the shade of blue that Mary wore became what is now known as "navy blue." Sight is integral to the human experience. They used chemistry to combine the rare lapis with other ingredients, such as calcium and limestone, and generate other saturated blue pigments. But as the images have multiplied, so have the meanings. Plato said that justice and virtue are re… Surprisingly, both the Bible and the Iliad and Odyssey describe the sea in many ways, like “big and wide”, or “stormy”, or “silent”, or “resting from his anger”, but never blue. Yes, it is. There’s so many things that just becomes clearer and quite astounding. Thank you, I enjoyed your article. Also used by the Romans. Why were black, white, and red the first colors to be perceived by our forefathers? Some describe it as colorless or white. Is blue the deep, brooding symbol of deep, unexplored waters? At this time, the Church decided to color-code the saints, and Mary was given a blue robe. The history of blue as "the color for boys" is an even newer notion that primarily arose after the post World War II baby boom. If you have questions or concerns regarding the accessibility of this blog, please contact us via the contact section of our Accessibility Statement here. When it comes to 12 One of his most radical moves was to equate human flourishing and happiness with what he calls an inner harmony of our psyche. 'Blue blood' is a literal translation of the Spanish 'sangre azul'. The Blue Flower was the symbol of German 19th century Romanticism, thanks to the novel fragment Heinrich von Ofterdingen, by the German poet Novalis. As navy blue became more popular among authorities, people began to associate it with the idea of authority. Jeans are undeniably a fashion staple, but that wasn’t always the case. In 1898, the psychiatrist W.H. Today, we know that this something resides in the brain. But, not one mention of blue. Most people do not have blue eyes, blue flowers do not occur naturally without human intervention, and blue animals are rare -- bluebirds and bluejays only live in isolated areas. The first blue pigment was azurite, a natural mineral. It symbolises stability, loyalty, confidence, intelligence and peace. It simply was not important enough to deserve its own descriptor. But on further thinking about it I think that it’s unlikely that all the men who wrote about the color blue were color blind. But, as I said in a previous response to a comment, this is an intriguing hypothesis only. Until I see hard genetic (or epigenetic) evidence to to prove the point, I view it as a plausible hypothesis, intellectually intriguing, but far from proven. And so is Green: olive green, grass green. Slowly, the Egyptians spread their blue dyes throughout the word, passing them on to the Persians, Mesoamericans and Romans. It is now known to be the color purple, extracted from sea shells found on the beaches of Israel and Lebanon). Blue also represents meanings of depth, trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, stability, faith, heaven, and intelligence. At this time, the Church decided to color-code the saints, and Mary was given a blue robe. Read all of the Greek texts you can find, and you'll never come across a word for "blue." I have a few problems with this premise: 1. This is truly fascinating. Enter the anthropologists. My wife sees peach and orange and strawberry as distinct colors. First, here is a totally unexpected phenomenon: language influencing brain function. Even as the English language developed, blue took a distinct backseat to other colors. Lapis, a semiprecious stone mined in Afghanistan, became highly prized among the Egyptians. Blue pigment remained rare and expensive until the dawn of the industrial age, which probably explains blue’s longstanding association with royalty and divinity. In 1775, the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele invented a deadly hue, Scheele’s Green, a bright green pigment laced with the toxic chemical arsenic. When philosophy and science interweaves, it brings forth confusion and wonder.hee It’s quite fascinating the way the world worked back then, and how we operate it right now. Blues, secular folk music created by African Americans in the early 20th century, originally in the South. Nyhan is being figurative we can assume, recognizing the standard red-blue split if not the significance of the colors. Who created the first flag based on the Congressional resolution? The sky is studded with stars, wide, having an iron or copper hues. Presto: An ophthalmologist by the name of Hugo Magnus concluded that ancient people were all color blind in today’s terms, and with time, as the eye absorbed more colors, its sensitivity to them increased, and that newly acquired trait was passed on to subsequent generations. And the brain then exaggerates these differences, especially at the border areas between them. In other words, the light that helps cast the shadows in the cave is closer to truth, but the real Truth is the light of “day” outside (so the observers are doubly blind: they can’t see the farce enacted properly, or know that it’s a farce, and they’re also separated from the Sun of the Good, Truth, God, etc.). My only comment is that the Techelet mentioned in the Bible IS generally accepted by Rabbinic scholars as blue. Information has come to light since) Argaman refers to purple and tolaat sheni as scarlet/crimson red. Later texts added yellow, green, violet and blue, in that order. Even today, in us moderns, the color red causes an increase in skin galvanic response, a sign of tension and alarm. To create the hue, Egyptians combined limestone and sand with a copper-containing mineral (such as azurite or malachite) and heated the solution to between 1470 and 1650 degrees fahrenheit. In a 30-page chapter, he describes Homer’s strange choice of colors (sheep wool and ox skin as purple, honey as green, horses and lions as red). Blue is gaining acceptance as a liturgical color for Advent. These varying qualities make blue the perfectly balanced shade that so many love, trust, and adore. English Language Learners Definition of blues : a feeling of sadness or depression : a style of music that was created by African-Americans in the southern U.S. and that often expresses feelings of sadness As the article points out, there are cultures that still don’t perceive blue as a distinct color, and this is because their environment does not necessitate it, and hence exerting no epigenetic pressure on the genome to acquire this trait. While Dunn-Edwards Corporation has undertaken efforts to improve the accessibility of this blog, content is frequently posted and some content may be posted by third-parties, not Dunn-Edwards Corporation, and so may not be accessible to certain users. In the Odyssey, for example, Homer makes hundreds of references to white and black, but colors like red and yellow are only mentioned a few times. Short History of Blue Pigments. Cave paintings from 20,000 years ago lack any blue color, since as previously mentioned, blue is rarely present in nature. The color blue has positive affects on the mind and the body. Bright, bold blue. (PS — the picture you included of Plato’s analogy is accurate, even if the description was a just a tad off — the observers are in the cave, there’s the show behind them, and the “ascent to the sun” (or the way out of the cave) is at the top of the picture. […] Well, yes. The need to perceive blue as distinct from black can affect genes that ultimately control the neuronal matrix for color perception. The adjective blue has long been used to signify, of a person, the heart, a feeling, etc., depressed, sorrowful, miserable. Blue has had a long and topsy-turvy history in the Western world. Because Mary stood for innocence and trustworthiness, the color blue was seen as a positive light. In addition to its peacefulness, blue also offers direction and empathy. To learn the origin of the word blue, word experts looked back through the millennia to the language of the Proto-Indo-Europeans, an ancient culture rooted in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. The Iliad can be read, even today, in its original Classical Greek. A few years later, a Swedish anatomist of the eye discovered that many people suffered from a hitherto unknown deficiency: color blindness. Amun, the chief deity of the Egyptian Empire (also known as King of Gods), would turn his skin blue in order to fly (invisibly) across the sky. Even if you haven’t read the Homeric epics of the Iliad and the Odyssey, you must have heard his famous, and enigmatic, description of the “wine-red sea”. But not a hint of blue. Follow. But what is the need for naming the color blue? Today, we know that acquired capabilities cannot be passed on genetically. Your comment that ancient literature was written mostly written by men is correct on its face, and I have to admit that I haven’t considered it. Has anybody ever seen the sea in anything even remotely resembling this color? The Blues means a lot of things to a lot of people. The Blues is a musical genre. Ancient Egypt associated blue with divinity and the sky. And I sincerely believe that what we know right now is just a byproduct of our biases and belief, in short just a made up reality in our heads. The Fascinating History of the Color Blue, Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages.”, Advice for People In Recovery During the Holidays, Eating Disorders: Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outcomes, Medical Management of Severe Eating Disorders, Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Obsession With a Flaw Interferes With Life, Prioritizing Addiction Medicine: Key to Closing Gaps in Addiction Treatment, A Mother’s Howl: A Medical Student’s Lesson On Giving Bad News, From The Design Desk | Pantone's New Color Heroes - AG Carmel. This progression suggested to Geiger as well that some kind of evolutionary process was going on. Literary scholars struggled mightily with this strange depiction. He and other anthropologists concluded that early humans and isolated cultures were not color blind. Pardon the edit, but the cave analogy of Plato went even further than you’ve taken it. When one thinks of sight and color, the two go hand-on-hand. 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