A little while ago we showed you 11 of the Great Color Legends and why they exist... and now we're back with 13 more great color legends... Green Cards, Blue Balls, Highlighter Yellow, Ferarri Red & more. Be sure to let us know if there is a great color legend you'd like us to cover in a future edition.
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this is compilation of data, source credits given at the end of the article.
Why is Envy a Green Monster?
Color associations vary greatly from culture to culture, just as each language or dialect has unique colloquialisms that are often misunderstood or lost in translation. In many Western cultures the feelings of envy or jealousy are commonly associated with the color green. However, in German the feeling is most closely related to the color yellow, as the phrase "gelb vor neid," or "yellow with envy" suggests. Moreover, in Arabic the same association is made, as noted in the common phrase "yasfaru wajhahu mina al-Heqd" or "his face turns yellow with envy."
Green is often tied to growth and fertility, thus creating an illogical connection to such a counterproductive feeling as envy or jealousy. This association first appeared in the seventh century B.C., according to etymologists Judith S. Neaman and Carole G. Silver, as the poet Sappho described a stricken lover's appearance as "green." At that time the words "green" and "pale" were often used interchangeably.
Other literary figures followed suit. The familiar expression "green-eyed monster" was adopted from a line in Shakespeare's play Othello:
O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey'd monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
Similarly, in his play Anthony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare described envy as "the green sickness."
Why is Ferrari Red Iconic of Sports Cars?
The first color that comes to most people's mind when imagining a fast, sleek sports car is red. It is the color of fire and is often associated with energy, danger, strength, power, and determination; while sports cars are often affiliated with similar dispositions.
But why are the Italian sports cars, specifically Ferrari's, so often red?
As the sport of car-racing began in Europe, each country was assigned a color. Green was assigned to English cars, blue to French, white to German, yellow to Italian, and red to American cars. Because Americans failed to make any considerable impact in European racing, red was eventually taken over by the Italians, while yellow became Belgium's color.
It is a common myth that red cars are the most expensive to insure. Statistics do not prove that red cars have a higher frequency of collisions or traffic violations.
Why Are Mental Institions Light Green?
In the early 19th century as urbanization became more prevalent so did awareness of mental illness. Most often the case, the mentally ill could not adhere to societal norms and were ostracized for their behaviors. In England, the Madhouse Act of 1928 introduced the idea of building state-supported asylums for the mentally ill, the first of which was the First Middlesex County Asylum in West London, opening in 1831.
At it's conception the institute was essentially a holding cell for the mentally ill to keep them away from the rest of society. Around the time that purpose-built asylums were initially constructed, the idea of humane treatment to patients was also introduced, allowing the mentally ill to live without physical restraints within the institutions.
In the 1850s and 1860s in the United States, the Kirkbride Plan was introduced in conjunction with reform efforts spearheaded by Dorthea Dix. An architectural approach to the mental institute, Philadelphia psychiatrist Thomas Story Kirkbride created a methodological plan that was based around moral treatment. The building itself was meant to have a curing effect, with plenty of sunlight and room for patients to be comfortable.
It was at this time that the color green is believed to be have been introduced to the mental institution. As green signifies growth, renewal, and health, logically Kirkbride would include design elements that highlighted the color. His buildings were often expansive and expensive to maintain. Decades later his ideas were largely discredited, and many of the institutes were abandoned. Long after Kirkbride's era, clearly some of his concepts still resonate, particularly the prevalence of green in the building's design.
Why Are Highlighters Bright Yellow?
In 1962, a Japanese inventor named Yukio Horie who ran an art supply business, introduced the first fibre-tip pen. These were the first pens that used dyes, rather than ink like the ballpoint pen. It was absorbed in a fibrous cartridge through the tip, allowing the dye to flow at a lower viscosity and with greater ease. At its conception, the tips were made with bamboo but were soon after replaced by synthetic materials.
The introduction of dyes allowed a wider array of colors to be used, which lead to the pens popularity amongst children and for artistic uses. In 1963, Avery Dennison Corporation created a fibre-tip pen that they named the "Hi-Liter." These translucent-ink pens were marketed to illuminate, or highlight, text while leaving the underneath marking still visible. Although Avery was the first to dub the name, all such pens are commonly called "highlighters."
Originally the pen came in pastel shades, but in 1978 the first florescent pens were introduced. Today the most common color of highlighter is yellow, as it was the first fluorescent shade introduced, but they can also be found in purple, pink, green, blue, and orange.
Why Does a Guy Get Blue Balls?
As any guy can attest to, "blue balls" are no myth. While some men may use the excuse that they will get "blue balls" if they are not sexually pleased in order to receive full pleasure, the condition is often misunderstood.
While the term is slang for the condition of temporary fluid congestion in the testicles and prostate, failure to reach an orgasm and the inability to release the fluid can cause increased blood flow and oxygen deprivation to the penis, and consequently cause extreme pain to the region. Medically, this condition is known as "vasocongestion," and has no serious long-term effects.
When oxygen flow in the blood stream decreases to the scrotum, relative to other parts of a guy's body, the scrotum will look a bluish color. Some guys report no change in color, but still experience the discomfort. As there is no sure-fire cure for "blue balls," some guys claim taking a cold shower relieves the pain, while others prefer to relieve themselves.
Why is Purple A Royal Color?
Purple is often considered the color of royalty and prestige. This correspondence dates back thousands of years, as purple dye was mentioned in texts as early as 1600 B.C.
Hercules, the most divine hero in Greek mythology, is credited with the discovery of purple dye. Legend says that along the Levantine coast, his dog would often eat snails and mollusks, which would in turn dye his dog's mouth a purple hue. From there it was discovered that a dye could be made of crushed mollusks, but because of it's incredible expense (more valuable than gold), only the highest classes could afford these purple dyes. Hercules was said to have given King Phoenix a purple-dyed robe and decreed purple as the color of Phoenician royalty.
This original purple dye, as created by mollusk shells, was dubbed "Tyrian purple" after the place of its discovery—Tyre, in current-day Lebanon. Other civilizations followed suit, including Rome, Egypt, and Persia, although purple dyes were made from other sources including fish and insects. With the fall of the Roman civilization came a decline in the use of Tyrian purple. Instead more bluish shades were favored, as Tyrian purple dyes were too expensive to produce, and blue was the historic shade of European aristocracy. Eventually more bluish shades of purple were introduced, as they were cheaper to produce. Royal purple as we know it today is more bluish than Tyrian purple, as worn by kings in medieval Europe and throughout modern history.
Why is The Red Cross, Red?
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), commonly referred to as the Red Cross, was founded in Switzerland in 1863 during the Geneva Conventions to address humanitarian needs. Until then, there had been no organized international group that remained neutral dedicated to helping wounded soldiers.
After witnessing the battle of Solferino and the death of over 40,000 soldiers on June 24, 1859, Swiss businessman Henry Dunant devoted himself to care for the wounded soldiers, as he was shocked by the lack of medical care available in the aftermath of this catastrophic event. Eventually with four other prominent European figures, he drafted a plan and later assembled what would later become the ICRC.
At the Geneva Conventions they outlined the proposal of the organization, which included using a single red cross as the symbol for the humanitarian group. The logo is a reversal of the Swiss national flag, and was designed to honor the organization's Swiss founder Henry Dunant. The red shape itself, unofficially agreed to be composed of five similar squares in a cross pattern, set on a white background is universally recognized as a protection symbol in conflict.
The Red Cross has expanded to include disaster relief of many kinds, not just in conflict-stricken areas, and now is a presence every country worldwide.
Why Does the Tour de France Leader Wear a Yellow Jersey?
After Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France, Americans began to notice cyclists wearing yellow jerseys. And everyone started wearing yellow "Livestrong" bracelets. But where did this association with yellow and cycling begin?
The official color of the Tour de France, the world's best-known cycling race, is yellow. Originally the tour began as a publicity event for the Parisian sports newspaper L'Auto. The paper's editor Henri Desgrange got the idea from a young journalist named Georges Lefèvre in 1902. The event proved to be a great success for the paper, increasing its circulation exponentially.
The jerseys of the Tour de France were designated yellow to correspond with the color of the paper that the news was printed on. The Giro d'Italia, a similar race in Italy, accordingly was designated pink jerseys to correspond with the paper of its sponsor. As the prestige of the Tour de France grew, so too did the popularity of wearing yellow jerseys.
Why Do US Imigrants Apply for a Green Card?
The "green card" or United States Permanent Resident Card as it is formally known, is documentation of legal residence by a foreigner in the US. Cardholders are entitled to work and reside in the US, so long as they abide by all domestic laws and do not commit certain crimes.
Before the US Permanent Resident Card came into effect, the Alien Registration Receipt Card served a similar purpose. Its predecessor was introduced after World War II and was printed on a green paper, thus giving it the name "green card." Even though the current card is no longer printed on green paper as of 1977, and in fact has been printed on various colors of paper, the common name "green card" has remained in use. Now the card is printed on an off-white paper with the only green seen on the card as a background to lettering on the backside.
Although it is not required for US citizens to carry government-issued identification at all times, it is however required for all aliens to always carry their "green card."
Why Does a Bride Need Someting Blue on her Wedding Day?
As a bride prepares for her wedding she keeps in the back of her mind that she must have "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue" present on her big day. It's so often accepted as tradition without question, but most brides do not even know what these items represent.
In general, each component is thought to bring good luck to the bride. The old article denotes continuity with the bride's family and past. "Something new" is a good luck charm to show optimism for the future. The borrowed item is typically from a friend or family member who has seen good fortune and longevity in her marriage, and whose good fortune will carry over to the bride.
As for the "something blue" a bride should possess, there is a greater history and significance. The color blue has been tied to weddings for centuries. During the time of the Roman Empire, brides were adorned in blue to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity. In Christian faith, the Virgin Mary is traditionally dressed in brilliant shades of blue, thus associating purity with the color. Wearing "something blue" is thought to show a bride's devotion.
Interestingly, blue was a common color for wedding gowns in the late 1800s, as highlighted in such proverbs as "Marry in blue, lover be true."
Why Do Masters Golf Tournament Winners Get a Green Jacket?
As anyone who has ever watched a Masters Tournament knows, the cherry on top of the cake for any golfer is to be awarded a kelly green-colored sport jacket as he is crowned champion. This signifies a golfer at the top of his game, above all other golfers that year.
With the prestige comes great mystery behind the club and the jacket. There are conflicting stories regarding the jacket, but the Augusta National Golf Club, which sponsors the Masters Tournament, remains very secretive regarding the topic. According to public understanding, a jacket is issued to every member of the Augusta National team. At any one time, there are around 300 members. Each member is invited to be a part of the team, but must pay the annual fees that are reported to cost up to $500,000.
Non-members who win the Masters are awarded the jacket and become honorary members. Neither members nor past champions are allowed to remove their green jackets from the Augusta National Golf Club premises, but the year's current champion is allowed such a privilege. However, he must return it to the grounds after his reign is over and he passes the torch on to the next champion.
Only members and their guests are allowed to compete at the Augusta National course. In 1937 the green jacket was introduced so that fans attending the tournament could easily spot members. In 1949 the first jacket was presented as a token of entry into the exclusive club of champions. At that time each past champion was awarded the green jacket retroactively.
The private club was founded in 1933 and has remained one of the most exclusive and prestigious courses in the world, hosting the Masters Tournament annually.
Why Do Wear a Yellow Ribbon to Support the Troops?
Since the beginning of the Iraq War in March 2003, Americans began to see yellow ribbons commemorating veterans, soldiers in combat, and those who have lost their lives in the war. Ribbons can be seen everywhere—tied on trees, as magnets on cars, pinned to jackets, on postage stamps. Although its presence had grown, this was not in fact the first situation in which the yellow ribbon was introduced.
In 1981, the ribbon was a recognized symbol of support and hope of safe return for the Americans that were held hostage in Iran. But even before this, there is more historical evidence of the yellow ribbon in association with troops and as a show of support. Yellow is the official color of the Cavalry branch of the US Army, which some attribute to explain close tie between the color and support of troops.
There is also a popular marching song dating back to 1917 by George A. Norton called ‘Round Her Neck She Wears a Yeller Ribbon that tells the story of a woman's love for her soldier husband:
'Round her neck she wears a yeller ribbon,
She wears it in winter and the summer so they say,
If you ask her "Why the decoration?"
She'll say "It's fur my lover who is fur, fur away.
Although this was the first copyrighted version of this song, it is thought to have existed in different versions for at least four centuries.
Why Are Some Americans True Blue?
As Madonna confessed in her 1986 hit that she's "gonna be true blue baby," she painted a picture of true love that is beyond anything she had ever felt. More importantly, the "true blue" feeling she described, as the song is titled, was steadfast and unwavering. Marking anything as "true blue" denotes its unfailing faithfulness and loyalty.
According to etymologists, the term refers to an adoption of the color blue by 17th Century Scottish Presbyterians who opposed the Royalists' red. Traditionally red is the color designated to political parties representing labor, communist, socialist, or liberal interests (in the American sense). Conversely, blue is typically associated with more conservative political thought, as exemplified in Canadian political party color schemes.
Someone described as a "true blue" American does not necessarily side with Democrats, but rather is marked by an extreme loyalty to the US and its core values.