the color of mauve

Rodger Whitlock
Wed, 22 Sep 2004 23:18:04 PDT
On 19 Sep 04 at 7:41, Judy Glattstein wrote:

> Marco Polo Stuffano used to describe this color as "old lady's
> underdraws." (? spelling) You have to be of a certain age, with a
> grandmother who wore these cotton panties with legs. Think of closer
> fitting knit boxer shorts, with a ribbed pattern, in a sort of
> bluish flesh pink.

That particular color is "isabelline", so called after Queen Isabella 
of Ferdinand and Isabella fame. She swore a vow not to change her 
body linen until the Moors were driven from Spain, and that's the 
resultant color of her undies. I call it "old lady underwear pink". 

Lilium x testaceum is sometimes described as "isabelline".

Mauve is pale purple: it is to purple as pink is to red.

And since you are all wondering, puce is not vomit green or 
muddy brown or anything gross like that. It's the French for "flea", 
and means the color of a flea: purplish brown or brownish purple.

Notice, btw, we define these secondary color terms by reference to
more fundamental colors, in this case pink, violet/purple, purple or 

IIRC, English has the following basic color names:

red, blue, green, yellow, orange, purple, black, white, gray, brown, 

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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