Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


Pink is light red!

Blue and pink cupboards
Originally uploaded by viralbus

Phyllis was taught as a kid that red and pink should not be worn together.

If this is common knowledge in the English-speaking world, I’ll warrant a guess that the designer of these cupboards wasn’t from here.

However, if the designer was Danish, the colour scheme becomes understandable:

In Danish, the cupboard on the left is mørkeblå “dark blue” and lyseblå “light blue” (so no surprises there!), while the one on the right is mørkerød “dark red” and lyserød “light red”.

In other words, Danish for “pink” is “light red”, so to a native Danish speaker the cupboard is painted in two shades of the same colour, just like the blue one.

9 thoughts on “Pink is light red!

  • I agree with MW .,., That Ikea monstrosity is nothing like PINK ,,
    Elvis lives !

  • I mean who’d want a light red porta loo ??

  • Nice illustration. Odd that English has (fairly recently) acquired a special word for light red, but not an equivalent one for light blue as in the pic. And a whole range of associations to go with it (exuberant hyper-femininity, Caucasian flesh tones, maps of the British empire, watered-down socialism etc) that light blue lacks. It’s just a kind of blue, whereas pink has a lfe of its own.

  • But to be pedantic the cupboards don’t combine blue and pink. They are clearly intended to offer “boy” and “girl” options, small children often being the worst gender fascists in this regard or so I gather.

  • Absolutely Harry – Charlotte wouldn’t be seen dead in pink 😉

  • @Harry, yes, it’s interesting that “light blue” has not acquired a word of its own.
    Compare the situation in Russian where dark blue and light blue have separate words (синый and голубой), and the latter has now taken on the additional meaning of “gay”.

  • I forgot that connotation of pink in English — the pink pound — how interesting that it’s light blue in Russian.


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