Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Woad (Isatis tinctoria) in an olive grove. (photo by my dad)

Al the Britons doe dye themselves wyth woade, which setteth a blewish color uppon them. [Golding, 1563]

When Dress was monstrous, and Fig-leaves the Mode, and Quality put on no Paint but Woade. [Garth, 1715]

Aunt Deb
A blewish color eh? Seems pretty yellow to me.
But turns out, the part of the plant they use to make the dye makes 'blew'.

The second quote makes you wonder about the phrase "blue blood", doesn't it?

Growing woad turned into a very big deal in England back in those long ago days. Until they started using indigo in its stead.

Aunt Deb
Do you mean instead of ROY G BIV we would have ROY G BWV? Very interesting indeed.
What would be really interesting would be to name all the spectrum with the sources of the color rather than the color. We need your mom's input for that project!

Aunt Deb
Absolutely--kinda like the Jefferson Bible or John Brown's alternative constitution, only for colors.
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