Summa minutiae

“A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought.” —Lord Peter Wimsey

Posts tagged "colors":

Roseate blood

In his Medieval Hymns and Sequences, John Mason Neale identifies roseate as the pale color of the last drainings of life-blood (“as everyone knows”, he says) since though one drop would suffice, Christ shed all.

An 1895 agricultural bulletin from the University of Michigan defines roseate, rosaceous as “rose-red; a pale blood-red”.

From Harry Irving Greene, a popular novelist and short-story writer in the early 1900s, here's another reference associating roseate with blood. It reads like a fictional vignette designed to tickle all the sentimental reflexes in the folks “back home.” It appeared in newspapers in May 1918.

Father: This wonderful letter that I am writing you - a miracle letter. I was hurt, badly, but I am going to get well. It happened like this — you know I am I an not allowed to name place or date.

No Man's Land! We were raiding it by night, three of us — scouting, prowling. It was as dark as the dungeons of inferno, but often they sent up signal shells — roseate, bursting things that bathed all that evil land in a blood-red light. When their glare flared over us we had to stand as we were caught, hand or foot upraised — moveless objects in the red glow until the light snuffed out and all was dark once more.


Gamboge is my current favorite color:


Quoth our hard-working Oxford English Dictionary:

Gamboge (gæmbōu·dʒ, -būdʒ). Forms: (7 cambugium, gambaugium, -bugia, cambodia, 7-8 cambogium, 8 gambogia, -bozia, -boidea, -bogium), 8 gumbouge, 9 camboge, 8- gambouge, gamboge, (Dicts. gambooge).

[ad. mod. L. gambogium etc. (now in pharmacy cambogia), f. various forms of the name of Cambodia, the district in Annam from which the substance is obtained. The deriv. is given by Dampier in 1699 (Suppl. to Voy. round World, vi. 105).]

1. A gum-resin obtained from various trees of the genis Garcinia, natives of Cambodia, Siam, etc. It is largely used as a pigment, giving a bright yellow colour, and also as a drastic purgative in medicine.

[ 1634 J. Bate Myst. Nat. 126 Take saffron or Cambugium.

1635Bk. Extrav./ 210 Orpiment and gambaugium are both very good yellows.

1688 R. Holme Armoury II. 85/2 Cambugia, whither Gum, or Juice dried, is not certain.]

1712 tr. Pomet's Hist. Drugs I. 178 Gamboge ought to be chosen of a bright yellow Colour a little inclining to Red.

1772-84 Cook Voy. (1790) I. 224 It yields a bright yellow resin, that resembles gumbouge.

1821 Craig Lect. Drawing v. 310 The whole picture or drawing must be washed over with a mixture of Venetian red and gambouge.

1863 Baring-Gould Iceland 208 The guest room walls are painted gamboge to a height of three feet.

1876 Bartholomew Mat. Med. (1879) 475 Gamboge is rarely prescribed alone as a cathartic.

b. The plant from which gamboge is obtained.

1876 Harley Mat. Med. (ed. 6) 698 The Gamboge is native of Siam and Cochin-China.

2. attrib., as gamboge-plant, -resin, -tree, -yellow.

1837 Penny Cycl. VII 367/2 The chin and throat gamboge-yellow.

1838 Ibid. XI. 68/1 The true gamboge-tree of Ceylon has been determined to belong to a new genus named Hebradendron. Ibid. XII 90/2 A plant .. which he thought might be the gamboge plant, as it contained a yellow purgative juice in the rind of its fruit.

1885 G. S. Forbes Wild Life in Canara 42 The same gamboge resin distills from both [wild and cultivated mangosteen] trees.