By Ian Paterson

With extra tha 4,000 enteries, this dictionary is the 1st of its sort: a treasury of colour phrases and words, a accomplished source for exploring each point of colour.

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Additional resources for A Dictionary of Colour: A Lexicon of the Language of Colour

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N beam A ray of colour or light. vb beam; to To shine; radiate light; radiate. a beautiful Originally had the meaning of being light in colouring. 36 A D I C T I O N A R Y O F C O L O U R c beaver The greyish brown colour of beaver fur; hence ‘beaver-brown’ and ‘beavercoloured’. a beaver-hued Having the colour of a beaver. vb bedizen; to To dress in a flashy overdecorated manner. c beech-green A shade of green. c beeswax A dark orange. c beet Deep purple-red after the vegetable of the same name.

Pontoon’ is possibly a corruption of ‘vingt-et-un’ owing to the combination of mis-pronouncing the French term as ‘vontoon’ and confusing it with the word ‘pontoon’ – a bridge. n Black Japan A heat-resistant black paint or varnish made from asphaltum and oil. n black lead Graphite. n black-leg Someone who is prepared to work for an employer in defiance of other employees who are on strike. n black-letter An old heavy typeface with ornate angular letters also known as Gothic or Old English. A ‘black letter day ‘ is an unlucky day such as Friday the 13th of any month.

N bible colours The colours found in the Bible according to most translations into English are: white, black, brown, blue, purple, red, vermilion, scarlet (or crimson), yellow, green, gold and silver. c bice The pale blue or green obtained from smalt. There is no settled view as to the origin of this word. It is thought that the word derives from the Latin azura debilis meaning a weak blue as compared with the richer pigment azura pura meaning the best blue. Ball in The Invention of Colour has a contrary view, namely, that in the 14th century ‘bys’ meant ‘dark’, but ‘bys’ eventually detached itself from the colour ‘azure bys’ and came to be used to describe the colour rather than its shade.

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