What Are Your Thoughts on Crimson?

Post 647

Ah, crimson. What a grand colour. What kind of fuddy-duddy doesn’t love a bit of good old crimson? Do you want to know the disgusting place we get crimson from? Do you? I mean, do you really? Okay, then. You have been warned. It comes from the dried dead bodies of the kermes insect. Oh, yes. Originally, of course. But if you find some crimson old enough, try not to touch it. After all, it’s made from crushed insects. ‘Carmine’, incidentally, is the name given to the colour created by crushing the female kermes. More of a burgundy colour, that. Yes, this is how we ended up with crimson. Don’t you just love history?

You may be wondering where you can get your hands on some delicious crushed bugs. Maybe you’re thinking about redecorating. Well, the kermes live in the Mediterranean, but ancient human bodies have been found in York, in England, wrapped in crimson coloured cloth. It was a hugely popular dye back in those days, right around the world.

The word ‘crimson’ first appeared in the English language around the year 1400. Throughout the ages, we’ve been treated to more than one spelling, including cremesin, crymysyn and cramoysin. Ultimately, we can trace all this back to the Arabic word for red, ‘qermez’. One may be able to trace that word back further to the Sanskrit word for ‘worm-made’. Poor kermes. They’re not even bloody worms…

There are 19 prominent versions of the colour, including radical red, fandango pink, razzmatazz and electric crimson. ‘Electric Crimson’ sounds like a band from the ‘70s, doesn’t it? There’s also a variation named ‘crimson glory’, which, to me, sounds like a sex act, but I won’t go into details.

The colour appears as the background for the flag of Nepal and it’s also the colour of the trousers of the King’s Royal Hussars. It appeared in the title of the movie ‘Crimson Tide’ and the band ‘King Crimson’. In the Bahá’í Faith, crimson stands for tests and sacrifice, whilst in Poland, ‘crimson’ is used to refer to the rich and those of high nobility. And the food rhubarb is also poetically known as ‘crimson stalks’. Probably the name of Electric Crimson’s debut album…

Yes, what more can one say? ‘Crimson’ is a lovely word for a lovely colour.

Ciao :)(:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

The Indelible Life of Me
New Post Every Saturday
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Hark Around the Words
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