Pink was first used in the 1700's as name for a pale shade of red. In both the US and Europe, pink mixed with either white, or light blue, is thought to convey feminity, childhood, tenderness, and romance. Dating back to the 14th century, "to pink" has meant ' to decorate with a perforated or punched design.' Seamestresses and tailors often use pinking shears to finish off the raw edges of garments.
During the Middle Ages pink was used, only occaisionally, for women's fashions or religious art. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Christ child was quite often portrayed dressed in pink; the color used to portray the body of Christ. (I'll need to check that out the next time I'm at an art museum!) During the Renaissance Period, pink was most commonly used by artists for hands and faces.
The color pink hit its stride in the Rococo Period (1720-1777) when pastel colors gained favor with the courts of Europe. Madame Pompadour was known to favor the color pink and wore it frequently for her clothing. It was usually mixed with a shade of pale blue. Ms. Pompadour so loved the color pink that she had a special shade of the color made especially for her.
In the 19th century, men's military uniforms were red. And since boys were considered to be small men, they were given a pink ribbon to put on their uniform. Moving ahead to the 20th century, pink took on a bolder look; in 1931 the color shocking pink was introduced.
Pink is one of the most common clors for flowers. It attracts birds and insects that are necessary for pollination.
Pink is used in many common phrases. How many of these do you know (and use)?
- In the pink - To be in good health; rosy cheeked
- To see pink elephants - To hallucinate, mostly from too much alcohol
- Pink slip - "Your Fired!" The term pink slip is most commonly used in business to be mean dismissed, or fired, from your job. The use of this term was first recorded in 1915, in the US.
- Pink collar worker - Persons employed in positions commonly though of as "women's work." Secretaries, nurses, and retail workers fell into this category (Thankfully, not so much anymore!)
- Pink money - The pink dollar or pink pound is an economic term used to refer to the spending power of the LGBT community.
- Tickled pink - To be extremely pleased