is "dirty blonde" depreciative?

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Mon Mar 26 14:18:39 UTC 2012

On 3/26/12 12:02 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
> Date:    Sun, 25 Mar 2012 21:23:29 -0400
> From:    Laurence Horn<laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject: Re: is "dirty blonde" depreciative?
> Ah, but I took "dirty blonde" to be a natural color (as natural as blonde, and thus capable of someone's dyeing for it as well), and thereby differing from "bottle blonde", which is by definition*not*  a natural color (unless you're a bottle).
> LH
> On Mar 25, 2012, at 8:53 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> >  Along George's line, I take "dirty blonde" as someone (or the hair of
>> >  someone) who has not done a good job of dyeing.  So maybe the OED
>> >  definition needs to clarify that it's depreciative of the hair, not the person?
>> >
>> >  Joel
>> >

Again, I hate to send just a concurring message, but I very much am of
the same opinion as Prof. Horn. My hair is a natural dirty blonde that
has never been near hair dye. (Joel, I will have to ask for satisfaction
for that insult. :-) )

But there we go: that's evidence of a depreciative aspect for some
speakers re: the color.

---Amy West

The American Dialect Society -

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