is "dirty blonde" depreciative?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Mar 26 15:07:55 UTC 2012

On Mar 26, 2012, at 10:41 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 3/26/2012 10:18 AM, Amy West wrote:
>> 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
> I will apologize to Amy's hair at my earliest opportunity, and
> suggest that to avoid uncomfortable encounters that in the future it
> call itself "(now more) brownish-blonde".
Oh, darn.  Here it is officially springtime, and I was really looking forward to a duel to the roots between Amy's hair and Joel upon the dirty-blond fields of early April.


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