jams, jellies, and preserves

Aaron E. Drews aaron at LING.ED.AC.UK
Thu Jun 1 10:03:45 UTC 2000

on 1/6/00 9:24 AM, Bruce Dykes wrote:

> What is it with this %^%%$##$*ing language anyway. Can't
> there just be a rule and have it followed? Oy.

Wouldn't that put a lot of us out of a job? :-)

> And to drag this back to topic...however did ginger come to refer to
> red/orange hair in the UK? I could understand blonde, but red?

According to my AH(E)D, definition 4 of "ginger" is "a strong brown".  Most
of the gingers (both "g"s are "hard", velar stops in Scots) I have met or
seen are on the brown side of red... not quite auburn, but not bright,
fiery, carroty red, either.  Sometimes I have misidentified such people as
having brown hair... perhaps it's the lack of sun.

The semantic extension from one shade of red to all shades are red seems
perfectly feasible to me, but I'm not a semanticist.  I'll ask and see if
the term, indeed, applies to those with the bright, orange blonde-side of

BTW, didn't the Movie Star in Gilligan's Island have a darker shade or red?


Aaron E. Drews                               The University of Edinburgh
http://www.ling.ed.ac.uk/~aaron      Departments of English Language and
aaron at ling.ed.ac.uk                    Theoretical & Applied Linguistics


More information about the Ads-l mailing list