[Ads-l] "color crayon" for a child's drawing implement

Charles Law chaslaw at GMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 12 17:19:47 UTC 2016

My wife says “color crayon” for the child’s drawing implement that I’ve always called simply a “crayon”. She grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, where she was born in the mid-1950s.

I know that sometimes these combinations have a logical basis, e.g., “ink pen” and “stick pin” as used by people who don’t distinguish between the vowels in “pen” and “pin”. So I figured, naively, that maybe in southern Louisiana “crayon” at some point meant “pencil”, as it does in French, making the modifier “color” useful, especially in elementary school classrooms. I don’t have a bit of evidence for that, though, and, in fact, Shreveport is pretty far removed culturally and linguistically from southern Louisiana.

Does anybody have any insight into the use of “color crayon”?

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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