Douglas G. Wilson douglas at nb.net
Thu Apr 5 06:07:12 UTC 2001

>         I had always thought ... that "colorado" was cognate with
> "colored", and meant the same.

Of course it is (sort of), and it does (sort of). But of course Spanish
"colorado" = Latin "coloratus", which meant both "having color" and "having
red(dish)/brown(ish) color" in classical Latin, more or less as "colorado"
means both "having color" and "having red(dish) color" in modern Spanish,
within my limited understanding.

Why? Some linguist knows, but I don't. One possibility: "color" (unlike,
say, "tint", I think) has the sense of "skin color". E.g., Spanish "ponerse
colorado" = "to blush", English "to color" = "to blush", Latin "colorem
mutare" = "to blush" [according to the Perseus dictionary], Latin
"coloratus" = "tanned"/"having a healthy skin color" [as opposed to pallor,
I guess], English "color" = "ruddy complexion" [Random House], Spanish
"coloradote" = "ruddy" [complexion], French "coloré" = "ruddy"
[complexion], etc.

-- Doug Wilson

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