A Writers Guide to Green

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green

Green is nature. Green is life. It is nurturing and healing. Green is symbolic of rebirth, fertility, and growth in most places worldwide. In modern times green is associated with environmental issues. In chromotherapy, green is used to lower blood pressure, relax the nervous system, calm and soothe the mind, as well as to suppress the appetite.

Green is well-liked in most cultures.

Green is the color between blue and yellow. In color theory, green is a secondary color made by mixing two primary colors (blue and yellow). Green’s complementary color is red.

Chromophobia*

  • Fear of green: prasinophobia / chlorophobia

Symbolism

  • Green symbolizes prosperity, luck, harmony, and freshness.
  • Green is associated with safety. A green light means it is safe to proceed.
  • Green symbolizes money.
  • Green is the color of spring.
  • Green foreshadows or adds emphasis to a scene: health, ambivalence, vitality, poisonous, ominous, and/or corruption.

leavesSuperstitions and Beliefs

  • Brides in the Middle Ages wore green to symbolize fertility. Later it was avoided because the meaning changed to indicate the bride was “loose”.
  • In Japan, green, midori, is the color of eternal life.
  • The Sioux use green as a funeral color.
  • In Aztec culture, green was a royal color.
  • The Cakchiquel (one of the indigenous Maya peoples) consider it a fortunate color.
  • Tailors avoid using green thread on the eve of a fashion show for fear it will bring bad luck.
  • Actors avoid wearing green on stage, believing it to be unlucky. This dates to the day when lime-lights were used on stage. It was a brilliant light created by heating calcium oxide, or lime. It cast a greenish glow on stage and actors that worn green were hard to see.
  • Wearing a green gemstone will promote growth and balance.
  • Sleeping on a pea-green pillow prevents baldness.
  • American Indians associate green face paint with nature, harmony, and healing, and orange war paint with the willingness to fight to the death.
  • In Thailand, green is the color of Wednesday daytime. It is good luck to wear green on Wednesday. It is unlucky on Saturday.
  • In Christianity, green represents the sin of envy.
  • Green represents the fourth (heart) chakra.
  • Green cars are unlucky in racing.

Green History

  • Neolithic cave paintings do not have any trace of green pigment.
  • Ceramics from ancient Mesopotamia show people wearing vivid green costumes, but it is unknown how the color was made.
  • Ancient Egyptians colored the floors of their temples green.
  • In alchemy, green lion and green dragon were solvents would dissolve gold.
  • In heraldry, green (vert) signifies abundance, joy, hope, and loyalty.
  • In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the color of clothing showed a person’s social rank and profession. Green was worn by merchants, bankers and the gentry and their families.
  • In Irish and English folklore, green is often associated with witches, witchcraft, faeries, and spirits.
  • In the Celtic tradition, green was avoided in clothing due to it’s association with witches and faeries.
  • In Ghardaia (and other parts of M’zab), houses painted green (or turquoise) indicate the inhabitants have made a pilgrimage to Mecca.
malachite

malachite

Dyes & Pigments

  • Many minerals have been used to make green pigments over the centuries including emerald, malachite, amazonite, and Chromium(III) oxide or chrome green or viridian.
  • Green earth, a natural pigment, is made from clay. It has been in use since the Roman Empire.
  • Mixtures of oxidized cobalt and zinc were used to create green paints in the 18th century.

Phrases and Saying

Being green or greenhorn – new or inexperienced
Going green – environmentally friendly
Green around the gills – someone who looks ill
Greenback slang – for a U.S. dollar bill
Green joke – a dirty or racy joke
Green light – approval to do something
Green thumb (US) or Green finger (UK) – someone who has a talent for gardening
Green with envy – very jealous
Green-eyed monster – someone who is very jealous
Greener pastures – something new and better
The green fairy – absinthe which has a natural green color
The green hour – an established time to drink absinthe in Parisian cafes in 1860s

Meanings of Shades and Tints of Green

  • Yellow-green: sickness, cowardice, discord, and jealousy
  • Dark green: ambition, greed, and jealousy
  • Olive green: peace
  • Teal: healing, intuition, and creativity

Words for Green

Light Greens
artichoke
asparagus
celadon
citrine
eau-de-nil
honeydew
lime
mint
pea green
pistachio
sage
seafoam
tea green
willow
~
Bright Greens
absinthe
chartreuse
Kelly green
malachite
midori
neon green
turquoise
verdigris
~
Gray-Greens
army green
artichoke
eau-de-nil
fern
glaucous
khaki
pea green
sage
viridian
Medium Greens
apple green
avocado
bice
cerulean
olive
emerald
grassy
khaki
malachite
sea green
shamrock
spinach
turquoise
verdigris
virid
~
Yellow-Greens
absinthe
apple green
avocado
bice
chartreuse
citrine
honeydew
Kelly green
lime
midori
neon green
olive
spinach
tea green
willow
Dark Greens
army green
bottle green
forest
glaucous
jade
hooker’s green
hunter green
mossy
peacock green
phthalo green
pine
~
Blue-Greens
bottle green
celadon
cerulean
emerald
hunter green
jade
malachite
peacock green
pistachio
phthalo green
seafoam
sea green
shamrock
teal
turquoise
verdigris

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Green and You

Are you wearing green right now?
You are retrospective today. You are observant and quiet.

Look in your closet. Is green a predominate color in your wardrobe?
You are retrospective. You like life but prefer to watch it and make observations rather than get involved.

Do you just dislike the color green?
You are lonely or suffer from a mental trauma.

Do you drive a green car?
Dark green: You are well-Balanced, trustworthy, and traditional.
Light green: You are no-fuss and understated.

*Chromophobia, also known as chromatophobia or chrematophobia, is a persistent, irrational fear of, or aversion to, colors and is usually a conditioned response. Color phobis are often caused by a traumatic experience from the past, usually childhood. The color becomes associated with the trauma but the individual may not remember the event or realize the connection. It could also be culturally related with meanings attached to the color. Conditioning or brain chemistry may also be the cause. While actual clinical phobias to color are rare, colors can elicit hormonal responses and psychological reactions. Reactions include heart palpations, panic, sweating, breathlessness, nausea, shaking, dizziness, and dry mouth. Treatments include behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy, exposure therapy, and psychotherapy.black bullet line
Use green wisely in writing, painting,
decorating, and in your wardrobe!
How does green make you feel?
colorindex

 

Sources:
The wardrobe portion of this post was created using The Complete Book of Color by Suzy Chizzari.
The car information from Today.
If It’s Purple, Someone’s Gonna Die by Patti Bellantoni
malachite: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0
awesome green sphere and series logo by me!
leaves by clipart.com
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16 Comments

  1. As Kermit would say, it's not easy being green.

  2. We just painted our living room a gorgeous shade of dusky green 🙂

  3. After red, yellow, and orange, green is my next favorite. I love these color posts 🙂

  4. I hated green as a kid, largely because my mother over-cooked vegetables (and it is in the NAME of green beans), but I love it as an adult. I wear a fair amount of teal–it does cool things to my eyes.

  5. Green is so soothing. I like it almost as much as blue and it matches with everything.

  6. I love your in depth study of one of my favorite colors! I think you got the novel wheels churning gain for me. Thanx, I needed the motivation!

  7. Green is my favorite color. When I think of green, I envision lush foliage, unsullied nature and life. Plus, as a redhead, I'm pretty much obligated to wear the color on a regular basis.

  8. I like green in nature, but not in fashion. I think I own one green shirt. I think. I'm a blue kinda guy and wear anything blue. Maybe I need to expand my horizons and look into green.

    Stephen Tremp

  9. I had no idea green was considered unlucky or that brides used to wear it – very interesting!

  10. for a laugh, or 100, check out red green… on cbc tv 😉 lol

  11. Green is one of my favorites for just the reasons you mention. It is complimentary to every other color in the right shade and soothing too.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  12. Green is by far my favourite colour (I just voted in your poll there), and it is evident in everything surrounding me. I am wearing green, I'm sitting under a green blanket (because, sadly, all the green outdoors is turning into autumn colours – even though I love autumn it feels chilly and unwelcoming compared to the green of spring), I'm drinking from a green cup, there are green candle holder and green towels and green everythings everywhere.

    So it is safe to say that I enjoyed learning more about the colour I surround myself in all the time 🙂

  13. Green has always been my favourite colour, I love green clothing and my birthstone is the emerald…great post, a lot of fun!!Monica
    http://oldermommystillyummy.blogspot.com/

  14. Green is my favorite color. For me it's nature, growth, and life.

  15. Hilary Melton-Butcher said…
    Hi .. I have to say – green is not a favourite colour .. on the other hand the hues of green found in nature are brilliant.

    Love your thoughts and perspectives on the colour green – interesting read .. Hilary

  16. The Writing Goddess said…
    Hi – found my way here through A-Z. I'm a green girl too – the happy, vibrant greens, not the pukey olives.

    Fun post, fun site!

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