Pinks & Pink

I’ve just found one of those little nuggets of information that delight and educate in equal measure.


The word ‘pink’ – as in signifying the colour – was not introduced into the English language until the late 18th century.


In older times ‘pink’ was always described as ‘flesh’ or ‘blush’ or ‘carnation.’





Carnation’d like a sleeping infant’s cheek
Lord Byron


So when you see the words ‘pink’ ‘pynke’ ‘pincke’ used before the 18th century, it refers to the flower known variously as Carnation, Soppes-in-Wine, Pink, Gillyflower, Gillover. And not the colour PINK
Bring hither the pincke and purple cullambine,
With Gilleflowres;
Bring Coronations and Sops-in-Wine,
Worn of paramours.

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