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Theom
12-27-2002, 05:22 PM
Here is the question, why is it considered in Britain unlucky to wear green?
I have done some google searches but all I seem to find are a couple of american pages claiming it is so as not to insult the faeries. This seems to me to be a trite answer and I was hoping for a more rational one along the lines of bread poltice works because mold has penicilin, get me?
I was wondering, although this is my own specualtion, as to weather green denoted a rank in society, expensive dye/pigment type idea as with renaissance madonna images.....any clues?

minty green
12-27-2002, 05:27 PM
:eek:

Hello Again
12-27-2002, 05:27 PM
Well, the dye used to make bright green in colonial times (pickrik, not sure if that's spelled right) was highly flammable and apparently it was not so uncomon in Colonial days for a lass to be permanently scarred when dress met open flame.

In fact, when I was a student at William & Mary (which is located in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, a large open air museum of Colonial America) a vial of Pickrik was found in the Chemistry building and they evacuated the whole building and a 50 yard radius till it could be removed safely.

Theom
12-27-2002, 05:32 PM
Thats interesting, however the tradition I am refering to is ancient, didn't they use walnuts or something for dye?

Hello Again
12-27-2002, 05:43 PM
According to this (http://si.edu/lemelson/centerpieces/whole_cloth/u3tc/u3materials/dyenatural.html) you get light brown from walnut, but you can get forest green from chicory.

Actually, I'd never heard that green was bad luck... is that a British tradition?

Theom
12-27-2002, 05:46 PM
Very very vauge one, lots of people have never heard of it, I believe that you get it in Eire too

Cessandra
12-27-2002, 05:54 PM
When I was planning my wedding, I was told that green was unlucky because it attracts faeries who might be tempted to play tricks on the wedding party. Same concept as the bridesmaids getting all dressed up -- they distract faeries and spirits from the bride and confuse them about who to pick on.

Cessandra
12-27-2002, 05:56 PM
PS, it was an Irish superstition when it was told to me. I had an Irish-themed wedding. (But I went with the green, anway.)

Theom
12-27-2002, 05:59 PM
That sounds like what I have previously read on various webpages, It seems a little too americanised for me to believe that is the actual reason. The irish are deeply deeply catholic, the faerie explanation just doesn't ring true.... it is the kind of thing you would get in that dreadfull sequel to Gone with the wind called Scarlett.

Cessandra
12-27-2002, 06:02 PM
Well, it was told to me by my very Irish grandmother, who is deeply Catholic, and who is also a veritable encyclopedia of Irish and Italian superstition. (My grandfather is Italian, and also deeply Catholic.)

The superstition is probably older than Catholicism is in Ireland.

Johnny L.A.
12-27-2002, 06:17 PM
I was told that green is an unlucky colour for cars. Some sort of racing tradition. Of course, this ignores the green cars that won races. Anyway, I was told that green race cars tend to get into crashes. As many of you know, I'd been trying to decide what colour to paint my MGB when the time comes. British Racing Green is a popular colour for them, but others have said, "No! Don't paint the car green! It's unlucky!" So I've only heard of green being bad luck in connection with racing cars.

(FWIW, I've decided to go white with a red interior on the MG -- not because of "bad luck", but to "recreate" my first car.)

Hello Again
12-27-2002, 06:19 PM
I thought "Dancing Queen" was what attracted fairies to weddings...?

<rimshot>
<runs away>

senor
12-28-2002, 04:04 AM
Green is lucky for Irish, hang out in March for St. Paddy's day (the second most important drunk holiday of the year after 12/31). Not to mention that green is the color of money, as well as nature. (the green belt, the forest etc.) When that F'ing hillbilly in Wst Virginia hit the 170 million USD after tax, I was "green" with envy. Oh well. This could be seen as negative I guess.

I did see a survey one time that ranked car colors and green came in dead last. My favorite color is yellow, I love yellow, and I would have a yellow car, but most people would puke at that too. By the way, we all know that "yellow" is a term for irrational fear.

SENOR

Ukulele Ike
12-28-2002, 07:58 AM
"Green Ties Mean Pink Slips."

-- title of a satirical men's fashion article from SPY, a popular NY-based humor magazine of the 1980s.

The Griffin
12-28-2002, 08:35 AM
This is interesting I remember reading a new article a few years ago where insurance companies said green cars have the highest claims. I dont think they knew why though. perhaps people who like green cars are a bit mental.

Celyn
12-28-2002, 08:38 AM
I have only heard of green being unlucky for weddings (in churches) and the supposed reson was - blah balh - evil spirits, bad luck, ... i,e, it seen as a non-Xian colour and not liked by church.

Not sure if that adds anything at all.

Oh ys, I'm in U.K. (Scotland)

The Griffin
12-28-2002, 08:40 AM
My last post should have said "news article".

DAVEW0071
12-28-2002, 09:34 AM
Apparently, senor is correct in the assertion that green is lucky for the Irish.

The town in which I live has an enormous Irish population, and I mean people from the "auld sod" as well as those of Irish descent, and I have heard, as well as noticed, that many of them (the immigrants, for the most part) will paint the front door of their houses green.

Were green a bad-luck color, I hardly think people would use it for the portal to their homes.

TheLadyLion
12-28-2002, 02:28 PM
Green isn't unlucky when it comes to M&Ms (TM).

zia_nova
12-28-2002, 05:40 PM
I'm in England and I've never heard of grren being an unlucky colour

zia_nova
12-28-2002, 05:44 PM
or green, for that matter

Bernadette Briggs
03-19-2015, 09:02 AM
The superstition that green is an unlucky colour which might bring misfortune to one who wears it is based on the ancient belief that green was the fairies' colour. They treasured it and would resent anyone else using it. This would amount to a misappropriation of their monopoly rights. Their hostility roused, they would be determined to punish the offender.

Actors are known to be superstitious. The very uncertainty of their profession makes them so. Does not the success or failure of a performance depend only too often on irrational imponderables? It is no wonder therefore that they shun the colour green, though paradoxically they relax in a "green room." Using green, they, too, would become the target of the possessive little gnomes.

In the case of the theatre there was an additional, practical reason to avoid green. To begin with, plays were enacted on lawns in the open. An actor wearing anything green certainly would not stand out. Even when eventually performances were held on an indoor stage, the force of tradition made producers adopt for its floor covering the green lawn colour.

Another development rendered the wearing of green even less suitable. The original limelight was of a greenish colour. If focused on an actor who wore green, it would make him look insipid. Thus green, the luscious colour of the fertile earth became shunned, if not feared, both in daily life and in the theatre.

Taken From: Webster's World Encyclopædia - 1997. Published by Webster Publishing, 1997. Copyright Webster Publishing, and/or contributors.

Green is held unlucky to particular clans and counties of Scotland. The Caithness men look on it as fatal, because their bands were clad in green at the battle of Flodden. It is disliked by all who bear the name of Ogilvy, and is especially unlucky to the Grahame clan. One day, an aged man of that name was thrown from his horse in a fox chase, and he accounted for the accident from his having a green lash to his riding whip. (From http://bartleby.com/81/7571.html)

Death, decay, and evil
Green is also known to have signified witchcraft, devilry and evil for its association with faeries and spirits of early English folklore. It also had an association with decay and toxicity. Actor Bela Lugosi wore green-hued makeup for the role of Dracula in the 1927–28 Broadway stage production. A green tinge in the skin is sometimes associated with nausea and sickness. A physically ill person is said to look green around the gills. The colour, when combined with gold, is seen as representing the fading of youth. In the Celtic tradition, green was avoided in clothing for its superstitious association with misfortune and death.
Green is thought to be an unlucky colour in British and British-derived cultures, where green cars, wedding dresses, and theatre costumes are all the objects of superstition. Spider-Man villains were often coloured green to represent a contrast to the hero's red. In some Far East cultures the colour green is often used as a symbol of sickness and/or nausea. - Wikipedia


And besides, my late Mum said it was unlucky and she was Irish. So there!

iiandyiiii
03-19-2015, 09:05 AM
Zombies often turn green due to their rotting, moldy flesh.

TruCelt
03-19-2015, 10:35 AM
In the Halls at Narrow Water, there is a room from which all the chairs have been removed, in order to stop people staying too long in there. The reason is the Paris Green (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Green) paint on the walls, which was made from arsenic. The walls were painted about 200 years ago with a beautiful scene, very much worth seeing, but considered dangerous in long or multiple doses.

In the village surrounding there are bright red and blue doors, but it's palpably strange, if you have been in Ireland before, to realize that there are no green doors or walls anywhere around.

On my last visit, in 2004, that was just beginning to change.

Johanna
03-19-2015, 11:07 AM
Because
They're hanging men and women for the wearin' o' the green.

Lightray
03-19-2015, 11:59 AM
Well, the dye used to make bright green in colonial times (pickrik, not sure if that's spelled right) was highly flammable and apparently it was not so uncomon in Colonial days for a lass to be permanently scarred when dress met open flame.

In fact, when I was a student at William & Mary (which is located in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, a large open air museum of Colonial America) a vial of Pickrik was found in the Chemistry building and they evacuated the whole building and a 50 yard radius till it could be removed safely.
That would have been picric (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picric_acid) acid. It's not so much that it's flammable (which it is), but that it forms shock-sensitive crystals when dry. Even a little bump or friction will BOOM.

I never knew it used to be used for dying, but googling around I'm amused to note instructions like this (http://scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-dye-green-with-picric-acid/) which dissolves picric acid in water, then adds sulfuric acid to an acidulous taste, before adding indigo dye. Reminds me of my crazy old Organic professor who used to tell us how each new organic compound tasted.

TriPolar
03-19-2015, 02:01 PM
In the Halls at Narrow Water, there is a room from which all the chairs have been removed, in order to stop people staying too long in there. The reason is the Paris Green (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Green) paint on the walls, which was made from arsenic. The walls were painted about 200 years ago with a beautiful scene, very much worth seeing, but considered dangerous in long or multiple doses.


I assume the paint is dry, is it really that dangerous if you don't touch the walls?

TruCelt
03-19-2015, 02:15 PM
I assume the paint is dry, is it really that dangerous if you don't touch the walls?

It degrades into arsine gas. Mind you, I've never seen any study that shows it continues to do so after 200 years, but I suppose that as long as it looks green the chemical components are still there.

The real point, which I failed to make, was that once the problem became known, and was reported around the town, it devolved into a local belief that all green paint was dangerous. It is only now beginning to be trusted again, and there are still Grandparents in the area who will cry and beg you not to use it.

Elemenopy
03-20-2015, 09:38 AM
Since this is old, I'm holding a sleeping baby, and off-topic anyway, I'm not going to find an awesome cite. But I remember from art classes that another green pigment, perhaps real Viridian Green, was beautiful, and poisonous as well as very fugitive. Meaning, that it looked great when painted, but 20 years later turned black due to chrome (or something) getting oxidized. IIRC, the great illustrators of the Edwardian era liked to use this paint a lot, but it all looks like crud now.

If I find an example later, I'll post it.

As for unlucky in church or weddings, green is a liturgical color for Catholics and Orthodox. Don't know about the former, but Orthodox clergy (and some church furnishings) wear green and gold vestments for Palm Sunday and a few other scattered holidays. It's very pretty, I think. And I bought my sister a hunter-green gown when she was my maid of honor.

Apollon
03-20-2015, 10:31 AM
In the German-speaking world, green is considered a lucky colour.

Arch Trout
03-20-2015, 11:05 AM
I have never heard of this and a straw poll of my co-workers confirms that they have never heard of it either.

Is this really a thing?

glee
03-20-2015, 11:49 AM
I have never heard of this and a straw poll of my co-workers confirms that they have never heard of it either.

Is this really a thing?

I'm a 61 year old English native and have never heard of this either.

Some 'unlucky' superstitions I have heard of over here are:

- 13
- 666
- breaking a mirror
- walking under a ladder
- seeing a black cat

and of course we all know not to:

- eat yellow snow
- spit into the wind
- tug on Superman's cape

Cockertoo
01-30-2016, 09:33 PM
I am born and brought up in England. My Grandmother who lived for 94 years would NEVER EVER wear the colour green because she said it was bad luck. I had never thought about it until now, we just accepted it as part of her. Everyone else wore green with no problems, and I have never heard of it being a general bad luck superstition before, unlike the others we have in this country.

Ethilrist
01-30-2016, 09:43 PM
You think wearing it is unlucky? You should try being green...

zoid
01-30-2016, 09:55 PM
It isn't easy

TriPolar
01-30-2016, 10:00 PM
After a while a lot of zombies turn green.

I don't understand why the color for British Motor Racing would be green if they think it's bad luck. If they weren't very successful in motor racing then maybe it is bad luck, but it doesn't seem like a very good choice of color if that's the case.

WotNot
01-31-2016, 05:59 AM
After a while a lot of zombies turn green.

I don't understand why the color for British Motor Racing would be green if they think it's bad luck. If they weren't very successful in motor racing then maybe it is bad luck, but it doesn't seem like a very good choice of color if that's the case.

It's because (a) not everyone's superstitious, and (b) the belief that green is unlucky isn't universal even among those who are.

The idea that green is unlucky isn't one of the better-known superstitions: it's wide-spread, and seemingly old, but I think there are many more people that have heard of it, than actually believe it – and no shortage of people who've never even heard of it.

Ken001
01-31-2016, 06:15 AM
Interesting. I've never heard of green as unlucky but growing up in NZ as a boy, my mother insisted green was a Roman Catholic colour and thus we Presbyterians would have nothing to do with it. My father wasn't even allowed to buy a green car he rather liked.

It did seem to me at the time that Catholic churches and houses often had green roofs whereas the predominant Protestant colour was red. Or orange if ye were an Ulstermun.

Broomstick
01-31-2016, 06:51 AM
Since this is old, I'm holding a sleeping baby, and off-topic anyway, I'm not going to find an awesome cite. But I remember from art classes that another green pigment, perhaps real Viridian Green, was beautiful, and poisonous as well as very fugitive. Meaning, that it looked great when painted, but 20 years later turned black due to chrome (or something) getting oxidized. IIRC, the great illustrators of the Edwardian era liked to use this paint a lot, but it all looks like crud now.
I think you might referring to Scheele's Green, which is a chemical relative of the Paris Green already mentioned. Both contain arsenic compounds.

Exapno Mapcase
01-31-2016, 12:02 PM
"Green Ties Mean Pink Slips."

-- title of a satirical men's fashion article from SPY, a popular NY-based humor magazine of the 1980s.

How times have changed.

My wife's company was bought out by the Spanish megacorp Iberdrola. Their color is green. All logos and promotional material must be in Iberdrola green or other compatible shades if more than one green is needed.

And, yes, there are Iberdrola green ties that no senior executive would be seen in public without. Here's the CEO (http://institutionalinvestor.com/Images/519/93790/2015-04-Tom-Buerkle-ceo-interview-Ignacio-Galans-extra-large.jpg)wearing one.

furryman
01-31-2016, 02:13 PM
I read once that L. Frank Baum was considering naming The Wizard Of Oz, The Emerald City Of Oz. His friend or publisher convinced him to change the name because supposedly books with "Emerald" in the name didn't do well.
Kind of ironic considering one of the sequels was named that.

Dendarii Dame
01-31-2016, 04:13 PM
Last year, I read a book called Green: The History of a Color by Michel Pastoureau. He goes into lots of detail about all the superstitions about this color. Very interesting stuff. Ever read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight? Green was definitely associated with dangerous magic.

It was also associated with (illicit) sex. "Greensleeves" refers to an unfaithful lover. The expression "to give a lass a green gown" referred to having intercourse outdoors. (Referring to grass stains, maybe?)

Wendell Wagner
01-31-2016, 04:56 PM
What is well known is that in Ireland green is considered the color for Catholics and orange is considered the color for Protestants:

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=1006031702685

http://huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/15/st-patricks-day_n_1348003.html

http://askville.amazon.com/color-green-Ireland-Irish/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=10065789

http://livescience.com/27957-st-patricks-day-5-facts.html

01-31-2016, 05:57 PM
Possibly because the ancient Roman chariot races included teams of 4 colors; the traditional red & white teams and the vulgar newcomers, the blue & green teams. (The supporters of these two were fanatical, and engaged in the same kind of riotous behavior that we hear about from 'football hooligans' today.)

Among the Green fanatics was the emperor Caligula (first emperor to try to conquer Britain) and the emperor Nero (who reigned when Britain was mostly conquered by Romans). Both of these emperors were derided as mad after their deaths (by theose who had killed them).

Could any British animosity toward the color (colour) green possibly trace back this far?

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