This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Sunday Rest: Word Not To Use Today: gamboge.

I once had a book with a lovely story in it about the colours in a paintbox. I can't remember much about it, except that gamboge was the loveable but naughty one.

Even at the time this seemed perverse, when it was quite clear from his name that he was a depressive, self-pitying, flatulent - and the colour of sludge.

It wasn't until...oooh, about thirty seconds ago...that I Googled gamboge and discovered to my amazement that actually I LOVE gamboge.

It's this colour:

And, good grief, this whole blog is adorned with a colour very like it.

But of course that just makes the word gamboge even nastier: a grubby, sullen word which masks something joyful and sunny.

I would say don't use it - except, on reflection, it occurs to me that no one ever does.

So, that's all right, then.

Word Not To Start Using Today: gamboge. Gamboge is a sort of resin that you get from a gamboge tree. You use it to make lovely bright yellow paint. One of the places you find gamboge trees is Cambodia, and the word gamboge is a rather bruised version of that.

1 comment:

  1. I too never knew it was that nice sunny colour. I actually love the WORD itself and think it is rather distinguished but then I've been saying it as though it were French...always a help when it comes to making words seem nicer than they are But Hurray for Gamboge. Now that sounds like a political slogan and I can imagine Gamboge. He has epaulettes...another word for the Den.


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