Color icon pink v2.svg
 — Common connotations —
girls, love, health, breast cancer awareness, calmness, fairies, Valentine's Day, spring, Easter, beauty, cuteness, glamour
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #FFC0CB
sRGBB (r, g, b) (255, 192, 203)
HSV (h, s, v) (350°, 25%, 100%)
Source HTML/CSS[1]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Pink is a mixture of red and white. Commonly used for Valentine's Day and Easter, pink is sometimes referred to as "the color of love." The use of the word for the color known today as pink was first recorded in the late 17th century.[2]

Although pink is roughly considered just as a tint of red,[3][4] in fact most variations of pink lie between red, white and magenta colors. This means that the pink's hue is somewhat between red and magenta.[5][6][7][8]

Roseus is a Latin word meaning "rosy" or "pink." Lucretius used the word to describe the dawn in his epic poem On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura).[9] The word is also used in the binomial names of several species, such as the Rosy Starling (Sturnus roseus) and Catharanthus roseus. In most Indo-European languages, the color pink is called rosa. In Persian, it is called "Souraty", meaning "Color of the face", and in Arabic, it is called "وردي".



The color pink is named after the flowers called pinks, flowering plants in the genus Dianthus. The name derives from the frilled edge of the flowers—the verb "to pink" dates from the 14th century and means "to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern" (possibly from German "pinken" = to peck).[10] As noted and referenced above, the word “pink” was first used as a noun to refer to the color known today as pink in the 17th century. The verb sense of the word “pink” continues to be used today in the name of the hand tool known as pinking shears.


In the 17th century, the word pink or pinke was also used to describe a yellowish pigment, which was mixed with blue colors to yield greenish colors. Thomas Jenner's A Book of Drawing, Limning, Washing (1652) categorizes "Pink & blew bice" amongst the greens (p.  38),[11] and specifies several admixtures of greenish colors made with pink—e.g. "Grasse-green is made of Pink and Bice, it is shadowed with Indigo and Pink ... French-green of Pink and Indico [shadowed with] Indico" (pp. 38–40). In William Salmon's Polygraphice (1673), "Pink yellow" is mentioned amongst the chief yellow pigments (p. 96), and the reader is instructed to mix it with either Saffron or Ceruse for "sad" or "light" shades thereof, respectively (p. 98).

In gender

A person in a pink sweatshirt knitting a pink scarf.
  • The use of pink as distinctive of girls can be dated back at least to 1868, in Louisa Mae Alcott's Little Women, when after being shown boy and girl twins, Laurie asks:

Most remarkable children I ever saw. Which is which?...Amy put a blue ribbon on the boy and a pink on the girl, French fashion, so you can always tell.[12]

University of Maryland Professor Jo B. Paoletti, author of forthcoming book Pink and Blue: Telling the Girls From the Boys in America considers this was common usage in France orphanages during the XVIII century [13], but this was not the case everywhere. In the United States there was no established rule:

In 1855 the New York Times reported on a "baby show" put on by P.T. Barnum, exhibiting "one hundred and odd babies" dressed in pinks, blues, and other colors seemingly without regard to gender. ... A Times fashion report from 1880 has boys and girls dressed alike in white, pink, blue, or violet, and another from 1892 says young girls were wearing a variety of colors that spring, including several shades of blue[14]

There are theories indicating an origin of this costume in the XXth century. Zucker and Bradly say that it began in the 1920s[15] and other authors suggest the 1910s.[16] An article in the trade publication Earnshaw's Infants' Department in June 1918 said: "The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl."[17] From then until the 1940s, pink was considered appropriate for boys because being related to red it was the more masculine and decided color, while blue was considered appropriate for girls because it was the more delicate and dainty color, or related to the Virgin Mary.[18][19][20] Since the 1940s, the societal norm was inverted; pink became considered appropriate for girls and blue appropriate for boys, a practice that has continued into the 21st century.[21]

  • The pink ribbon is the international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Pink was chosen partially because it is so strongly associated with femininity.[22]
  • It has been suggested that females prefer pink because of a preference for reddish things like ripe fruits and healthy faces,[23] but the associated study has been criticized as "bad science".[24]
  • The phrase "pink-collar worker" refers, in the West, to persons working in fields or jobs conventionally regarded as "women's work".

In sexuality

  • Whereas Jewish people were forced to wear a yellow star of David under Nazi rule, and Roma people were forced to wear a black triangle, men imprisoned on accusations of homosexuality or same-sex sexual activity were forced to wear a pink triangle. Nowadays, a pink triangle (sometimes pointing up, contrary to Nazi usage) is often worn with pride.[25]
  • A Dutch newsgroup about homosexuality is called nl.roze (roze being the Dutch word for pink), while in Britain, Pink News is a leading gay newspaper and online news service. There is a magazine called Pink for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community which has different editions for various metropolitan areas.[26] In France Pink TV is an LGBT cable channel.
  • In business, the pink pound or pink dollar refers to the spending power of the LGBT community.[27] Advertising agencies sometimes call the gay market the pink economy.
  • Though long discontinued, the now mainstream gay-oriented magazine The Advocate for many years of its early history featured a sometimes sizable section of personal ads and mostly sexually-oriented ads printed on pink paper and referred to as "the pink pages." As the gay rights movement gained increased mainstream momentum and public acceptance, and as the magazine itself became less underground and was distributed more widely on newsstands in "middle America," the publishers made the section more easily removable for those who preferred not to view/keep it with the main body of the magazine, and The Advocate eventually ceased to include the "pink pages" at all.
  • In Japan the color cherry blossom pink is associated with the vagina, and therefore, in Japan, softcore pornographic films are called pink movies.[28]

In nature

A pink plant


  • Cherry blossoms only have a pink color when they bloom in the springtime.



  • The pink iguana is an iguana that was first identified in 1986 and first recognized as a distinct species in 2009.


  • Most flamingo species are pink in color due to pink pigments in their diet.


In art

  • DebrettevillePink.jpg
    In 1973, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville created "Pink," a broadside meant to explore the notions of gender as associated with the color pink, for an American Institute of Graphic Arts exhibition about color. This was the only entry about the color pink. Various women including many in the Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman's Building submitted entries exploring their association with the color. De Bretteville arranged the squares of paper to form a “quilt” from which posters were printed and disseminated throughout Los Angeles.[29] She was often called "Pinky" as a result.
  • In 1993, artist Gioia Fonda created a conceptual piece in the form of a week long holiday called pink week. The intention of pink week is to liberate the color pink from all dogma and simply celebrate the color pink as a color.[30]
  • Bubblegum Pink is an installation by the artist duo Bigert & Bergstrom which "confronted [the viewer] with three different mental climates" [31] involving large amounts of pink. This mirrors the use of the color in American prisons to calm aggressive prisoners. It features a pink cell and a carpet worn by repetitive pacing.[32]
  • Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Surrounded Islands wrapped wooded islands in Miami's Biscayne Bay with 6,500,000 square feet (600,000 m2) of bright pink fabric.[33] Thomas von Taschitzki has said that "the monochrome pink wrappings"..."form a counterpoint to the small green wooded islands." [34]
  • Many of Franz West's aluminium sculptures were often painted a bright pink, for example Sexualitatssymbol (Symbol of Sexuality). West has said that the pink was intended as an "outcry to nature".[35]

In human culture

Pink tulips
  • In the French academic dress system, the five traditional fields of study (Arts, Science, Medicine, Law and Divinity) are each symbolized by a distinctive color, which appears in the academic dress of the people who graduated in this field. Redcurrant, an extremely red shade of pink, is the distinctive color for Medicine (and other health-related fields) fr:Groseille (couleur).
  • In Ireland, Support group for Irish Pink Adoptions defines a pink family as a relatively neutral umbrella term for the single gay men, single lesbians, or same-gender couples who intend to adopt, are in the process of adopting, or have adopted. It also covers adults born/raised in such families. The group welcome the input of other people touched by adoption, especially people who were adopted as children and are now adults.
  • Seeing pink elephants is a euphemism for hallucinations caused by delirium tremens.[36] The concept was used in the Disney's animated film Dumbo when the title character accidentally becomes drunk and sees a parade of pink elephants.
  • A pink lady is an alcoholic beverage made with gin and grenadine syrup and may include other ingredients.[37] A pink squirrel is made of white creme de cacao, creme de noyaux and cream.[38]
  • In the 19th and early 20th century, pink was the traditional color used in cartography to represent the British Empire.[39]
  • Mary Kay in 1968, Mary Kay Ash, purchased the first Pink Cadillac, which eventually became the trademark of her company.
  • Pink Money refers to the financial power of the LGBT community.
  • When one gets laid off or fired from one's job, in the United States, it is called getting a pink slip.
  • The Pink Panther is a popular cartoon character.
  • In Power Rangers and their Japanese origins Super Sentai the Pink Rangers are always female and there was never a male Pink Ranger on the show. The first Pink Ranger, Kimberly Hart, became an icon during the first season of the show.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls, the leader of the team Blossom wears a pink dress that matches her pink eyes.
  • Pink Cadillac was a 1989 movie starring Clint Eastwood.
  • The color pink is often used to represent women or young girls. (See discussion above in section on Pink in gender and sexuality.).
  • Jaipur is known as the Pink City for its many colored buildings.[40]
  • In the pink is an English idiomatic expression for in good condition or in good health.
  • Pink is the official color for Breast Cancer awareness.
  • In Spanish and Italian, a "pink novel" (novela rosa in Spanish, romanzo rosa in Italian) is a sentimental novel marketed to women.
  • In Nazi Germany, in the Wehrmacht, the panzer divisions used pink military flags.[41][42][43]
  • Pink is an American singer-songwriter whose real name is Alecia Moore.[44]
  • "Pink" is a song by Aerosmith.
  • Pink, being a 'watered-down' red, is sometimes used in a derogatory way to describe a person with mild communist or socialist beliefs (see Pinko).
The Casa Rosada (Pink House), Buenos Aires. The official seat of the executive branch of the government of Argentina
Delta Air Lines' Pink Breast Cancer Research Foundation Boeing 767-400ER
  • The Pink 'Un is or was the name of two different English newspapers focused on sporting news.
  • The Financial Times is often referred to as the Pink Sheet or Pink 'Un.

See also


  1. ^ "W3C TR CSS3 Color Module, HTML4 color keywords". Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  2. ^ “pink, n.⁵ and adj.²”, Oxford English Dictionary Online
  3. ^ "Pink, a Tint of Red". Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  4. ^ "For example, pink is a tint of red". Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  5. ^ Colors by Hue at MSDN
  6. ^ "Creating Styles in Fireworks". 2009-07-14. Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  7. ^ Dana Lee Ling. "x11 Colors in Hue Saturation Luminosity order". Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  8. ^ "Color Names". ImageMagick. 2010-01-02. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  9. ^ "CTCWeb Glossary: R (ratis to ruta)". Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  10. ^ Collins Dictionary
  11. ^ Jenner, Thomas (1652). A Book of Drawing, Limning, Washing. London: M. Simmons. p. 38. 
  12. ^ Louisa Mae Alcott, Little Women. Chapter 28 Project Gutenberg Link to etext
  13. ^ BBC interview
  14. ^
  15. ^ Zucker, Kenneth J. and Bradley, Susan J. (1995). Gender Identity Disorder and Psychosexual Problems in Children and Adolescents. Guilford Press. p. 203. ISBN 0898622662. 
  16. ^ Ben Goldacre (2007). "Bad Science". Out of the Blue and into the Pink. 
  17. ^ Jeanne Maglaty, "When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?," April 8, 2011, accessed June 4, 2011
  18. ^ Merkin, Daphne. "Gender Trouble", The New York Times Style Magazine, March 12, 2006. Retrieved 10 December 2007.
  19. ^ Orenstein, Peggy. "What's Wrong With Cinderella?", The New York Times Magazine, December 24, 2006, retrieved December 10, 2007. Orenstein writes: "When colors were first introduced to the nursery in the early part of the 20th century, pink was considered the more masculine hue, a pastel version of red. Blue, with its intimations of the Virgin Mary, constancy and faithfulness, was thought to be dainty. Why or when that switched is not clear, but as late as the 1930s a significant percentage of adults in one national survey held to that split."
  20. ^ Jude Stewart (2008). "Pink is for Boys: cultural history of the color pink". Step Inside Design Magazine. 
  21. ^ "Journal Article". SpringerLink. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  22. ^ Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer Awareness:[dead link]
  23. ^ "Women may be hardwired to prefer pink – being-human – 20 August 2007". New Scientist. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  24. ^ "Pink, pink, pink, pink. Pink moan – Ben Goldacre – 25 August 2007". Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  25. ^ The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals (1986) by Richard Plant (New Republic Books). ISBN 0-8050-0600-1.
  26. ^ "Website of Pink magazine:". Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  27. ^ "Opportunities in the Pink Economy of the United Kingdom" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-11. [dead link]
  28. ^ Weisser, Thomas; Yuko Mihara Weisser (1998). Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films. Miami: Vital Books : Asian Cult Cinema Publications. p. 20. ISBN 1-889288-52-7. 
  29. ^ "WACK! Exhibition, podcast interview with de Bretteville". 1940-11-04. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  30. ^ "Pink Week-when Pink means Pink:". Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  31. ^ Nemitz, Barbara. Pink The Exposed Color in Contemporary Art and Culture. Hatje Cantz. p. 88. 
  32. ^ Nemitz, Barbara. Pink The Exposed Color in Contemporary Art and Culture. Hatje Cantz. p. 88. 
  33. ^ Goodman, Walter (1987-10-16). "Film: Christo, in 'Islands'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  34. ^ Nemitz, Barbara. Pink The Exposed Color in Contemporary Art and Culture. Hatje Cantz. p. 68. 
  35. ^ Nemitz, Barbara. Pink The Exposed Color in Contemporary Art and Culture. Hatje Cantz. p. 69. 
  36. ^ "Medline Encyclopedia: Delirium Tremens". Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  37. ^ "Pink Lady Drink Recipe – How to make a Pink Lady cocktail". Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  38. ^ "Pink Squirrel recipe". Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  39. ^ Why is the British Empire colored pink on maps?:
  40. ^
  41. ^ Image of typical Panzer Division standard:
  42. ^ Flags of the Third Reich—see under Herman Goering Panzer Division Flag:
  43. ^ Davis, Brian L. Flags of the Third Reich Oxford, U.K.:2000 Osprey Publishing Page 31 Panzer Division Standard is shown as being colored pink
  44. ^ "Official site of singer Pink:". Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  45. ^ Code Pink: Women for Peace on the site of Global Exchange. Retrieved 31 January 2007.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pink — ist der Name: einer Farbe, siehe Pink (Farbe) einer Sängerin aus den USA, siehe Pink (Sängerin) einer privaten serbischen Sendergruppe, siehe Pink International einer Stadt in Oklahoma (USA), siehe Pink (Oklahoma) der Hauptrolle in dem Album bzw …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pink TV — Senderlogo Allgemeine Informationen Empfang: Kabel und Satellit, VDSL …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pink — Pink, n. [Perh. akin to pick; as if the edges of the petals were picked out. Cf. {Pink}, v. t.] 1. (Bot.) A name given to several plants of the caryophyllaceous genus {Dianthus}, and to their flowers, which are sometimes very fragrant and often… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pink — pink; pink·een; pink·en; pink·er; pink·ify; pink·i·ly; pink·i·ness; pink·ish; pink·ly; pink·ster; pre·pink; pink·ish·ness; pink·ness; …   English syllables

  • Pink — Pink, a. Resembling the garden pink in color; of the color called pink (see 6th {Pink}, 2); as, a pink dress; pink ribbons. [1913 Webster] {Pink eye} (Med.), a popular name for an epidemic variety of ophthalmia, associated with early and marked… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pink — Ⅰ. pink [1] ► ADJECTIVE 1) of a colour intermediate between red and white, as of coral or salmon. 2) informal, often derogatory left wing. 3) relating to or associated with homosexuals: the pink economy. ► NOUN 1) pink colour, pigment, or… …   English terms dictionary

  • pink|y — pink|y1 «PIHNG kee», adjective. sewhat pink; pinkish. ╂[< pink1 + y1] pink|y2 «PIHNG kee», noun, plural pink|ies. = pinkie1. (Cf. ↑pinkie) pink|y3 «PIHNG kee», noun, plural …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pink BH — is a regional television station in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is owned by RTV Pink. Its main headquarters is in Banja Luka. The station began operations in 2003 with a limited geographic reach. Pink BH received its broadcast license for a ten… …   Wikipedia

  • pink — pink1 [piŋk] n. [< ?] 1. any of a genus (Dianthus) of annual and perennial plants of the pink family with white, pink, or red flowers, often clove scented 2. the flower 3. its pale red color 4. [see FLOWER, n. 3] the …   English World dictionary

  • Pink — Pink, n. [D. pink.] (Naut.) A vessel with a very narrow stern; called also {pinky}. Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster] {Pink stern} (Naut.), a narrow stern. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pink TV (US) — Pink TV, known as Heat TV in Europe, is a television company that exclusively features pornographic content. [ [ 09 21/news/feature 2.html Welcome to the Voyeurdome] , Miami New Times , 21 September 2006] [ …   Wikipedia

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