E013 Seeing Red

Welcome to English with Kimberley.

In this episode, I want to talk to you about the colour ‘red’ and how it is used in the English Language.

But to start with let’s have a quiz!

Which of these red ‘things’ are not Australian?

a) Red Centre

b) Red Square

c) Red Dog

or d) Redback spider

OK. Why don’t I repeat the question for you?

Which of these red ‘things’ are not Australian?

a) Red Centre

b) Red Square

c) Red Dog

or d) Redback spider

Did you manage to work out that it’s b) – ‘Red Square’

This is because Red Square is in Moscow and actually isn’t anything to do with ‘revolutions’, ‘communism’, or the colour ‘red’ – In fact, when it was named the adjective ‘red’ in Russian meant ‘beautiful’.

As for the ‘Red Centre’ this is the expression used to refer to the centre of Australia with its characteristic red dessert sand.

Red Dog is an Australian true-life family comedy film about a red coloured dog looking for its owner in the outback.

And a redback is a poisonous Australian spider – with a red back!

You can look up all of these on the internet if you want to know more about them.

The word red is very interesting in English because it can mean so many things from describing how you feel with angry as in ‘red with rage’, masculine or manly with ‘red-blooded’ and embarrassed with ‘red-faced’.

Finally, the word ‘red’ has also confused many people because it describes several shades of red. For example, ruby (the red gemstone) and maroon (the colour of chestnut skin) – a dark brownish red.

OK. Let’s jump into our final quiz.

Which of these isn’t red?

a) Ginger

b) Scarlet

c) Pink

or d) Amber

And again…

Which of these isn’t red?

a) Ginger

b) Scarlet

c) Pink

or d) Amber

Well, the answer may surprise you because it’s not ‘pink’ or ‘ginger’.

It’s ‘d’ – ‘amber’ which is a kind of yellow-orangie coloured gemstone.

Pink, on the other hand, is a very light red.

Ginger is often referred to as red as in someone with red hair.

Lastly, scarlet is a very bright red with a bit of orange in it – think bright red lipstick!

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This podcast has been assisted by Grammarphobia and you can find a link to this site as well as also find a script of this podcast at www.goaustralia.biz

I hope you have enjoyed this podcast and you’ll join me again.

Grammarphobia. (2017). Blog: Is red beautiful? Retrieved April 01, 2017, from http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2017/01/red.html