white


white
   The primary symbolism of this colour is innocence, beauty, and virtue, for which reason it is favoured for bridal dresses and babies' clothes. However, it also has strong associations with shrouds and the pallor of death, and hence with spectral apparitions and death *omens. A blacksmith's wife at Ashington (Sussex) said in 1868:
   I shall hear bad news before the day is over; for late last night, as I was sitting up waiting for my husband, who had gone to Horsham, what should I see, on looking out of the window, lying close under it, but a thing like a duck, yet a great deal whiter than it ought to have been, whiter than any snow. I was all of a tremble and cried out quite loud, and off went the thing, faster than I ever saw anything run before (Latham, 1878: 54).
   She could not accept that it might have been a cat in the moonlight, for 'those white things were sent as warnings'.
   Most of the *flowers which should not be brought indoors are white ones, though white *heather is lucky. A correspondent in N&Q wrote in 1931:
   I have heard from a social worker in London that it is most unlucky - almost offensively unlucky, in fact - to give any white flowers, even those not native to England, like white chrysanthemums, to sick people. Apparently some implication that, being white, they would be suitable for the funeral, is involved. The people to whom these particular white chrysanthemums were given were quite young, moderately well educated, typical Londoners, and yet superstitious on this point - which they said was well known to everyone. (N&Q 160 (1931), 195)
   The strongest current taboo is against having *red and white flowers in the same vase without any of another colour; this portends death, especially if given to a sick person. The colours are said to stand for 'blood and bandages'.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • White — (hw[imac]t), a. [Compar. {Whiter} (hw[imac]t [ e]r); superl. {Whitest}.] [OE. whit, AS. hw[imac]t; akin to OFries. and OS. hw[=i]t, D. wit, G. weiss, OHG. w[=i]z, hw[=i]z, Icel. hv[=i]tr, Sw. hvit, Dan. hvid, Goth. hweits, Lith. szveisti, to make …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • white — [hwīt, wīt] adj. whiter, whitest [ME hwit < OE, akin to Ger weiss, ON hvitr, MDu wit < IE * kweid , to gleam, bright, white > WHEAT, OSlav švěšta, a light, candle] 1. having the color of pure snow or milk; of the color of radiated,… …   English World dictionary

  • White — White, n. [1913 Webster] 1. The color of pure snow; one of the natural colors of bodies, yet not strictly a color, but a composition of all colors; the opposite of black; whiteness. See the Note under {Color}, n., 1. [1913 Webster] Finely attired …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • White- — (бело ), a prefix used by Bolsheviks to designate their real and alleged enemies of all sorts, by analogy with the White Army.*White Guardist ( белогвардеец ): a member of the White Guard . The members of the White movement never applied the term …   Wikipedia

  • White — White, José Blanco White, Patrick * * * (as used in expressions) Bourke White, Margaret Mary White White Horse, valle de White Mountains White Sands National Monument White, E(lwyn) B(rooks) White, James (Springer) y Ellen (Gould) White, John …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • WHITE (D.) — Dick WHITE 1906 1993 Figure légendaire des services de contre espionnage britanniques certains affirment que le romancier Ian Fleming s’en serait inspiré pour créer le personnage de James Bond , sir Dick White naît en Angleterre, dans le Kent, le …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • white — O.E. hwit, from P.Gmc. *khwitaz (Cf. O.S., O.Fris. hwit, O.N. hvitr, Du. wit, O.H.G. hwiz, Ger. weiß, Goth. hveits), from PIE *kwintos/*kwindos bright (Cf. Skt. svetah white; O.C.S. sviteti to shin …   Etymology dictionary

  • White — bezeichnet: einen Familiennamen, siehe White (Familienname) White Airways, eine portugiesische Charterfluggesellschaft White Hand Gang, irische Bande in Brooklyn von etwa 1900–1925 White Motor Company, US Hersteller von LKW, Automobilen,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • WHITE (P.) — WHITE PATRICK (1912 1990) Prix Nobel de littérature en 1973, Patrick White est sans doute l’écrivain australien le plus connu. Issu d’une famille «patricienne» (son père était grand propriétaire terrien), il appartient à cette classe sociale qui… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • white — ► ADJECTIVE 1) of the colour of milk or fresh snow, due to the reflection of all visible rays of light. 2) very pale. 3) relating to a human group having light coloured skin, especially of European ancestry. 4) morally or spiritually pure. 5)… …   English terms dictionary

  • WHITE (L. A.) — WHITE LESLIE ALVIN (1900 1975) Le plus remarquable représentant de l’école néo évolutionniste américaine. L’anthropologue Leslie A. White suivit d’abord un itinéraire intellectuel complexe qui lui donna une formation largement encyclopédique;… …   Encyclopédie Universelle