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Dathan Gàidhlig

Gaelic colours

Colours in Gaelic are often rooted in the landscape and the colour system in Gaelic is slightly different than in English and to a large degree contextual. This means that the same word may actually mean a different colour with reference to a particular object compared to a second object. A good example is ruadh which might refer to lovely, ginger hair, your favourite dram of whisky, the brownish red of the moor or those pesky old copper coins we all have hiding in the back of the sofa. 

This is particularly true of the grey – blue – green spectrum and different dialects may use the same words for separate colours differently.  

If you are talking about regular hair colours, we need to take extra care to use the appropriate words, liath for grey, ruadh for red, bàn for blonde, or fair hair.