The origin of one of life's little...


November 10, 1992

WE'VE DISCOVERED the origin of one of life's little puzzles: why the color pink is associated with baby girls and blue with baby boys. According to our always-handy copy of David Feldman's "Imponderables: The Solution to the Mysteries of Everyday Life," the tradition of assigning colors to genders actually began in ancient times, when evil spirits were thought to have watched over nurseries.

People believed that certain colors had the ability to protect them from evil.

Blue was considered the most powerful, probably because it was the color of the sky and water. Boys were believed to be more valuable to parents (but of course these people also believed the sun revolved around the earth), and thus parents adorned their sons in blue. Girls were not assigned any color until centuries later.

The traditional association of girls with the color pink is said to have arisen from a European legend that baby girls were born inside pink roses. The same tradition stated that baby boys were born inside blue cabbage patches -- now does that sound familiar?

It does sort of offer an explanation for that doll craze in the early '80s. Of course, we still haven't been offered any explanation as to what was behind those Norfin Trolls . . .

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