Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Red and Yellow and Pink and Green

Abu Ali al-Hussain Ibn Abdallah Ibn Sina (980 - 1037), also known as Avicenna, a Persian physician and a disciple of Aristotle, connected the usage of colours and the ability to diagnose and treat patients a thousand years ago.

In his book the ‘Canon of Medicine’ which he wrote in Arabic (and which is thought to be the first ever encyclopaedia of medicine), he stated colour is an observable symptom of disease. With this thought in mind he developed a chart which related colour to temperament and the physical condition of the body.

Image taken from: this website 

Avicenna also advocated the use of colour in medical treatments and insisted red moved the blood, blue or white cooled and yellow reduced pain and inflammation.

He prescribed potions of red flowers to cure blood disorders, yellow flowers and morning sunlight to cure disorders of the biliary system.

Image taken from: this website

Avicenna also warned of the possible dangers of colour in treatment. He observed that a person with a nosebleed, for example, should not gaze on anything of a brilliant red or be exposed to red light, as this would stimulate greater blood flow, whereas blue would soothe it by reducing blood flow.”

Avicenna didn't limit his knowledge to colour and is also thought to have discoved the contagious nature of tuberculosis and the spreading of diseases through water and soil and the idea that

Contemporary Meanings Behind Colours

masculine noun [az-rag]; feminine noun [zeer-ga]
In the Gulf there are two types of buildings which are always painted blue: the first one is the kabaz [ca-baz] or traditional unleavened bread shop and the second one is the sentry boxes, located outside important buildings, which are painted with blue and white stripes.

Image taken from:  this blog 

Navy Blue
masculine noun, [kuh-hul]; feminine noun, [khu-hul-lee-yah]
The Arabic world for navy blue comes from the word kohl, the eye-liner.

masculine noun, [as-wad]; feminine noun, [soo-da]
Black is an ubiqutous colour in the gulf, with most local women choosing to wear black outer garments.

masculine noun, [bun-nee]; feminine noun, [bun-nee-yah]
Bunni comes from the word 'bunn' which means coffee beans.

Image taken from: this website 

masculine noun, [DH-hab]; feminine noun, [DH-ha-bee]

masculine noun, [ack-THarr]; feminine noun, Kh-Theer]
See {WGAW blog entry green}

masculine noun, [aa-marr-dee]; feminine noun, [ra-maa-dee-yah]

masculine noun, [boor-ta-gaa-lee]; feminine noun, [boor-ta-gaa-lee-yah]
This word comes from the word boor-taa-gaal which means orange (edible fruit).

masculine noun, [war-dee]; feminine noun, [war-dee-yah]

masculine noun, [ban-nuff-see-jee-y]; feminine noun, [ban-nuff-see-jee-ya]
The word for purple comes from the Arabic word meaning aubergine.

In Arabic a rainbow is called qasquza [kas-cu-za] with the direct translation being, ‘a bow made by the rain God Quza’.  In pre-Islamic Arabia, Quza was known as the God of rain.

Image taken from:  this blog

masculine noun, [aH-marr]; feminine noun, [ha-marr]
As well as the word red, there are various words in Arabic which describe the differing grades or depths of red.  They are in ascending order: ahmar, ashqar, aqshar, ashkal, sharq, madammay, madamah

In Arabic, tea without milk is known as red tea, not black tea [chi ah-marr]

Image taken from:  this website 

masculine noun, [fid-Dee]; feminine noun, [fid-Dee-yah]
Silver has an important role in the Arab world because the Prophet Mohammed, whilst holding gold in one hand and silk in the other, said, “These two are banned for men of my tribe.”

In Iran [fay-rooz] is the name of a turquoise stone mined. It's also the name of a (or the most) famous Lebanese singer, Fayrooz

Image taken from: this website

masculine noun, [aa-bee-Tha]; feminine noun, [aa-bee-Yad]
There are seven grades of white which begin at "discernable white" and continue to pure white'. abyad, yaqaq, lahq, wadih, nasi', hijan, khalis.

Arabic nouns which are white often have different names from simply the formulaic noun + name system of describing something, e.g. car red, house big. A white rose is known as a not as a war-dah bathe-tha. A white mountain is (not jeb-bel aa-bee-Yad) while a white stone is yarma. Likewise, for minerals, trees, fruit and animals, there are separate names when they are white. In addition a happy face is known as a white face.

masculine noun, [As-faarr]; feminine noun, feminine noun, [si-farr-rrah]

Image taken from:  this blog 

1 comment:

Christine said...

Very nice article for a greyish and winterish day (that's what we have over here).