What’s in a word? “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” says Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.
I have never questioned blue or the phrase ”feeling blue” before. The connection just feels …right. But, when I look it up in various dictionaries, the association has got many explanations. Here are some:
In Greek mythology, blue is associated with rain. When Zeus was sad or crying, he would make it rain. Thus, the connection between the colour and the feeling.
Geoffrey Chaucer used ‘blewe’ in his poem ”The Complaint of Mars”. He writes: ”Wyth teres blewe and with a wounded herte.”
Which basically translates to: ”With tears blue and with a wounded heart”.
A naval explanation might be the old custom followed by deepwater sailing ships – If the ship lost the captain or any of the officers during its voyage, she would fly blue flags and have a blue band painted along her entire hull when returning to home port.
A scientific explanation is the proximity of dark blue to black on the colour scale, and the results of two studies indicating that feeling sadness may actually change how we perceive colour.
But blue is beautiful. It is the colour of our planet Earth. The Blue Planet.