In Russian and some other languages, there is no single word for blue, but rather different words for light blue (голубой, goluboy) and dark blue (синий, siniy). The ancient Greek word for a light blue, glaukos, also could mean light green, grey, or yellow.
Light blue in human culture
- In historical atlases published in Germany, light blue is traditionally used as a color to represent Germany, as opposed to pink for England, purple for France, and light green for Russia.
- The national flags of Argentina, the Bahamas, Botswana, Fiji, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Micronesia, Palau, Somalia, and Tuvalu all have light blue as a dominant color.
- In modern Western culture, the color light blue is commonly used to represent boys as opposed to the color pink which is used to represent girls.
- The color light blue is commonly regarded as calming and relaxing. Because of this, sometimes it is used to paint hospital rooms.
- Since the color light blue reminds many people of water (although the actual color of water is cyan), light blue is a popular color for painting bathrooms or for porcelain bathroom fixtures.
- Light blue is sometimes used as a color for the University of Cambridge, in contrast with the University of Oxford which has adopted a dark blue color.
- Light blue in Hinduism: Shiva, the Destroyer, is depicted in light blue tones and is called neela kantha, or blue-throated, for having swallowed poison in an attempt to turn the tide of a battle between the gods and demons in the gods' favour.
- Azzurro, a light blue, is the national color of Italy (from the livery color of the former reigning family, the House of Savoy).
- King Louis IX of France, better known as Saint Louis (1214–1270), became the first King of France to regularly dress in blue. This was copied by other nobles. Paintings of the mythical King Arthur began to show him dressed in blue. The coat of arms of the Kings of France became an azure or light blue shield, sprinkled with golden fleur-de-lis or lilies. Blue had come from obscurity to become the royal color.
- Maerz and Paul. A Dictionary of Color. New York: 1930 McGraw-Hill. Page 190.
- Michel Pastourou, Bleu: Histoire d'une couleur, pg. 24
- See the Grosshistoricher Weltatlas, 1965 edition (other German historical atlases use these same colors).
- Michel Pastoureau, Blue: Histoire d'une couleur, pg. 51–52.