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Hex colour ref: ffff99
A colourful note: The first recorded use of canary yellow as a colour name in English was in 1789. The colour name is taken from the small songbird that is widely thought of as yellow. In fact, they come in a variety of colours. The wild canary is a yellowish-green colour, whereas domestic canaries have been selectively bred for a wide variety of colours, including yellow, orange, brown, black, white and red.
The canary bird takes its name from the Canary Islands, which in turn have taken their name from the Latin name Canariae Insulae meaning “island of dogs”. According to the historian Pliny the Elder, the Mauretanian king Juba II named one island Gran Canaria because it contained “vast multitudes of dogs of very large size”. Another suggestion is that the dogs were actually a species of monk seal (canis marinus or “sea dog”) .
To continue my etymological ramblings about this cheerful colour, the English football team, Norwich City, is nicknamed “The Canaries” due to the city once being a centre for the breeding of canary birds. The club adopted the colours of yellow and green to recognise the city’s one-time fame in this area. Back in the early 1900s one breeder, Jacob Mackley, shipped about 10,000 birds a year from Norwich to New York .
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 11 February 2017
Part of Color Your World