Talk:petrol blue

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The correct spelling is PetrEl blue not PetrOl Blue. Petrol is not blue. The colour owes its name to the Blue Petrel [1]. c.f. Teal blue, which is named after the Teal Duck. --Serfco 14:15, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Google hits: "petrol blue" 152,000, "petrel blue" 26,800. SemperBlotto 14:08, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Google hits prove nothing other than the number of illiterate people on the internet. The correct spelling is petrel - any good dictionary will confirm this. This page needs to be moved. 17:51, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
What the hits prove is that the term is in use and more common than petrel blue. Furthermore, Chambers, Compact OED, and Encarta join Wiktionary in including this term. There are many guides to English usage that adopt the prescriptive stance that you ask us to take. Wiktionary is committed to describing, not prescribing or proscribing, language.
It may well turn out that "petrol blue" was coined intentionally by auto marketers to describe a color close to "petrel blue". Much of the usage I've noted concerns cars. DCDuring TALK 18:30, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Further research reveals:
  • 1949, British Colour Council, Dictionary of Colours for Interior Decoration, page 21
    PETROL BLUE CC. 269. Page 45, Vol. 2 A colour name introduced into seasonal ranges by BCC in 1943.
I assume that "BCC" means "British Colour Council". They seem to be claiming to have coined the term. Perhaps petrol was blue in 1943. It was certainly precious. DCDuring TALK 18:30, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Sketchy information suggests much earlier usage (1914?) and that the color was the result of a whitener added specifically to avoid an undesirable green color. DCDuring TALK 18:44, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Tea room discussion[edit]

Note: the below discussion was moved from the Wiktionary:Tea room.

An anon user has commented that this entry name is a common error for petrel blue. If so, then the current entry ought to be moved or replaced with a "common misspelling" entry and the content created at the new spelling. Having never heard the term, I'm not equipped to judge which spelling is "correct". --EncycloPetey 18:20, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

The talk page now has some coinage information: The "British Colour Council" claims in its 1949 colour dictionary to have introduced the term in 1943. Was petrol bluish or greenish then? DCDuring TALK 18:35, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I doubt it, although it might be that the name refers to manufacture from petrol in some way; a number of color names derive from the source of pigments used to produce them. However, it doesn't seem very likely that petrol was being used for that purpose in the midst of WWII. I could imagine also that it is a modernism with no logical basis, perhaps like some Russian names that did not appear until after the Bolshevik Revolution (such as a given name is the Russian word for "tractor") or like the names of austral constellations coined by 18th century astronomers (e.g. Microscopium, Sculptor). --EncycloPetey 18:46, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Sketchy information suggests much earlier usage (1914?) and that the color was the result of a whitener added specifically to avoid an undesirable green color. DCDuring TALK 18:43, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
The OED has petrol blue ("A shade of blue likened to the colour of petrol.") with a quote from 1913, but not petrel blue. In the UK, paraffin is coloured blue (I seem to remember), but petrol is water white. SemperBlotto 19:58, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Are their citations from US newspapers? News has a cluster of apparent hits dated 1913-4, but not enough info to trust them. I would like it we had the policy of inserting dates for early usage, but we would need to rely on our own attestation efforts to avoid copyvio. Do you suppose we could acknowledge the OED in some way and rely on their date and/or usage citation if we verified it or confirmed the date in other sources?
In any event, I'm reasonably happy that we've attested this entry and handled the user's complaint. DCDuring TALK 20:49, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't see why we couldn't say "The Oxford English Dictionary dates the earliest use of this term to..." in the Etymology section. --EncycloPetey 20:56, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
The OED cite is from that cluster, and specifically this ad in the Fort Wayne News. -- Visviva 02:34, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

On the Canadian Prairies we used to have purple gas, dyed purple, and sold in rural areas with a tax break for farmers. Perhaps British petrol was once dyed blue for government purposes, or distinguish it from diesel or other POLMichael Z. 2008-11-05 22:41 z

Not only UK, but other countries certainly used to add colour to petrol, parafin and derv fuels for taxation and origin ID purposes. Some still do. I'll try to find some concrete info. But back to the main point, I seem to remember from my childhood (not long after the end of WWII) that UK petrol was normally coloured blue for public purchase, and that the term "petrol blue" comes from that. -- ALGRIF talk 13:51, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I am sure the word "petrol", which describes a color, got derived from the word "petroleum" (stone oil - crude oil). Petroleum varies greatly in colour, some are colorless, many of them are of nice bluish green color. The color "petrol" describes such a color of bluish green. This is the etymology of the color describing word "petrol". Not the petrel or the adding of colors to fuel etc. is the reason, why petrol is called petrol. User: Likedeeler 17:42, 3 December 2009