Posted by Smokey Stover on November 23, 2005
In Reply to: Oops. My bad. posted by Bob on November 23, 2005
: : : Where did the phrase "Pitch Black" come from?
: : Hi Brian, small world.
: : The saying "pitch black" comes from a substance called pitch, that is black. There are other phrases like it:
: : Snow White
: : Rose Red
: : Sky Blue
: : Pitch Black
: : Here's the definition of "pitch" in this sense, from m-w.com:
: : Main Entry: 1pitch
: : Pronunciation: 'pich
: : Function: noun
: : Etymology: Middle English pich, from Old English pic, from Latin pic-, pix; akin to Greek pissa pitch, Old Church Slavonic picilu
: : 1 : a black or dark viscous substance obtained as a residue in the distillation of organic materials and especially tars
: : 2 : any of various bituminous substances
: : 3 : resin obtained from various conifers and often used medicinally
: : 4 : any of various artificial mixtures resembling resinous or bituminous pitches
: : P.S. Please bill yourself as "Brian from Atlanta" or something in the future, to avoid confusion.
: I believe the "from Shawnee" confusion is my fault. When posting Brian's question, my browser's "auto fill" feature/hindrance/defect tried to be helpful and added the modifier. It happened so quickly I didn't notice, et voila! I have spoken harshly to the software, and turned off the auto fill. Sorry.
Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), "pitch" when modifying "black" is a noun used as an adverb. Pitch used as the noun it is is seen in the phrase "Black as pitch." SS