In the pink
Posted by ESC on May 21, 2000
In Reply to: In the pink posted by James Briggs on May 20, 2000
: : : : I know what the books say it means and the origins. I just would like to hear others ideas about a phrase that describes what it means to them.
: : : It means nowt to I me dear. What the books say then eh? Do tell I, else...
: : I couldn't find anything in the books. But I believe the expression "in the pink" refers to good health evidenced by the pink complexion of a fair-skinned person.
: In the pink signifies a state of well being; good health. The pink here has nothing to do with colour, rather with the same source as pinking scissors. They are both based on the old English pynca meaning "point", hence "peak" or "apex". Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet (II, iv) speaks of "the pink of courtesy".
Interesting! This is one of those cases where what is "obvious" isn't necessarily correct. I couldn't find the expression anywhere. All I found was, in a southern speech book, a reference to African-Americans calling whites or light-skinned blacks "pinks."