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Why do some cultures have no word for blue?
Dr. James FoxDr. James FoxHD, subtitles, Q&ATranscript49m
Until relatively recently in human history, there wasn't a word meaning "blue". Of the ancient cultures, only the Egyptians had a word for this colour. What was everyone else seeing?
"In many respects, colour's greatest challenge is - like music - it resists most attempts to describe it. Colour might be one of those subjects that simply can't be written about."

But that's not going to stop Dr. James Fox from trying!

James is an art historian at the University of Cambridge, a curator, an award-winning broadcaster and the author of bestselling book The World According to Colour. He's joining us in The Garden for a deep dive into the most fascinating questions we could think to ask him about colour.

In this Garden Talk, James explores an astounding linguistic anomaly - the distinct absence of a word for the colour blue in many cultures. But is this really just a question of language, or is there something more complex at work? If you don't have a word for blue, do you still recognise the colour? And if not, what colour is the sky?

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HD, subtitles, Q&ATranscript

Top audience questions
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Why is Royalty said to have blue blood?
10 votes
If blue is our favourite colour why is it so associated with the cold and feeling down?
9 votes

Great to watch another talk by James, inspiring and I learnt a lot as always!Lorna

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With our monthly membership we aim to give anyone, anywhere, access to the knowledge, ideas and people who have shaped — and continue to shape — our understanding of the world.

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