The Proto-Indo-European word bhel evolved into many modern words meaning "white," including Spanish blanco, French blanc, Italian bianco, and Portuguese branco, as well as white-related words such as bleach and blank. Bhel also referred to anything bright, like fire, and the result of fire is blackened, charred remains. Hence, black. Symbols and sayings about white and black:
A white flag is the universal symbol for truce.
White means mourning in China and Japan.
Angels are usually depicted wearing white robes.
The ancient Greeks wore white to bed to ensure pleasant dreams.
The Egyptian pharaohs wore white crowns.
The ancient Persians believed all gods wore white.
A “white elephant” is a rare, pale elephant considered sacred to the
people of India, Thailand, Burma, and in Sri Lanka it is either a
possession that costs more than it is worth to keep or an item that
the owner does not want, but cannot get rid of.
It's considered good luck to be married in a white garment.
White heat is a state of intense enthusiasm, anger, devotion, or
To whitewash is to gloss over defects or make something seem
presentable that is not.
A white knight is a rescuer.
A white list contains favored items (as opposed to a blacklist).
A whiteout occurs when there is zero visibility during a blizzard.
A white sale is a sale of sheets, towels, and other bed and bath
A whited sepulcher is a person who is evil inside, but appears good
on the outside.
White lightning is slang for moonshine, a home brewed alcohol.
A white room is a clean room as well as a temperature-controlled,
dust-free room for precision instruments.
White water is the foamy, frothy water in rapids and waterfalls.
The ancient Egyptians and Romans used black for mourning, as do most
Europeans and Americans today.
The Blackshirts were the security troops in Hitler's German army,
also known as the S.S.
Black humor is morbid or unhealthy and gloomy humor.
A blackhearted person is evil.
If a business is “in the black,” it is making money.
A “blacklist” is a list of persons or organizations to be boycotted
Black is associated with sophistication and elegance. A “black tie”
event is formal.
A black belt in karate identifies an expert.
A black flag in a car race is the signal for a driver to go to the
A blackguard is a scoundrel.
The ancient Egyptians believed that black cats had divine powers.
Black lung is a coal miner's disease caused by the frequent inhaling
of coal dust.
Blackmail is getting things by threat.
Black market is illegal trade in goods or money.
A black sheep is an outcast.
A blackout is a period of darkness from the loss of electricity, for
protection against nighttime air raids, or, in the theater, to
separate scenes in a play.
When you “black out,” you temporarily lose consciousness.