What does the color green mean?

The color green is related to nature, but it also has multiple meanings in society. We teach you characteristics and curiosities.

Last update: December 13, 2021

Green is a color that people associate with nature. Indeed, plants, fungi, insects, animals and even some lakes, rivers and seas have some kind of greenish hue.. It is a secondary color that is formed from the union of the spectrum between yellow and blue. In the next few lines you will learn everything about the meaning of the color green.

This color corresponds to the wavelength frequency that ranges between 495 and 570 nanometers. In the English language (green) has been used since the 8th century, while in Spanish there are reports of its use from the 10th century. In Latin the term was used viridis to name the color, but also to refer to something vigorous or young. Learn more about the meaning of the color green.

Green color characteristics

Despite not being a primary color, green is widely diffused in nature. For this reason, it is often associated with the world of ecology.

The green color corresponds to the fourth color of the Newtonian spectrum of visible light. It is the fourth color that we can appreciate of the rainbow. The high frequencies of the spectrum are interpreted as cyan, and the lower frequencies are interpreted as yellow (think lime green, for example).

Both historically and linguistically the color green has been confused or associated with the color yellow and blue. Indeed, in languages ​​such as Vietnamese, Old Japanese or Old Chinese, a word for green and blue is used interchangeably. We leave you with some curiosities that complement the meaning of the color green:

  • There is a condition called deuteranomaly in which those who suffer from it are unable to perceive the color green (it is a type of color blindness).
  • It is estimated that only 2% of the population has green eyes.
  • Green is a color associated with environmental movements around the world. Also to the vegan or vegetarian movement.
  • Plants have this color tone due to the presence of chlorophyll.
  • In general, the color green is associated with positive contexts for society. Think of the green stoplight, the green flags on the beach, and your benchmark on Western stocks (a sign that a stock has risen).
  • Politicians use the term green party (s) to refer to groups with an ecological conscience in their program or philosophy.
  • Green is a common color in most Arab and African countries.
  • It has a striking presence in international brands such as Starbucks, Lacoste, Movistar, Android, Heineken and others.
  • It is a color that relates to wealth, value, or abundance (the US dollar and the four-leaf clover are an example).
  • Casino game tables have been green in color since the 16th century.
  • In nature, the green color is a sign of fruits that are not yet ripe. This has been transmuted to society to refer to inexperience or youth.
  • We find this color in minerals such as emerald or jade.
  • Green tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Its origin is found in China and surrounding nations.
  • The seats in the House of Commons are green (as opposed to red in the House of Lords). This is because by then green was associated with a lower category.

Green is a color that is associated with paganism. It is also related to war, a certain status or level (in disciplines such as karate, judo and others) and abortion (in various parts of the world it is used as a symbol of the movement). The association is completely different when we think about the meaning of the color green in psychology.

The meaning of the color green in psychology

There are no minor indications that color can affect mood or behavior. For example, some experts suggest that green color facilitates reading fluency; at the end that others like red cause the opposite.

A study published in 2012 in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that people who are exposed to the color green before doing an activity have a higher creative performance. On the other hand, the American Psychological Association relates it to physical and mental restoration. Let’s see the meaning of the color green from this prism:

  • Green can convey a sense of calm and tranquility (the opposite is true for colors such as red or orange).
  • It is usually used in open spaces to include nature in a symbolic way in the city.
  • People associate the color green with healthy food. A study corroborated this by using green and red chocolate bars with the same caloric ratio.
  • The color green often motivates or encourages people. Its use is not uncommon in gyms or in places where motivational talks are offered.
  • Some popular expressions associate color with envy. Think of the expression be green with envy.
  • It is also used to refer to indecent sexual situations. For example, green joke or dirty old man (in Spanish).

This selection of examples confirms that it is a color that does not go unnoticed when conditioning our thoughts, actions and moods. Like many others, its importance is greater than that which is regularly attached to it.

The meaning of the color green in different cultures

Green is associated with healthy in almost all cultures. Therefore, there are many diets that prioritize foods of this color.

Although we have already made reference to the cultural aspect of the color green, we end this post by centralizing its significance in cultures around the world in one place. The latter serves to affirm the various interpretations that have been made of color:

  • The color green was not used in pictorial prints, but was used as a dye for clothing.
  • In Ancient Egypt, Osiris was sometimes depicted with his green skin. This was also used as makeup by the Egyptians.
  • Green and blue were considered the same color by the Greeks.
  • The Romans frequently used various shades of green to decorate paintings, mosaics, and more.
  • Green is the representative color of Islam.
  • In the Middle Ages, green was associated with sexuality or love (perhaps as a symbol of man’s nature).
  • Color played a leading role in the Renaissance. The outfit of the Mona Lisa of Da Vinci and that of the wife in The Arnolfini portrait van Eyck’s are green.
  • During the Victorian era he was related to homosexuality.
  • It is the traditional color of Irish culture.

We are sure that today you have discovered information that you did not know about the meaning of the color green. Despite not being a primary color, its significance has not been less, since we can even consider it a leading role in some historical contexts.

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