Philip Grant Profile picture
Researcher (politics; finance; Zanj revolt) & translator (Persian, French-English). Feminist. Co-author, Chains of Finance (OUP 2018).
30 May 20
Thread. What is the link between #red & worms? Why is there an insect whose Latin name is '#worm little worm'? Let's start with a Sanskrit term: "krimija", "worm-made". (I know no Sanskrit, so please feel free to offer better translations). This was borrowed into Persian as قرمز.
2... qermez (contemporary Tehran pronunciation: ghermez), meaning 'red'. Above, popular Iranian children's TV character kolah ghermezi, 'red hat'. This appears to have happened in early Islamic times; in Middle Persian 'red' is 'sukhr' (New Persian sorkh). What about the worms?
3. Well, before the advent of synthetic #chemistry in the 2nd half of the 19th century, #dyes & pigments were mostly obtained from plant roots, or in certain cases, animals. The most famous is the 'imperial purple' obtained from the glands of Mediterranean sea snails.
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