Sunday, January 13, 2019


Bob from Traverse City asked about the pinking in pinking shears. Pinking shears are scissors with a serrated cutting edge. A zigzag edge on fabric is less likely to fray than a straight cut. The Oxford English Dictionary declares the origin unknown, but it hedges its bet by suggesting that the verb pink may represent the sound made by punching decorative holes or cutting slits in fabric to display a contrasting lining or undergarment.

Another word derived from pink is pinkie, the little finger. It seems to have drifted into Scots from a Dutch word meaning tiny.

Then there’s “in the pink,” meaning in great good health. The word shows up in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (“I am the pink of curtesie"), but at that time it meant the epitome of something, the very height.

Finally, there are pink collar crimes – embezzlement by women who are bookkeepers or accountants for small businesses. This is in contrast to white collar crimes, usually committed by men.

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find some podcasts there under TheRon Jolly Show.


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