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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Hair colours...orange or red??    

Hair colours...orange or red??


Hair colours...orange or red??
IS "orange hair" different from "red hair"?
For example this girl...her hair is orange, but is there a specific word or we can say just "orange hair"?

And what about this one? Is it just "red hair"?

We don ´t say "yellow hair", we say "blonde hair" (or fair hair??) so I want to know if there is a specific word for "orange hair" or "red hair" and if both are the same...

thanks in advance!!

27 Sep 2009      


As far as I know there is not orange hair but ´ ´ginger hair ´ ´ which is light brownish orange colour and I think red hair is different from ginger hair.

27 Sep 2009     


Auburn hair can also be used when it is orange

27 Sep 2009     


We use auburn hair. His/her hair is auburn.

27 Sep 2009     

New Zealand

Strawberry blonde is a nice way to describe light orangey (light ginger ) hair.
He is a red head or has red hair is a general term for red hair covering the whole spectrum of reds...
Auburn hair usually describes hair that is darker but again has a wide spectrum.

Generally calling someone ginger is a negative term... and many kids with naturally red hair often get called many names around the "ginger" term.
I would never say someone has orange hair. (Even if it was bright (natural) orange).
I would maybe say it if they had dyed it orange. But that would be rare.

27 Sep 2009     


Cheezels has confused me cos I ´d never regarded ginger as a negative term. To me calling a boy strawberry blond or red head sounds more negative. Famous English footballer Alan Ball was always referred to as having ginger hair during his playing career and nobody found that negative. Gosh I must be getting really old. Nowadays everything seems to be negative. Still I used to have a ginger cat and I loved calling him ´ ´ginger ´ ´.

27 Sep 2009     


I ´ve got to agree with Cheezels. Ginger has a small amount of negativity to it.
Really negative nowadays is to call a person an "oranga" which is short for orangutan. (but kids do come up with this sort of thing, don ´t they?)
"Auburn" is definitely the colour of the glamorous "redhead". It ´s strange but in NZ guys with red hair are often called "Blue". Go figure! Well that happened in my generation ( which is ancient.)
I ´m glad you have defined strawberry blonde for me as I have always wondered......It was my haircolour before it turned grey...... (result of too many students!!!! Ha! Ha!)
I have had students with "orange" hair but they have been Japanese guys who have tried to dye their hair blonde...quite unsuccessfully, I might add.
I also had a ginger cat named  "Gina" and another one called Peppy. I seem to love ginger kittens.

27 Sep 2009     

New Zealand


In the UK there was a show called the Catherine Tate Show and she did a lot of sketches on "ginger".... The link will take you to a selection of them. In the UK anyway in the schools I worked in many kids with "red" hair were picked on and made fun of.
Sad but true. Kids can be really nasty sometimes.

Calling a cat ginger is common (I had one too!!!) but often ginger goes with "minger" (really derogatory) for many young people!

It really is one of those things that SHOULD NOT be made fun of, but many kids will always pick on someone who looks different! Quite ridiculous really when so many people with NATURAL red hair are absolutely gorgeous! (My opinion!)


27 Sep 2009     


Ginger Rogers, ginger beer, ginger cats and of course ginger hair. Does any one of these sound negative?

27 Sep 2009     

New Zealand

OK in some ENGLISH speaking countries like the UK (where I lived and worked for many years) an in NZ many kids would HATE  being called ginger and it is often used in nasty terms to insult someone with red hair.

Your examples are fine... I wonder if Ginger Rogers was picked on as a kid for being pale with freckles and red hair BEFORE she became a famous star???

You don ´t have to believe me... I am only stating what I have lived, seen heard.

27 Sep 2009     

South Africa

Maker, I think it depends where you come from. In native English countries, calling a boy or girl ´Ginger ´ can be taken negatively. Some people just don ´t like nicknames which refer to their appearance and, let ´s face it, a cat is definitely not a person, particularly a child at school.

Auburn to me, is a dark red. Webster ´s Random House dictionary has it as "a reddish-brown or golden-brown color." We ´d never, ever call someone ´s red hair ´orange ´ unless it was in a mocking way due to their latest dye attempt. Strawberry blonde is used more for girls. I think because boys and strawberries aren ´t usually connected :) Red or redhead is used to describe the whole range from strawberry blonde through to dark auburn.

27 Sep 2009     

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