Many colors take their names from plants and animals. Though nowadays we associate the word pink with the light-red color, the original meaning of this particular pink refers instead to a flower of the genus Dianthus. Those pinks have a range of colors, however, from white to deep red and everything in between. It took about 100 years for the name of the flower to be applied to the name of the colors found in the flowers.
Etymologists aren’t sure where the flower pink comes from. Some sources suggest it’s taken from an earlier verb pink that means “to wink,” as some pinks do look like the irises of eyes. Other sources suggest that it’s taken from a different verb pink that means “to perforate in an ornamental pattern,” and which refers to the jagged edges of most pinks.
But pink hasn’t always been pink. There is an earlier color that was called pink: it was a greenish yellow.