In contemporary Chinese, color connotations are used in all walks of life. Websites, food, agriculture, telephone directory, personal income and social groups can all be described with different colors.
The most typical example is the colorful "领子" (lǐnɡ zi, collars). "白领" (bái lǐnɡ) is a white-collar worker, "蓝领" (lán lǐnɡ) is a blue-collar worker, "灰领" (huī lǐnɡ) is a gray-collar worker, "粉领" (fěn lǐnɡ) refers to a pink-collar worker or a female SOHO worker, and "黑领" (hēi lǐnɡ) refers to a "black-collar worker" who works in the government or a state-owned monopoly enterprise in China.
There are also red, green and yellow websites. "红色网站" (hónɡ sè wǎnɡ zhàn) or "red websites" refer to those ideological & political education websites of colleges, public institutions and state-owned enterprises, "绿色网站" (lǜ sè wǎnɡ zhàn) or "green websites" refer to those innocuous, educational and inspiring websites, while "黄色网站" (huánɡ sè wǎnɡ zhàn) or "yellow websites" refer to the pornographic websites.
One's income can also be described by colors. "白色收入" (bái sè shōu rù, white income) refers to the legal and publically visible remunerations, including salary and bonus. "黑色收入" (hēi sè shōu rù, black income) refers to the illegal and concealed gains by embezzlement, theft and bribery. "灰色收入" (huī sè shōu rù, gray income) refers to the incomes except salary, like the part-time job gains, contribution fee, interest income, stock yield and post earnings. These incomes are named "灰色收入", because they exist between "白色收入" and "黑色收入", and one prefers to make them unknown to others.
"绿色食品" (lǜ sè shí pǐn) or "green food" refers to the pollution-free, safe, quality and nutritious food, which is entitled with the green food mark. Due to the increasing awareness of the environmental protection, "绿色" has become the biggest eye-catcher among all colors. There are "绿色工厂" (lǜ sè ɡōnɡ chǎnɡ, green factory), "绿色奥运" (lǜ sè ào yùn, green Olympics), "绿色蔬菜" (lǜ sè shū cài, green vegetable), "绿色家电" (lǜ sè jiā diàn, green household appliance) and "绿色能源" (lǜ sè nénɡ yuán, green energy). Forest resources are called "绿色银行" (lǜ sè yín hánɡ, green bank), and a protection forest is accredited as "绿色长城" (lǜ sè chánɡ chénɡ, green Great Wall).
In addition, the dark-color food, like black sesame, black rice, black fungus, black-bone chicken, seaweed, kelp, nori and trepang, are called "black food". Corresponding to "绿色农业" (lǜ sè nónɡ yè, green agriculture), there is "蓝色农业" (lán sè nónɡ yè, blue agriculture), which refers to marine aquaculture, marine farming and marine fishing. It's named for the blue seawater.
Moreover, as "银发" (yín fà, "sliver hair" literally) refers to the elderly, "银色浪潮" (yín sè lànɡ cháo, "silver wave" literally) is used as a metaphor of the rapid growing aging population. Correspondingly, there is "银色市场" (yín sè shì chǎnɡ, silver market), "银色消费" (yín sè xiāo fèi, elderly-oriented market), "银色住宅" (yín sè zhù zhái, housing services for the elderly) and "银色医疗" (yín sè yī liáo, medical services for the elderly).
As for "黄页" (huánɡ yè, yellow page) and "白页" (bái yè, white page) in a telephone directory, they are named simply by the paper colors. "黄页" refers to the pages of enterprise and residence phone numbers, while "白页" refer to the pages of telephone numbers of the party, government offices and social organizations.
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