hue (n.1)

"color," Old English hiw "color; form, appearance; species, kind; beauty," earlier heow, hiow, from Proto-Germanic *hiwam (source also of Old Norse hy "bird's down," Swedish hy "skin, complexion," Gothic hiwi "form, appearance"), from PIE *kiwo-, suffixed form of root *kei- (2), a color adjective of broad application (source also of Sanskrit chawi "hide, skin, complexion, color, beauty, splendor," Lithuanian šyvas "white").

A common word in Old English, squeezed into obscurity after c. 1600 by color (n.) but revived 1850s in chemistry and chromatography, often in a distinctive sense in reference to the quality of color other than luminosity and chroma.

hue (n.2)

"a shouting," mid-13c., from Old French huee "outcry, noise, tumult; war or hunting cry," probably of imitative origin (compare French hue "gee!" a cry to horses). Hue and cry is late 13c. as an Anglo-French legal term meaning "outcry calling for pursuit of a felon" (the Medieval Latin version is huesium et clamor); extended sense of "cry of alarm" is 1580s.

updated on September 09, 2015