Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to white

egg-white (n.)

"the clear liquid contained within an egg," 1881, from egg (n.) + white (n.). Also known as albumen or glair.

Advertisement
off-white (n.)

"white with a tinge of gray or yellow;" as an adjective, "almost the same as white," 1927, from off (prep.) + white (n.).

edelweiss (n.)

1862, from German Edelweiß, literally "noble white," from Old High German edili "noble" (see atheling) + German weiss "white" (see white).

lily-white (adj.)

early 14c., from lily + white (adj.); from 1903 with reference to whites-only segregation; 1961 as "irreproachable."

snow-white (adj.)

Old English snawhwit (glossing Latin niveus), from snow (n.) + white (adj.). Similar formation in Dutch sneeuwwit, Middle Low German snewhit, German schneeweiss, Old Norse snæhvitr, Swedish snöhvit, Danish snehvid. The fairy tale is so-called from 1885, translating German Schneewittchen in Grimm; the German name was used in English by 1858.

wheat (n.)

Old English hwæte "wheat," from Proto-Germanic *hwaitjaz (source also of Old Saxon hweti, Old Norse hveiti, Norwegian kveite, Old Frisian hwete, Middle Dutch, Dutch weit, Old High German weizzi, German Weizen, Gothic hvaiteis "wheat"), literally "that which is white" (in reference to the grain or the meal), from PIE *kwoid-yo-, suffixed variant form of root *kweid-, *kweit- "to shine" (see white; and compare Welsh gwenith "wheat," related to gwenn "white"). The Old World grain was introduced into New Spain in 1528. Wheaties, the cereal brand name, was patented 1925.

wheatear (n.)

type of bird, 1590s, back-formation from white-ears, literally "white-arse" (see white + arse). So called for its color markings; compare French name for the bird, cul-blanc, literally "white rump."

white bread (n.)

c. 1300, as opposed to darker whole-grain type, from white (adj.) + bread (n.). Its popularity among middle-class America led to the slang adjectival sense of "conventional, bourgeois" (c. 1980). Old English had hwitehlaf.

white meat (n.)

"meat of poultry, pigs, etc.," as opposed to red meat, 1752, from white (adj.) + meat (n.). Earlier it meant "foods prepared from milk" (early 15c.). African-American vernacular sense of "white women as sex partners" is from 1920s.

white noise (n.)

"sound made up of a random mixture of frequencies and intensities," by 1970, from white (adj.) + noise (n.).