A few weeks ago I learned a new color name from the
discussion among my Stars in a Time Warp starmakers.
Mule Hill said Indigo and Haint were her favorite blues.
Terry asked: Is that Haint a pale sky blue? Like the colors under porch roofs in Key West?
MH: I prefer the Carolina medium haint but yes, porch roofs, doors and window trim. Keeps evil out. I sew with it a lot. Happy Color.
T: I agree! And I actually made my husband paint the ceiling of the porch on the front of our house that blue---it keeps the mud daubers from making nests!!
Haint, I assume, is a Southern word for a haunt or a ghost.
Well, now I know what haint blue is. In Kansas we call it "You know the color on the front porch ceiling." Haint blue might be easier to say.
I'm not from Kansas but when I went to college here fifty years ago I had good guides to the popular culture. They were mostly from Southern Kansas but their knowledge of the proper colors to paint a house held true in the abolitionist town of Lawrence.
The siding was white. The window screens and screen doors
had two options, shiny black or screen door green, a hunter green.
The green was dark with a little bit of blue in it.
We also called it John Deere green.
The porch floors were gray
And the porch ceiling was "porch-ceiling blue."
I liked the color, the tradition and the promise of no flies. I painted the porch ceilings blue.
If you look around the internet for exactly what color "haint blue" is you will find a wide variety of opinions...
from turquoise to blue gray.
In Kansas it's a true blue---maybe like the swatch with the x in this snapshot from the Huffington Post. But it's clearer, not so gray.
I've been using it a lot lately and like Mule Hill says,
it goes well with indigo
I also did a Google Book Search for "haint blue"and the earliest I could find the term in print was 1998. So it's a Southern folk term that only recently has been written down.
Now everybody is using it.
And you've got to admit it's a better description than "under the porch ceiling blue."
Does it confuse mud daubers and flies? Read this: