Today's post is just another of many random things I don't know. The hair color we call red is not truly red; most shades we call red are actually orange, of one kind or another.
But ginger? Where does that come from? Ginger roots are a light brown, like so:
And ginger flowers could be any of a number of colors:
The British have an ugly and well-documented prejudice against red-haired people, which I assume dates back to the days of the Viking raids. The Celts were small and dark, and red-haired children were probably the bastard offspring of Viking rapists and invaders (hence "red-headed stepchild"). But that still doesn't explain the origin of "ginger," because I'm fairly confident ginger doesn't grow in Scandinavia.
Plus, according to Holbein, Henry VIII was red-haired:
And Prince Harry has red hair now. If he ever becomes king, I hope and expect to see much more discussion about "gingerism" and the origin of the term. Anyone have any guesses?