Things You Never Knew About Black: Expressions

Black Friday originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy, disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur the day after Thanksgiving. The term was first used before 1961 and began being used outside of Philadelphia around 1975. Later it was said that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss from January through November, and “Black Friday” indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or “in the black”.  Black Friday shopping is known for attracting aggressive crowds, with annual reports of assaults, shootings, and throngs of people trampling on other shoppers in an attempt to get the best deal on a product before supplies run out.

If you're getting out there today, please be careful and be kind!

Black Friday also refers to a particularly disastrous day for financial markets. The first black Friday, September 24 1869, was caused by the efforts of two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk, to corner the gold market on the New York Gold Exchange.

"In the black" means profitable. Accountants originally used black ink in ledgers to indicate profit, and red ink to indicate loss.

A blacklist is a list of undesirable person or entities--to be placed on the list is to be blacklisted. 

Black comedy is a form of comedy dealing with morbid and serious topics.

A black mark against a person relates to something bad they have done.

A black mood is a bad one. Winston Churchill's clinical depression, which he called "my black dog".

Black Market is used to denote the trade of illegal goods, or alternatively the illegal trade of otherwise legal items at considerably higher prices, such as to evade rationing.

Black propaganda is the use of known falsehoods, partial truths, or masquerades in propaganda to confuse the opponent.

Blackmail is the act of threatening someone to do something that would hurt them in some way, such as by revealing sensitive information about them, in order to force the threatened party to fulfill certain demands. 

If the black eight-ball, in billiards, is sunk before all others are out of play the player loses.

The black sheep of the family is a ne'er-do-well

To blackball someone is to block their entry into a club or some such institution. In the traditional English gentlemen's club, members vote on the admission of a candidate by secretly placing a white or black ball in a hat. If upon the completion of voting, there was even one black ball among the white, the candidate would be denied membership, and he would never know who had "blackballed" him.

"The black" is a wildfire suppression term referring to a burned area on a wildfire capable of acting as a safety zone.

Black belt is the highest awarded belt in the martial arts.

Black Friday Crow Giveaway
I'm giving away one of my black (Friday) crow prints. This is a reproduction print of an original pen-and-ink drawing. The image area for framing is 5 1/4" x 5 5/16" and is printed on an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of acid free, warm off-white paper. This is also the crow that is being used as set decoration on Charlie Sheen's TV show, Anger Management.

To Enter: Simply email me your name to: Please put Black Friday Crow in the subject line. I must receive your email by midnight this Friday, November 29th to be eligible. You must be 18 in order to enter.

Notification: The winner will be picked at random and will receive an email Monday morning and I will post the winner on my blog and social media sites.


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