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I can kinda see the "white-collar" image, with formal dress shirts, but "blue-collar" is not intuitive to me, and Dictionary.com and Etymonline are not helpful as to the reason for the color choice. Does anyone know the reason for the color blue in "blue-collar"?

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closed as general reference by Alenanno, Daniel, kiamlaluno, waiwai933 Jul 16 '11 at 17:52

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Actually the reference is to this kind of clothing. You can find more here. – Alenanno Jul 16 '11 at 11:28
up vote 2 down vote accepted

"Blue collar" is a reference to the overalls worn by workers in jobs which require working with tools.

The overalls protect their clothing.

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But overalls don't have collars. – Daniel Jul 16 '11 at 15:49
Some overall do. Look at the 'boilersuit' coversalls in the Wikipedia article. – pavium Jul 16 '11 at 21:59

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