Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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"?

share|improve this question
Actually the reference is to this kind of clothing. You can find more here. –  Alenanno Jul 16 '11 at 11:28
add comment

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.

1 Answer

up vote 1 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.

share|improve this answer
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
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.