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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.

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

1 Answer 1

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.

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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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