One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A pigment obtained from an earth, as an ochre or umber.
2The colour of earth; a brownish shade.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in William Sanderson (1586–1676), historian. From earth + colour. With use as adjective compare earlier earth-coloured.
earth colour/ˈəːθ ˌkʌlə/
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