Origin of cochineal
Examples from the Web for cochineal
The ammoniacal solution of the colouring matter of cochineal yields three well-marked absorption bands.Cooley's Practical Receipts, Volume II|Arnold Cooley
And, lastly, scarlet is the powder of the cochineal precipitated by a salt of tin.The Insect World|Louis Figuier
An ammoniacal solution of cochineal is used for making many violet and mallow colours.
In the cochineal case, it was obvious to the court and to the spectators.Discourse of the Life and Character of the Hon. Littleton Waller Tazewell|Hugh Blair Grigsby
A pound of cochineal gives in this way an ounce and a half of carmine.
British Dictionary definitions for cochineal
- the colour of this dye
- (as adjective)cochineal shoes
Word Origin for cochineal
Word Origin and History for cochineal
1580s, from French cochenille (16c.), probably from Spanish cochinilla, from a diminutive of Latin coccinus (adj.) "scarlet-colored," from coccum "berry (actually an insect) yielding scarlet dye" (see kermes). But some sources identify the Spanish source word as cochinilla "wood louse" (a diminutive form related to French cochon "pig").
The insect (Coccus Cacti) lives on the prickly pear cactus in Mexico and Central America and is a relative of the kermes and has similar, but more intense, dying qualities. Aztecs and other Mexican Indians used it as a dyestuff. It first is mentioned in Europe in 1523 in Spanish correspondence to Hernán Cortés in Mexico. Specimens were brought to Spain in the 1520s, and cloth merchants in Antwerp were buying cochineal in insect and powdered form in Spain by the 1540s. It soon superseded the use of kermes as a tinetorial substance. Other species of coccus are useless for dye and considered mere pests, such as the common mealy bug.