Last updated at 10:43 GMT, Tuesday, 07 February 2012

Express English: The colour red

Every week we ask you a different question. Hear what people in London say, then join the conversation!

What do you associate with the colour red?

Join the conversation. What do you associate with the colour red? Use the form below to let us know.

The Express English team

This is what some people in London told us:

Red is a colour that reminds them of a broad range of emotions. One man mentioned love and anger.

But on a more practical level, he also thought of the 'stop' signal at traffic lights.

A woman said she was reminded of China and Chinese culture when she saw the colour red.

Did you know?


According to research by John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK, bumblebees visit red and striped flowers more often than white or pink blooms.

Language tip

"To see red" is an idiom you use when you want to describe a feeling of anger.

Cultural tip

In Central Africa, Ndembu warriors rub themselves with a red substance during celebrations. Since their culture sees the colour as a symbol of life and health, sick people are also painted with it.

End of Section

Now tell us what you think

What do you associate with the colour red?

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    • 1. At 5:57pm on 06 Feb 2012, rasel wrote:

      Color red is a symbol of stop, anger as well as love. We Bangladeshi use red color in national flag into green color to remind ourselves that in 1971 we got freedom by lost of millions people lives and blood. We respect our independence day 16 December flying our national flag everywhere demonstration to green achieved by red. Besides red is used to show traffic signal to stop our vehicles as well. Many train accidents are not happened because of showing some guys attention of red somethings like red flag, red clothes. With red signed comment showing something final like cash received in Bank accounts, absent in school and college, stopped something forever. I like red flowers to give anybody when first I meet somebody. In any celebration program like leaving do red flowers make the decoration so much stylist. A red rose is like a child which everybody loves very much. Wearing a red tie with white shirt is very gorgeous dress code for office duty that I used to three days in a week of my office. When I see red in human bodies laid down here and there attacking bombs and shooting fire from military and police then I feel very upset and shock.

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    • 2. At 6:01pm on 06 Feb 2012, Kazimir wrote:

      I correlate the red color with the Chris De Burg’s song “Lady In Red”, a woman in red from the movie Matrix and the shame because a person which was ashamed gets red. But I don’t like this color because I’m a calm person and this sort of color makes me nervous I also imposed a ban on my girlfriend’s red enamel which she applies to her nails :-) (I’m joking. I just asked her to wear a French style of manicure, I respect women)

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    • 3. At 6:23pm on 06 Feb 2012, tiziana wrote:

      Red color is passion for me. I'm wearing a red jumper now. I'll put on my red high-helled shoses tonight.

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    • 4. At 7:32pm on 06 Feb 2012, mariajose wrote:

      The colour red it's a strong colour that you can associate a several things; danger, love, caution.
      I associate it with spring because I live in samll town and when the spring arrive the wheat fields are filled with wonderful poppies. It's my favorite flower.
      As well it's a love colour, now that it's near Valentine's Day all the shop windows are filled red heart, bunch of roses and red boxes with delicious chocolates encouranging us to buy.

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    • 5. At 7:53pm on 06 Feb 2012, Neuza Navarro wrote:

      Red is a beautiful color which in my opinion means "life" and the care that we must have with it. This care represents many things such as: Be aware with what can hurt us; show your love with red roses.

      Our heart and blood are red, that's why everything that involves extremelly attention and caring is represented by red color.

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    • 6. At 10:00pm on 06 Feb 2012, beatriz wrote:

      First of all I associate it with "passion", second with "danger" and then with China and its culture and traditions. Personally, I rarely choose something red.

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    • 7. At 10:48pm on 06 Feb 2012, bomsan wrote:

      Here in South Korea, it indicates political ideology. 'A red' means 'a Communist'.

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    • 8. At 00:44am on 07 Feb 2012, Sioux Costa wrote:

      Red reminds me my childhood. My mother used to buy all sort of red clothes for us. I think she still loves this color.

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    • 9. At 00:50am on 07 Feb 2012, dana wrote:

      Hello everyone
      In Kurdish culture red colour means making sacrifices for our country to be free for ever.. Dana

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    • 10. At 00:56am on 07 Feb 2012, DY Kim wrote:

      When i think of red color, some kinds of things come to my mild. First of all, i associate red color with blood, maybe because of my job associated with healthy care. And then red color makes me alert feeling. when i saw red color on the street or hospital and etc.. i tried to do something more carefully. Most of all about red color, I think red color emblems love. I think the red color of heart makes us these lovely feeling when we see red color.

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    • 11. At 04:24am on 07 Feb 2012, Dalal wrote:

      I have no idea but i gues that red means progress or opportunatity

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    • 12. At 04:26am on 07 Feb 2012, iammum wrote:

      I think about colour is very interesting, and red colour can show the power and fun, this colour is first in the rainbow what is hope to better wearher .. and but in this colour also bantoo, when we are stopped at traffic light what is red. This colour of blood and revolution, but the celebrites are walking on the red carpet when they have got a big prize. At last I think all woman very happy when they have got /can hold in hand/ some red roses, what are can show the big love..

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    • 13. At 06:51am on 07 Feb 2012, Saprina wrote:

      Red color has special meaning in China, red colour represents good luck and happy mood in Chinese spring festival.People put some money into small red envelopes and give the red-bags to kids in the first day of new year. This year I receive 300 yuan from my relatives which make me very excited . I wish red color can bring the good health and happiness to my parents and me in the dragon new year.

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    • 14. At 10:24am on 07 Feb 2012, sabo wrote:

      Red, especially bright red is a colour of passion. When I'm on a red sweater or a red scarf, I feel brighter. Red clothes cheer me up!

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    • 15. At 10:32am on 07 Feb 2012, Nazar Y Khaleel wrote:

      The colour RED represents war, blood, violence as well as it means strength and lively things.

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    • 16. At 11:07am on 07 Feb 2012, penelopekara wrote:

      I' m fond of red colour very much. It's the color of passion to me. Red roses, red shoes, underwear etc., are some of the things I really love.

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    • 17. At 11:48am on 07 Feb 2012, narrosgirl wrote:

      I associate the colour red with my son. It's his favourite colour. Today he wears a red jacket an a red cap (with the McQueen eyes, from Cars).

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    • 18. At 12:54pm on 07 Feb 2012, Ali wrote:

      My mother bought red jacket for me recently. I love it and it's so beautiful.But before that, I didn't believe that red color suit for me.

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    • 19. At 1:09pm on 07 Feb 2012, Vera_Kuzub wrote:

      I associate the colour red with love, passion and anger.
      The colour red associates with the strong emotions or difficulties. It is also pain, blood and cruelty.

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    • 20. At 1:15pm on 07 Feb 2012, Nortickeys wrote:

      People regard red as stop sign or warning sign, etc. Feeling is come from culture, instinct, personal experience and preference. First, we make rule that red must be used to symbolize stop. Our blood is blackish red so we associate red with blood. Third, Chinese think red is symbol of pleasure, happiness, popularity.

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    • 21. At 3:40pm on 07 Feb 2012, kezia82 wrote:

      I associate the colour red with passion, blood and... vampires. I must have seen the Twilight Saga too many times :P

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    • 22. At 4:06pm on 07 Feb 2012, Sara wrote:

      I associate red with love and passion. When I think in red, I immediately think in St. Valentine’s Day which is one of my favorite celebrations of the year.

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    • 23. At 6:00pm on 07 Feb 2012, Ramona wrote:

      Hi there, I am Romanian but work in Italy; to me here the color red means challenge, passion, competition, speak of the beautiful red Ferrari!!!!

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    • 24. At 6:23pm on 07 Feb 2012, W00dpecker wrote:

      I think about my country. 20 years ago it named USSR. We had red flag. Red Army stopped the fascism and won the second world war. But I know many people lifes was destroyed under the red flag in my country. At the same time I proud and other side I grieve.

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    • 25. At 7:10pm on 07 Feb 2012, Jose Daniel Gamez Rodriguez wrote:


      Color red has many uses and meaning. In Venezuelan´ flag red is blood of patriot which was shed in the independence war. Red is love and pasion color. Red is the ungry color when the people is ungry them face is red.Red is danger color in emergency situation red is the maximun alert. Red is stop color. The firefighter use red in their uniform such as danger or alert signal, same are the sirem of police, ambulance, etc., but my prefer meanig is red color of Jesus Christ blood, which was shed for my and your salvation. He showed his love for all humanity when died in the cross and shed his blood.
      Red is female color and blue male color. Red is one chritsmas color. The pasion or love always include red roses.... when a man love a women to express it with a boung of RED roses. Red is candy has many means isn´t

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    • 26. At 7:24pm on 07 Feb 2012, Din Islam wrote:

      When I see red colour it always reminds me about blood. In the mean time my mind becomes busy thinking about the constituents of blood. Since I'm a science student those kind of thinking automatically flies in the sky of my mind. Its a constituent of white light, the light come from the sun. Its wave length is higher that the other six. Out national flag contains only red and green colour as already mentioned by no.1 Rasel. I respect these two colour when I see then in a rectangle containing a circle. To me red colour is a emblem of freedom. Red colour is a symbol of sacrifice. Blood is the sacrifice of martyr. Three million people sacrificed their lives in 1971. We never forget them. They will always be within us. We would never let their sacrifice in vein.

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    • 27. At 7:54pm on 07 Feb 2012, Angela Losa wrote:

      I think, red is a very strong colour. It matches not everyone. I personally prefer quiet colours.
      In Russia red is associated with holidays. It´s a colour of joy and happiness. In old Russian red meant beautiful. That´s why Red Square is called so.

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    • 28. At 8:51pm on 07 Feb 2012, FRANZ wrote:


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    • 29. At 11:07pm on 07 Feb 2012, Maryna wrote:

      In my mind red color is a colour of passion between sweethearts, it is colour of heart. Also red is colour of strength, emotional splash. This colour muses people to bizzare behavior. That's why shy person never wears in red. Red is also colour of rebellion and irritation. In old times people wore in this colour in solemn dates. As for me, red colour at home never gives convenience and calm. It makes people more freaking out, being in alert, wary.

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    • 30. At 11:21pm on 07 Feb 2012, caduet wrote:

      I think colour red depend on something for example red rose is sembolize love and red underwear sembolize the pasion depend what is red.

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    • 31. At 05:47am on 08 Feb 2012, Fatima2012 wrote:

      The red colour reminds me with my teacher . Usually my teachers use the red pen to correct the homework i love this colour because i was a good student and my teacher used this colour to write Execellent.

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    • 32. At 05:50am on 08 Feb 2012, Fatima2012 wrote:

      I love this coloure because it is the favorite coloure of my daughter *-*.

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    • 33. At 06:42am on 08 Feb 2012, alex wrote:

      I associate red color with my favorite football team - CSKA, because it's one of the main colors of this team,(the other is blue) and my girlfriend,because it's her favorite color)

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    • 34. At 07:48am on 08 Feb 2012, Virag75 wrote:

      I love red colour. It is my favourite colour. I wear red clothes several times. I think red is the colour of love and life.

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    • 35. At 1:33pm on 08 Feb 2012, ramateja wrote:

      In our country india red is a symbol of danger and violence. as it also indiactes blood we will get feared when we see it.As it is a colour of love most times boys used to give it to their girl friends. red roses are very much used for proposing our love. i like that colour.

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    • 36. At 8:00pm on 08 Feb 2012, Juan wrote:

      When I see something red, I associate it with something that calls my attention, and depending of the object or situation could be a kind of warning or maybe related with a deep and intense feeling (could be passion, love or angry).

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    • 37. At 8:14pm on 08 Feb 2012, Vinikovic wrote:

      In my country, Brazil, the colour red is one from the colours of the Greatest Football Team in the word: FLAMENGO (Red and black are the colours of FLAMENGO's shirt. In 1981 FLAMENGO scores three times agaisnt Liverpool (The Reds) and won The Football Club World Championship.

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    • 38. At 06:28am on 09 Feb 2012, keti wrote:

      -I don't need the exact numbers right now. Just give me some back-of-the-envelope calculations.
      Red was the most popular colour in Russia. When our ancestors wanted to describe a beautiful girl, they said- красна девица- "Red girl." They called the sun, "Red sun." Thus they underlined its beauty and significance. Red was used in many Russian idioms, and it was used as a positive adjective everywhere. With regards to me, I associate it with fire, the sun, and warmth. It's actually a warm colour; however, I dislike it because I consider it as being too intense and flashy colour. If you don't mind, remember the ladybug. Its back is red and catchy. It warns birds, “Don't touch me, I taste disgusting.” Also, there is the highly poisonous mushroom- amanita. It has an intense red cap, as if he is saying,“ I am harmful.” Red flowers are more often visited by bees than white or pink flowers. They are more noticeable than others. Designers avoid using red in bedrooms fearing that it doesn't allow people to calm down; however, if this ghastly cold lasts several more days, I'll welcome red and will hate the noble white colour.

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    • 39. At 09:09am on 09 Feb 2012, salih wrote:

      It depends on the surface which red attached. For example, I associate red car with being striking appearence, red flag with communism, red bag with girlish, red underwear with passion, red fruit with healthy foods and so on.
      In conclusion, it is related material things, it changes to material to material when it comes to meaning of red or what I associate with the colour of red.

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    • 40. At 4:21pm on 09 Feb 2012, saretta wrote:

      here in Egypt Red color is symbol of stop ,love ,anger and occupation and how many people died for freedom also is symbol of AHLY's fans .
      remind me to love and my lip glass

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    • 41. At 9:16pm on 09 Feb 2012, Artemiya wrote:

      Red colour is used to attrack attentions of the customes, the drivers, the opposite sex and so on. So if you desire to be seen or make something to be noticed definetily use the colour red. In art red colour is considered as a warm colour. It gives you sense of warms of the sun, flame. But too much off this color makes you feel more alert, exited and angry. I love red when it is beside of the black colour.

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    • 42. At 00:51am on 10 Feb 2012, Kelly who wanna Eng fluent wrote:

      I don't like red cause It's too intensive and strong.
      as people mentioned, red is really assosiated to many things such as flag, love, traffic light.
      Also when we study, we find someting important, we use red to underline or write with red to indicate important.
      sometimes Red reminds me of chirstmas.
      Anyway Red is so important in our life, i think there is no colour to substitue for red.

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    • 43. At 02:45am on 10 Feb 2012, Trung88vn wrote:

      In Viet Nam , red is the colour of Dao trees,which all family have in the first day of new year. Therefore, when i see the red, i think about the spring and the lunar new year in my country. It's the time that everybody devolves the best wishes each other, so i love the red!

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    • 44. At 04:41am on 10 Feb 2012, Jannie wrote:

      Whenever I see a lot of red things, I think of "Tet" that is the traditional festival of my country in the lunar new year. We usually use small red container to give little children on that important festival. So the colour red also makes me think of something fun.

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    • 45. At 05:18am on 10 Feb 2012, Mrleky wrote:

      When i see red colour , i feel special think about it. I feel a powerful emotion such as when i see red colour while i driving , it can stimulate me to increase the velocities fast to fast , oh it very excited ! , and when i see the red while i had dinner , i feel hungry. for me red mean a passion.

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    • 46. At 06:37am on 10 Feb 2012, asti wrote:

      if i use red color i'll fell braver and smarter, because red have big passion and can make me fell confidence.

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    • 47. At 11:45am on 10 Feb 2012, The child of love wrote:

      As for me, i like red color so much, i like red clothes,red roses.But i have different associations : blood, love, danger, nature, revolution and festivals

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    • 48. At 1:06pm on 10 Feb 2012, svetlana wrote:

      My first associations are love, passion, life, flowers, heels, nail polish (at the moment my nails are polished by red one), lipstick, dress, wine..... and many others. I can list all day. I don`t know why, but I always think of the good side of things. Probably, I`d never think of anger, rage, prohibitions or danger. In my view it is related to life, because blood is red and gives us life. In previously posted comments someone said that the red color cheer him up. Me too. :)

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    • 49. At 3:40pm on 10 Feb 2012, chadurala wrote:

      I like red color. I feel myself more handsome when I look mirror after ware a red t-shirt. If I have plan to purchase a sofa set for at my home I'm sure I'll select red colored. but some occasion I feel not better to ware a red clothes like attend a bereavement and visit a sick person etc. anyhow red color is a bright color and most of the people like this color.

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    • 50. At 4:55pm on 10 Feb 2012, love you 12 wrote:

      In my country VietNam, red color means lucky and healthy.such as people usually wear red clothes ,red shoes and receive red-envelopes (wish you have luck in year),in occasion:the wedding ,the bride wears the red wedding dress ....And red color show you the character who wears it.He(she) must be brave, enthusiasm or easy anger.And in my opinion ,red color is color of blood ,symbol of war.I wish we will not see WWIII hopefully

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    • 51. At 5:45pm on 10 Feb 2012, Kandan wrote:

      I would say Red color in the dress would be attractive and good looking . Red Color means several meaning for individual. For Police, Red color is alarming in Vehicle,for thief red color is fear ,for doctor red color is part of our body ,for textiles shop waiter red color is dress colors,for student ,red color is pencil,for IT professional ,red color is mute ,for fruit vendors,red color is cherry fruit .There are so many things we can tell .Hence Red color has individual opinion to every one. Finally for me red color is social network sites:)

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    • 52. At 00:54am on 11 Feb 2012, Gustavo wrote:

      I associate colour red remember with a lot of things such as: passion, blood, wine, stop signal and so on. And of course, red and black are the colours from my soccer team here in Pernambuco, Brazil: SPORT CLUB RECIFE.

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    • 53. At 05:49am on 11 Feb 2012, nuenk wrote:

      i really love red colour.. that is my favourite colour.. for me, the meaning of red is heart. it is describe about your heart, and red colour give you a spirit to make imposible things become posible things :) cheer up, girls!

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    • 54. At 3:15pm on 11 Feb 2012, Yanji wrote:

      Red is love, blood, angry, pain, joy...
      It all depends on my mood.

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    • 55. At 4:15pm on 11 Feb 2012, Cherry Chan wrote:

      I think Christmas. Because Christmas have christmas flower. The colour is red.

      Sometimes red give people some remind.

      Teacher use the red pen to correct the answer. Because red is easy to see.

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    • 56. At 02:32am on 12 Feb 2012, magnumfellow wrote:

      Unfortunately, most of people from Eastern Europe (I’m from Poland), colour red can associate a dark symbol of communisms. Nevertheless in my opinion red is beautiful colour, full of good emotions. Love, happiness, felling of security etc. Secondly - but not unimportant :) - meaning is “The Red Devils” (I’m fan MU)

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    • 57. At 04:59am on 12 Feb 2012, Ross wrote:

      I think the color red is the expression of passion, love and pain; for instance, the flag of my country, Peru, is red and white, and express the war and peace.Thus in a lifetime, our life have red and white days, particularly I don't like wear red clothes but I love the red flowers and symbols in the street.

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    • 58. At 12:39pm on 12 Feb 2012, paolobobos wrote:

      Red is the colour of passion and love. It also can be associate with blood, or violence, but I prefer the first meaning. When I was child I often watched Ninja Turtles, so when I think at red colour I image Raphael, my favourite Ninja Turtle.

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    • 59. At 2:51pm on 12 Feb 2012, kk wrote:

      Red for me is good wine!!!

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    • 60. At 6:18pm on 12 Feb 2012, moroccanman wrote:

      Red rose flower is for love and special on Valentine's day also traffic light. exmple like blood.Lots of people like Red wine. REd colour is for danger like road signs . I thing of my country's flag which is mainly RED.

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    • 61. At 8:00pm on 12 Feb 2012, Eric wrote:

      Red reminds me of love in thought of blood. Blood can be shared with emergency patients and it can save someone's life.

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    • 62. At 10:12am on 13 Feb 2012, Madge wrote:

      It reminds me of my wedding dress, i had the red color. In Chinese culture, i think red color is the meaning of lucky, good chance. that is why all Chinese girl or women who has white skin, she love red color so much.

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    • 63. At 1:10pm on 13 Feb 2012, nibosoft wrote:

      I associate the red color with blood, christmas, valentine's day, interdiction...

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    • 64. At 3:58pm on 13 Feb 2012, Kano wrote:

      I think the red is the color of the roses , love and stop ... But i hate the red color because it is the color of the football team i hate the MOST !!

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    • 65. At 06:01am on 14 Feb 2012, kimwoobill wrote:

      Firstly,the red is the main color on the Vietnamese Flag. It symbols for solidarity, wills and national power. Secondly, red is wel-known as the name of one of the most famous river in Viet Nam - the Red river. In addition, Vietnamese all like rose. We always give rose in each special festivals, in ceremonies, in birthday parties or something like that. But sometimes, I see the red myself. I remembered the moment when my classmate suddenly said to her friends that I'm her boyfriend. I couldn't somehow what did she mean and my face turned red. It's really my memory. Anyway, I love the red.

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    • 66. At 12:17pm on 14 Feb 2012, Pakalolo wrote:

      Like any other color, red color has it's meaning. For some people it represents war,blood, passion, or even love. I believe that red color can be good or bad, it just depends on the mood you are in to see or to wear red color. For example if you use red color in fashion and you mix with another color to match colours. Wouldn't that fabric or any other material look nice?
      Also if red color represents blood, it must be good because, that is what is runing throught our veins and it is part of what keep us alive...

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    • 67. At 5:09pm on 14 Feb 2012, Marc wrote:

      If i hear the English expression red, my minds moves to the last stay on my holidays in Dubai. There we went on a dune buggy tour in the dessert which have the name big red. I also have a car with red colour.

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    • 68. At 6:16pm on 14 Feb 2012, tanya259 wrote:

      For me,red color is associated with heart,maybe love...and blood too.When we talk about love there`s always red color on our mind:heart,red rose...

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    • 69. At 02:11am on 16 Feb 2012, Carolina wrote:

      Mmm... what a difficult question! I'm trying to make something come to my mind quickly but nothing appears...

      Well, as yesterday was Valentine's day, the colour red at this time of the year reminds me of heart shapes, and flowers lovers give to their partners... and of the "so called" love, and romantic songs...

      And it also reminds me of this wonderful hotel where rock stars usually stay when they come to Buenos Aires, which is mostly decorated with red all over the place. Absolutely charming to the eye.

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    • 70. At 3:24pm on 16 Feb 2012, basak wrote:

      Red is important for all Turkish people because of our flag and it's epic story.Also Turkish tea is red,not black or green.Red, as a spiritful Turkish citizen's blood.Red, as the flag waving independently.Red, as the wool of colourful Turkish carpets.Red, as the dancing tulips.All in all red is so important to me because of my homeland.

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    • 71. At 3:15pm on 17 Feb 2012, sinyae wrote:

      My country have a bilef
      about someone will die soon if you write someone's name in red..

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    • 72. At 11:35pm on 19 Feb 2012, Mr Micmic wrote:

      i am sorry
      red colour doesn't mean anythig to me
      thank you

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    • 73. At 2:25pm on 21 Feb 2012, leonglee wrote:

      I'm malaysian chinese, red it means good,rich and luck.Specially in CNY we put money inside the 'ang bo' reb envelope to give each other.Red is really important in China.

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    • 74. At 5:13pm on 21 Feb 2012, taha wrote:

      I think the red color express the attraction even in the bullfighting are using a red cloth to attract the attention of bull,
      it is also express the anger because as we know the red color of blood stimulate the anger of the shark.

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    • 75. At 7:23pm on 21 Feb 2012, Sofia wrote:

      Red is a wonderful colour which has so many assosiations. First, love and passion. Heart is painted red in all the pictures and the most popular colour for roses is red too.
      Also, it means danger. When I studied at the university we were not allowed to use red pens while writing lectures. Much later I read an article in which the scientist explained that we are kind of programmed to identify red with danger, so if you see it you mind makes you stop. So using it in lectures won't help you learn the information. Our professor was right!)))
      And finally, in Russia red is assossiated with communism, civil war when "the red" fought with 'the white" and the flag of USSR.
      As for me I like this colour very much because it really suits me!

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    • 76. At 11:21am on 26 Feb 2012, harleen sethi wrote:

      i associate the red colour with marriage.The lovely red bangles which the newly wed brides wear in their hand specially in punjabi culture. It symbolizes attraction.

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    • 77. At 4:30pm on 26 Feb 2012, Adilson Ricardo wrote:

      In my opinnion, the collour red has a couple different meanings, as you see, the most popular meanings is Love, Angry, Hungry, China and Stop Signal. For me, red means Candies (Cherry and Strawsberry candies), Fast-food (like Habbibs and Mc Donnalds). Thats all.

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