Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
All about Woad (woad.org.uk)
55 points by brudgers 57 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 13 comments

Also some linguistic interest:

"Waddy" is one of the words for cowboy, especially a cowboy who drifted from ranch to ranch and helped out in busy times. Jo Mora and Ramon Adams both suggest that the word derived from wad, something used to fill in, but this notion isn't widely accepted. Neither is the suggestion that it comes from chewing tobacco. To add to the mystery, waddy first meant "rustler", then "cowboy". Also spelled waddie.

    Woad (also wad), is a plant grown, mostly in England to make a blue dye consisting primarily of indigotin. It was supplanted by indigo, then later by synthetic dyes. People who worked the woad plantations in the Fens of Holland, Lincolnshire, and Cambridgeshire still call it wad, just as it was pronounced 1000 years ago. People who worked in the woad fields were called waddies, or less frequently woadmen. (From Woad in the Fens by Norman T. Wills) It likely crossed the atlantic with migrant agricultural workers (cowboys).

Fun fact - the blue in woad is indigo, and indigo was once banned in parts of Europe to protect the local Woad industry once it became clear indigo is just a better source of the dye. Little bit of fun old timey trade war/protectionism stuff.

Another fun fact: one can reasonably guess a high order bit for the age of a country by the colours used in its flag. Before chemical dyes, blue and red were the only lightfast possibilities.

(hence the "orange" in https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/20/Fl... )

Ooh, I never tied that to flag colors, thats super cool. Indigos and I assume anthraquinone dyes for the reds. Though I think with some "younger" countries like India that have oranges on their flag, saffron/mangowood yellow and other orange colors have enough cultural significance that it doesnt seem out of the question for an empire in the region with the resources for war elephants to decide to use a saffron flag that they keep re-dying as needed

Now I know what the word 'woad' means in "Woad Raider" in Age of Empires [1]

[1] https://ageofempires.fandom.com/wiki/Woad_Raider

Is there some reason I am missing that this is on the front page?

What to Submit On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.

Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon. Videos of pratfalls or disasters, or cute animal pictures. If they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic.

The website here, at least in its mobile incarnation, is all but content-free.

You're missing something then, because the sidebar contains links to detailed instructions on growing woad plants, extracting woad dye, dyeing with woad, the chemistry of woad, the history of woad, pictures of woad-dyed materials...

It's one of the old-school breed of "labor of love" informative websites that HN often waxes poetic about. And it's very interesting!

Try setting "desktop view" in your browser if possible on mobile devices, as the mobile website is spectacularly uninformative.

Desktop isn't much better.

Typically because it was upvoted enough.

A fascinating study in regular webpages that are so nondescript they look like they must be fake...

No doubt, this page looks earnest and honest—but it also looks like a domain squat, or spam.

(Responding here to the mobile page)

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact