Why are redheads called gingers

‘Redhairs’ is a self explanatory term. Simply put, it represents all those with red or similarly colored hair. And there is no dearth of people belonging to this elite community. Estimates suggest that there is at least one redhead among hundred people. Another slang has stuck with these people from many years – ‘gingers.’

Though not necessarily having satirical or belittling undertones, the term does take a dig at the alleged hot tempers of red-haired people. Mythology has it that long ago, people with hair orange or bright red in color grew up to be particularly short tempered individuals who would readily initiate a brawl. Red, burgundy and copperish color tones have always been synonymous with the feeling of anger and excitement. Most probably, the first impression in the mind of the observer upon seeing a person with a well endowed red growth on the top of his head is that of the ‘specimen’ being an exponent of the inseparable characteristics of red color — anger and wrath. This has been the case from centuries back, and the reputation, though entirely illogical and highly unscientific, has cemented itself. Throwing in some science spice inside the pan, the froth of truth comes out. The red of the hair is caused by the presence of excess pheomelanin, the pigment that lends a reddish brown color to hair. This, complemented by the absence of the black coloring agent called eumelanin, results in the rather peculiar shade of the hair of redhairs. However, better sense has started prevailing and red hair is quite in fashion in today’s age.

No more is being a ‘red-hair’ a source of embarrassment. On the contrary, the deliberate attempts of some well renowned Hollywood divas to ‘paint themselves red’ (i.e., get their hair colored red) have catapulted the social and cultural status of redhairs all across the globe. Red hair is bound to attract attention, and this drives youngsters into hitting the saloon and trying the various shades of red on their hair. Thus, the legend of the redhairs being gingery, or spicy in their attitudes, is as good as dead and buried.