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Translation Tuesday: Haint Blue

September 17, 2013

As I’ve mentioned, I work with lots of exchange students as a part of my job. I love it when I take the exchange students to Charleston for weekend trips each year because I get to explain so many of the cool little quirks of the South. One of those unique features is the subject of today’s Translation Tuesday: haint blue.

Haint blue is a shade of blue that is very popular in the South, especially in Charleston, SC. It is light blue with a touch of green mixed in and you will often see it painted on the ceiling of a porch, or on a trim around an outdoor window or door. Historically, it traces its roots back to the Gullah culture that is found in the low country. Legend says that ghosts and evil spirits can’t cross water, haint blue is similar to the shade of ocean water. So many people painted the porch ceilings and such this shade of blue to keep evil spirits and such out of their homes. You can wander all through Charleston and see this on porch after porch throughout the city.

I’m trying to convince my Dad that he needs to paint the ceiling of his back porch haint blue as a part of his deck and yard renovation project. We live in the South, its fitting! Have you seen haint blue on a house before?


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