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Why are tan skinned people called olive skinned when olives are green or black?

14 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    holy $#!T, spamming on Answers. Thats pretty lame.

    That was a really great question, by the way, and the inherent lack of logic there has always made me chuckle.

    To try and pull an answer from out of my butt, i think olive complexion is a double-faceted term.

    Part one is that people that are naturally darker than their fair-skinned counterparts actually DO have more "green" tint in their skin, but this is only noticeable when they are NOT tanned (ie in the wintertime). I myself am olive skinned, and while most of the year I'm tan, after 3-4 months indoors in the winter, my skin pales but takes more of a greenish-brown (olive) color, as opposed to others who turn either pinkish, bluish, or a milky white.

    Part two is that Mediterranean people - Greeks, Spaniards, Italians, etc - not only tend to have this kind of complexion, but they populate the region traditionally responsible for cultivating olives. Go figure!

    'S'all I got!

  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I have olive toned skin, but it's not tan. Olive skin tones have either a slight yellowish or greenish hue to them, especially seen in light skinned Sicilians (like me) or Asians. This isn't a noticeable feature until placed against caucasion skin and you see the difference. But when I do tan, it is darker but still with the yellow undertones instead of the typical pinkish tones of a caucasion.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is because the people from the Mediteranean region are slightly dark skinned and this is the area they grow olives in. Olive skinned usually means someone with slightly dark skin who's ancestors were Italian or Sicilian or Greek.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because there are olives that are dark tan, like the skin color they are talking about. There are also olives that are reddish color and some that are grey.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Actually...not all tan skinned people are referred to as olive. My mother had an olive complexion because her undertone was greenish. You mostly noticed it when she was not wearing makeup and while in natural sunlight.

  • It is a metaphor like white for pinkish people and black for brown or multiracial people! Colors are subjective.

    Like is gray black and white combined or just gray!

    And tomatoes are fruit and not vegetable. many American words have duel meanings, example dough and door. They sound the same.

  • Wicked
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    if you look there skin has a olive cast to the color. mine has a pale cast. so all people have skin that contains other colors. some depends on your hair color or heritage

  • 1 decade ago

    Why do they say the earth is round when it is really oval? Why do they call American Indians Red Skins when they are brown? Why do fools fall in love?

    Denny Crane!!!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I guess when it's used as adjective to describe people complexion, it means yellowish brown -- like virgin olive oil color.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Its just a nicer way of saying " Black or Mexican..." You shouldnt ever call some one that though... Even if they are black or mexican... they will think your raciest... how ever you spell it...

    Source(s): My screen name is chunkers95@yahoo.com
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