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Do You Call Colored Pencils “Pencil Colors”? You Might Be From Louisiana or Mississippi

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Paige grew up in Louisiana, where she used the term pencil colors for colored pencils. Her name for these drawing instruments is likely a calque from French crayon de couleur, literally “pencil of color.” In many small towns across the United States, school districts traditionally publish in the newspaper lists of supplies that students needed to purchase for the coming year. Newspapers in Louisiana and parts of Mississippi from the 1960s well into the 2000s often included the term pencil colors in those student supply lists, which lets us know in what regions the expression is used. This is part of a complete episode.

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