Portrait in grey taupe with rapidly-growing guineafowl:

We were talking about our favourite colours. I said mine was rose taupe. Nobody had heard of it. I tried to clarify by saying it is the colour of Zwiebel. That didn’t help at all …

Katie, the youngest of the stylists at work, says she doesn’t know what I am talking about half the time. The other day I mentioned that it was extremely windy and I was worried that my dress would be blown up and my petticoat – which is transparent – would be exposed. At the word ‘petticoat’, Kate collapsed with laughter; she’d never heard the word before. The lass is only 20 years old, so, when I said I have not been married as many times as Zsa Zsa Gabor, I may as well have been speaking Hungarian.

From Wikipedia, references to taupe in popular culture:


In Little Black Book, Brittany Murphy says that when Diane Sawyer wears taupe, it is elegant.

In Ocean’s Eleven, on viewing a camera feed of a back hallway of the casino, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) asks: ‘Why do they always paint hallways that color?’. Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) replies: ‘They say taupe is very soothing.’

In Factory Girl, Diana Vreeland (played by Illeana Douglas) agrees to buy one of Andy Warhol‘s art pieces with a shade of taupe.

In the movie There’s Something About Mary, Ted Stroehmann indicates that the colors of his tuxedo are “tan and taupe”.

In Maid in Manhattan, it is referenced in the line, “You look like someone who knows the difference between taupe and caramel.” —Caroline Lane (Natasha Richardson) to Marisa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez)


An episode from the second season of Mad About You, Instant Karma, revolves around the bad luck Helen attracts after accidentally obtaining a taupe blouse without paying.

In one episode of The Simpsons, “Bart vs. Lisa vs. the Third Grade“, a child on a bus shouts, “Punchbuggy taupe!”

In the November 7, 2007 episode of CBS‘s Criminal Minds, the color taupe is referred to as a “negative color” when picked as a color by a person.

In the fifth episode of season two of Dilbert the artist Rusty represents the color taupe as orange in an art class.

Impressionist Rory Bremner has in the past referred to a fictional board that monitors Gordon Brown called ‘OFBROWN’ or ‘Taupe’.

In The O.C. episode “The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t“, Seth refers to Summer and Marissa as being taupe on his Chrismukkah color chart due to their lack of holiday spirit.


1/3 cup port or sherry
2 tablespoons gelatine
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2c diced red onion or shallot
1.5 cups duck liver cleaned and chopped
1.5 cups butter chilled and cut into small pieces

Soak the gelatine in the wine.
Saute the garlic, livers and onions in the butter with the nutmeg until medium rare.
Add the mustard and. remove from heat.
Puree with a stick-blender until smooth and season with salt and pepper.


83 thoughts on “TAUPE TALK AND ZWIEBEL

  1. Once when I had my in-laws staying my father-in-law came into my room and asked me if I could lend his wife ‘a slip’. I said, ‘a what?’ I had no idea what that was. But I do know what a petticoat is. And my friend told me her mother wears ‘step-ins’. I had no clue. She said you put them on and they’re really tight and they hold in your stomach and butt and shape your thighs. Why would you bother in this hot climate. But apparently, there’s a market for them. I may not know much about slips and step-ins but I could pick the rose taupe colour off a colour chart in a flash! And it suits you!

    • step ins were big in the sixties. I was too young for that trend but my mother wore them all her life. Nowadays she would probably have been called fat, but back then she looked like she had a marvellous curvy figure because everything was so contained. Actually, step ins seem to have made a revival, only now they’re called Spanx.

      I wore witches britches when I was a child. does anyone else remember them or were they only popular in NZ?

  2. ooo. your recipe looks intriguing.. and your guinea is growing, mine have been shrieking all day it must be getting close to THAT season. I wear my petticoats on the outside, though when you look at the word PETTI-COAT. It is kind of unusual! c

  3. Your zwiebel is the exact shade of my condo walls. The colour was already there (it goes lovely with the cream woodwork). When I wish to describe, I oft say it is taupe with an undertone of rose. Dig the hair…once again ~

  4. I’m going to test these words out on my teens right now. Yes, they probably think a petticoat is something the Victorians wore and would never dream of wearing one. My money’s on them knowing taupe though. I’ll let you know!

  5. It is quite a challenge talking to some of the youths today…of course I often have to check one of those online ubran dictionaries to translate some of the conversations. 🙂

  6. Hungarian is a wonderful language and you should speak it to Kate-the-Young-Stylist more frequently than you do. We all should.

  7. Rose taupe is a great colour (and it really suits you!). Our family room is almost that shade with cream woodwork and some dark wood counter tops thrown in.

  8. Zwiebel looks and sounds delicious! And that colour is beautiful on you Cindy!

    The other day I said to my son’s 22 year old hairdresser, “he needs a cut, he’s starting to look like David Cassidy”. Both the 22 year old and my 19 year old looked at me and said, “who?”. 🙂

  9. Love this post Cindy. It’s interesting, informative, easy to read, hilarious, and what’s more the photos are great and there’s even a recipe. Congratulations!

  10. Age makes some people more beautiful: these pictures are simply stunning. What a graceful post. I can identify with the whole other language thing, but perhaps that is because I really do speak strangeness much of the time 😉

  11. Oh Lord, I know what you meant by rose-taupe! Guess that dates me! LOL Not sure that I would like Zweibel — have never liked liver of any sort. The pic of you taking the pic is very cute — love that glint in your eye.

  12. That was a taupe education – can’t believe there is so much about it in the popular culture.
    I guess the young stylist would also not understand it if I said you’re looking very Ziggy Stardust with that funky hairstyle, Cin – very cool

  13. I love your colors and can so relate to your discussion with the 20 year old. At work, one told me that she’s never owned a pair of panty hose or a land line!

  14. Ah, we used to call that a generation gap. I fall down in it every day, often more than once a day even though I don’t remember the last time I wore a petticoat …

    Cindy, your hair is lovely. 😉

    It’s nice to be back online again and able to vist and catch up.

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