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Although only half of a dish is red, can I call it ‘red dish’? Or only when an entire dish is red, can I call it ‘red dish’?

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  • The question is not what you can call it. You can call it whatever you like. The question is whether someone will be able to identify it if the other half of the dish is a different colour. And, either way, it's likely to be confusing. So rather describe it properly. – Ronald Sole Mar 21 at 19:03
  • It depends what the other available dishes are like. If none of them have red colouring, people will know which you are referring to, but you could qualify it by saying reddish. "Pass me the reddish dish please" ;) – Weather Vane Mar 21 at 19:04
  • @Ronald Sole how to describe it properly? – user28482 Mar 21 at 19:30
  • @Weather Vane in a general context red dish means the entire dish is red? – user28482 Mar 21 at 19:32
  • In a general context, I would assume someone meant the entire dish. But if I looked at the dishes and saw that one of them was only half red, I would know which one was meant. That is not a matter of English. – Weather Vane Mar 21 at 19:34
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Although only half of a dish is red, can I call it ‘red dish’? Or only when an entire dish is red, can I call it ‘red dish’?

This is a very badly phrased question and to this question the answer is yes, If you name something you can call it what you want. You can name your dog "Fire" but if you lost your dog and walked around the streets shouting Fire! Fire! other people would think you meant something other than come here Doggie! Therefore you need to be explicit. Do you want to describe something, name something or give something a descriptive name.


Therefore I will rephrase your question as

Although only half of a dish is red, can it be described as a ‘red dish’? Or only when an entire dish is red, can it be described as a ‘red dish’?

I would suggest only when the majority of the dish is red can it be described as "Red". If you wish to reference this try looking for "Chinese Blue Vases" You will find that where the pottery is blue and white it is described as blue and white even when it is two thirds blue with a white pattern. There are some Blue Chinese vases that are actually all blue and they are called "Blue vases".

In contrast "Blue Cheese" (which is the name of a type of Cheese) does not have much blue colouring.

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