black as pitch


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(as) black as pitch

Very dark or black in color A: "I can't believe that Grandma's hair used to be black as pitch." B: "Well, sure—you've only ever known her with gray hair."
See also: black, pitch

black as pitch

Totally dark, without any illumination. Distilling coal, peat, and other organic substances yield a very dark resinous residue called pitch (“pitch” and “tar” have became virtually synonymous). Anything that dark made a very good simile for “black.” The contemporary expression is “pitch black.” Those who chose to give the absence of light a theological cast would have said “black as sin,” while an imaginative Irish simile was “as black as the Earl of Hell's waistcoat.”
See also: black, pitch
References in periodicals archive ?
A Mile Deep And Black As Pitch: An Oral History Of The Franklin And Sterling Hill Mines is a unique regional history drawing upon the memories and experiences of thirty-four mine workers, their families, and others whose lives were intertwined the New Jersey mining industry in general, and the New Jersey Zinc Company in particular between the years of 1897 and 1986.