stress in "Blue Jeans" phrase

Alaa   Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:34 pm GMT

What does it mean if I stress the first word

BLUE jeans

and what does it mean if I stress the second word

blue Jeans

thanks in advance
Uriel   Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:13 pm GMT
BLUE jeans is the most common way you'll hear it.
Alaa   Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:54 am GMT
thanks Uriel answering but can you or anybody tell how the meaning differ between stressing the first word or the second word??
Guest   Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:06 am GMT
There isn't a difference a meaning. You can say "blue JEANS", but it's common to say "BLUE jeans", which makes it sound like a single word instead of two like "blue JEANS" does.
Guest   Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:09 am GMT
*more common
Travis   Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:14 am GMT
The matter is this: in English, the primary stress within a compound noun falls on the primary stress of its first component, whereas the primary stress within a phrase consisting of a noun qualified by one more adjectives and or a determiner falls on the primary stress of the noun. Consequently, "BLUE jeans" is a compound noun whereas "blue JEANS" is an adjective-noun pair referring to jeans which happen to be blue.

The matter is that most jeans are blue to begin with, and thus have come to be referred by the compound noun "BLUE jeans" rather than simply being referred as jeans which happen to be blue. However, for jeans which are, for example, black, one would say "black JEANS", as black is not the canonical color for jeans, and consequently no dedicated compound noun has come to refer to them in particular.
Benquasha   Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:20 am GMT
Usually the word you stress is the the one that you feel is most important.

BLUE jeans = The fact that they are blue is more important than the that they are jeans

blue JEANS = Jeans that just happen to be blue

Usually you'd emphasise the JEANS unless the colour is of particular importance.
Uriel   Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:05 am GMT
Here, "jeans" and "blue jeans" are sort of synonymous terms, and so the stress sloses its importance and "blue" just becomes part of the term as a whole, so it's pronounced BLUEjeans. As if it were one word with the stress on the first syllable.
Uriel   Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:07 am GMT
Kind of like BLUEbell or BLUEbonnet (the flowers), although in those cases bluebell and bluebonnet actually are single words.
greg   Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:54 am GMT
Pour la petite histoire étymologique, <blue>, <jeans>, <colour> et <bonnet> sont tous des mots de l'ancien français. En revanche <denim> est issu du français classique.