O.E. read, from P.Gmc. *rauthaz (cf. O.N. rauðr, Dan. rød, O.Fris. rad, M.Du. root, Ger. rot, Goth. rauþs), from PIE base *reudh- (cf. L. ruber, also dial. rufus "light red," mostly of hair; Gk. erythros; Skt. rudhira-; Avestan raoidita-; O.C.S. rudru, Pol. rumiany, Rus. rumjanyj "flushed,
red," of complexions, etc.; Lith. raudas; O.Ir. ruad, Welsh rhudd, Bret. ruz "red"). The only color for which a definite common PIE root word has been found. The surname Read/Reid retains the original O.E. long vowel pronunciation. The color as characteristic of "British possessions" on a map, is attested from 1916. The red flag was used as a symbol of defiance in battle on land or sea from 1602. To see red "get angry" is an Amer.Eng. expression first recorded 1900. Red light as a sign to stop is from 1849, long before traffic signals. As the sign of a brothel, it is attested from 1900. As a children's game (in ref. to the traffic light meaning) it is recorded from 1953. Red-letter day (c.1385) was originally a saint's day, marked on church calendars in red letters. Red ball signifying "express" in railroad jargon is 1927, from the red ball mounted on a pole as a controlling signal. Red-blooded "vigorous, spirited" is recorded from 1877. Red dog, type of U.S. football pass rush, is recorded from 1959. Red shift in spectography is first recorded 1923. Red carpet "sumptuous welcome" is from 1934, but the custom for dignitaries is described as far back as Aeschylus (e.g. "Agamemnon").
"Bolshevik," 1917, from red
(1), the color they adopted for themselves. Association in Europe of red with revolutionary politics (on notion of blood and violence) is from at least 1297, but got a boost 1793 with adoption of the red Phrygian cap (Fr. bonnet rouge) as symbol of
the Fr. Revolution. First specific political reference in Eng. was 1848 (adj.), in news reports of the Second French Republic (a.k.a. Red Republic). The noun meaning "radical, communist" is from 1851.
c.1112 (implied in granger), "granary, barn," from O.Fr. grange, from M.L. granica, from L. granum "grain." Sense evolved to "outlying farm" (late 14c.), then "country house" (1550s). Meaning "local lodge of the Patrons of Husbandry" (a U.S. agricultural interest promotion organization) is from 1867.