11 Unusual Color Names

October 12, 2013 @ MentalFloss

1. Sarcoline
Wearing sarcoline—literally “flesh-colored”—high heels makes your legs look longer. Wearing a sarcoline leather jacket reminds everyone of Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs.

2. Coquelicot
Originally another word for poppy, coquelicot is the flower’s orange-tinted red color. (It also sounds like a celebrity baby name.)

3. Smaragdine
Smaragdine sounds like a Smurfs villain, but it means emerald green. It was the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year.

4. Mikado
It’s a Japanese emperor, a comic opera, and a bold yellow.

5. Glaucous
Glaucous was first used as a color name in 1671, but it’s more than a hue. It describes the powdery—and perfectly harmless—blue-gray or blue-green coating on grapes and plums.

6. Wenge
If you’ve ever shopped for furniture, you know wenge. It’s that dark brown wood color with copper undertones that even classes up particle board. Actual wenge wood comes from the endangered Millettia laurentii legume tree, so you won’t find it at West Elm.

7. Fulvous
What makes an owl or duck fulvous? Brownish-yellow feathers.

8. Xanadu
It’s a Chinese city, a 1980 musical flop, and the gray-green color of the philodendron leaf.

9. Falu
The deep red shade commonly found on barns is Falu. It’s named for the Swedish city of Falun, where it originated in a copper mine.

10. Eburnean
Something that’s eburnean is as white as ivory. Of course, ivory’s not completely white—it has a slightly yellow shade.

11. Amaranth
Rose-red amaranth isn’t just a plant. It’s a color, too. The word amaranthine—with definitions including related to the amaranth, eternally beautiful, and everlasting—is also a pigment, but it’s darker than amaranth. Not to mention that amaranths are actually short-lived perennials. Confused yet?

See the color chips @ Mental Floss



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