Friday, May 20, 2016

Other Names for Ordinary Colors


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Sometimes using “yellow” to describe the color of something doesn’t cut it. I know there have been many times when I tried to come up with an alternative word for black, white, and red. Below I am sharing a list of other names/words to describe ordinary colors. Many of them I have used, such as "cotton-candy sky" to describe a blue sky with soft pink streaks. Or used "eggplant" to describe a hideous purple bruise.

What can you come up with for your writing with these alternatives?


Black-
Licorice
Jet
Pitch
Onyx
Ebony
Charcoal
Black olive
Image from Pixabay
Amethyst
Night
Dark

White-
Pearl
Ivory
Bone
Cream
Snow
Baby powder
Eggshell
Champagne
Moonstone
Moonshine
Ghostly
Glue/Elmer’s Glue
Feather
Petal

Brown-
Coffee
Whiskey
Amber
Chestnut
Peanut butter
Chocolate
Cocoa
Cinnamon
Image from Pixabay
Nutmeg
Mahogany
Bronze
Copper
Sand
Sepia
Clove
Dirt
Mud
Wood
Tree bark
Tan
Beige
Vanilla bean
Potato
Taupe
Caramel
Honey
Brass
Sienna

Image from Pixabay
Grey/Gray -
Smoky quartz
Dove
Silver
Smoke
Gunmetal
Ash
Slate
Granite

Clear - 
Crystal
Translucent
Transparent
Diamond
Glass
Ice

Red - 
Image from Pixabay
Crimson
Wine
Blood
Rube
Apple
Chili
Raisin
Scarlet
Brick
Fire engine
Tomato
Strawberry

Pink –
Fuchsia
Rose
Salmon
Carnation
Flamingo
Image from Pixabay
Pepto
Magenta
Cotton candy

Purple –
Violet
Plum
Grape
Maroon
Eggplant
Royal
Lavender
Amethyst
Wisteria

Blue –
Cobalt
Image from Pixabay
Royal
Sky
Denim
Indigo
Iris
Periwinkle
Tiffany
Teal
Turquoise
Navy
Sapphire
Midnight
Ocean
Cerulean
Cotton candy

Green –
Grass
Avocado
Forest
Fern
Neon
Lime
Image from Pixabay
Mint
Pine
Emerald
Jade
Sea
Hunter
Kelly
Pea
Puke
Olive
Granny Smith

Yellow –
Gold
Banana
Lemon
Image from Pixabay
Custard
Sunflower
Pee/urine
Highlighter
Sun/sunny/sunshine
Xanthic


Orange –
Rust
Sunburst
Peach
Apricot
Tangerine
Pumpkin
Burnt
Carrot 


SHARE: More names I can add to the list!


47 comments:

  1. How great! I'm never very creative with color. Good reminder to mix it up a bit.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad this can be useful for you, Elizabeth. :)

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  2. Some of those brown alternatives made me start to feel hungry. Like Liz above I'm not big on color creativity either. Ebony and one other is it. But in my teens I did look up hair color to be more creative in describing that. No memory of that now other than hazel and cinnamon. Yes, I'm perfect.

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    1. Ha! I know. The brown alternatives are quite yummy. It can be hard to be creative with colors unless you really think about it and have the desire to make it sound a bit more unique or intense than just using black or red.

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  3. Its like opening a new box of crayons coming to your blog today :) So many pretty names for the colors out there :) I think your list is pretty comprehensive, can't think of any to add to it. I personally love the color teal :)

    betty

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    1. "like opening a new box of crayons... " I love that! :)

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  4. Derek uses Honey to describe Alistair and Alissandria's eyes. I think that classifies as a golden brown. :)

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    1. Honey is a good one! I'll add that to the list. :)

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  5. Good list of colors! I didn't get a newsletter and checked my other files to see if it was sent there :(

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    1. It doesn't show that your email bounced, so that is odd. You are on my list. Hopefully next month you'll get it. I'll forward this one to you.

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  6. I love creative descriptions! Though, I guess I get a little carried away...eyes the color of summer grass, his milk-dud eyes expectant. Your excellent list is quite inspiring:-)

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    1. I love using creative color descriptions, and I love reading them too because they really set an image.

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  7. Great ideas. Will save these for future use. Thanks.

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  8. I looked through these - for clear - i would use transparent, not translucent. for grey I i like just plain smokey. I thought of strawberry first for red, which i did not see. White, i think you covered them all, but black - i use dark, which might be a cop out since it is not exactly black yet is descriptive of such.

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    1. Strawberry is a good one. I'll add that and "dark" to the list. Thanks!

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  9. How handy is this? Super handy! I didn't know that Dove meant grey. I'm going to have to save this for future reference. My years writing for the gov have turned me stupid (manuals for the public have to be at 7th grade level...hmmmm).

    Great post, Chrys!

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    Replies
    1. There are certain doves that are grey. Dove grey is a a pretty color. Google it. :)

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  10. Thanks for the list. I'm so bookmarking this. =D

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  11. I could surely use a bit more than the usual color names. Grand list indeed.

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    Replies
    1. Image what you could rhyme with these. ;)

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  12. Good list! I find I use slate and granite a lot, and only yesterday I was looking for a brownish color but wanted to imply hardness at the same time, and settled on brass.

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    Replies
    1. Brass is a good one! I'll add that to my list. Thanks!

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  13. Ah, this takes me back to 5th grade, when a teacher was trying to get us to use more descriptive words, expand our vocabularies. I impressed her by using "shangri-la" to describe a "paradise". It was the early 70's, so the only reason I knew "shangri-la" was from my "great depression era" mama.
    Barbara, blogging at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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  14. Well, xanth means yellow... (Found it during A to Z.)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that was actually one I provided for my Unicorn Bell post. I forgot to add that. Thanks.

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  15. These are fantastic. I hope they come to mind quicker when I'm writing about color.

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    1. Ha! Well, if they don''t you could always save this list. :)

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  16. Always trying to find new colour variations, so thanks. Saving this for a blank day...better than a thesaurus.

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  17. Hi Chrys - whiter shade of Pale; Midnight; Sienna ... you've listed loads for us ... I love the meanings of colours ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hmm. I looked up sienna and it's an earth color. I'll add it to my brown list.

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  18. Coffee brown!! Now I am craving a cappuccino ;)

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    Replies
    1. This list could make someone crave a lot. Haha

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  19. This was a very different post but al the same wonderful.
    Yvonne.

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  20. Aw, my comment disappeared :( Love this post, Chrys! Such excellent descriptive words for color. I think PINK when I think of cotton candy. I will keep these in mind for my edits I'm working on. Thanks for these suggestions.

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    1. Dang, Blogger! Sorry about that. Cotton candy is usually pink, but now I see a mix of pink and blue. :)

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  21. I'm bookmarking this post for reference when I come across need to change reference for colors. Thank you so much Chrys!

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  22. May I print this list? Excellent source of colours. It feels you've done all the hard work for me. Thanks!

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    1. Please, print this list. It's for you and everyone else. :D

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  23. Ooh, this is a good list, and I'm going to bookmark it so that I can consult it later when I'm writing (thanks!). I often have trouble describing people's appearances, especially if more than one person has brown hair or something like that.

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    1. For brown hair, I have gotten creative with nutmeg and cinnamon. I actually went to my spice rack for those when I was desperate for a shade of brown. :P

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  24. We'll I'm all about colours:) I love your list and for blue, I would add Ice which could work for white also. Did you have sapphire on there?? For brown there is always, um, ca-ca:)

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