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The Color Of Language: English Color Etymologies 2

The Color Of Language: English Color Etymologies 2


This is the second post in a series on English Color Etymologies. Today we are looking at the colors that come from the names of food and drinks, fruits and vegetables, along with other miscellaneous names.

English is a colorful language. Since its birth among the tribes of Europe, English has built its color vocabulary with the wealth of words it has inherited from Anglo-Saxon, Norman French, Latin, and Greek. Collected here are 172 colors that standard dictionaries (I used the American Heritage and the Random House) classify as specific color nouns (these do not, of course, include the standard ten – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, grey, white – or any Crayola inventions). This treasure of colors is broken down by etymological origin: is the color the name of a flower, an animal, or even a historical person? Some colors appear twice (when I felt two origins were sufficiently different). Others appear only once though they could certainly fit into several categories.

Ever wonder how a color got its name? Refer to the following and enjoy your new grasp on color!

FOOD AND DRINKS


Photos by roboppy & waynemah

Things we eat, from wine to liver, have become associated with color.

cream
The fatty component of unhomogenized milk.
Cafe_au_Lait
Coffee with milk (from the French).
Bisque
A small cake (from “biscuit”).
biscuit
A small cake (from the French “twice-cooked”).
cocoa
A beverage made from the powder of cacao seeds.
Coffee
The beverage made from roasting and grinding the seeds of the coffee plant.
Caramel
Burnt sugar.
liver
The vertebrate organ, considered edible.
claret
A dry, red wine made in France’s Bordeaux region.
wine
A beverage made from fermented grape juice.
Chocolate
Fermented, roasted, shelled, and ground seeds from the cacao plant.

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES


Photos by nidriel & targophoto

More specific than foods alone, many fruits and vegetables names have also become the name of the color of their skin.

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The Colors Of Meomi: Vector Wallpapers

The Colors Of Meomi: Vector Wallpapers


What do adorable animals, whimsical art and colorful design have in common? Design studio Meomi can tell you -- If you love all of the aforementioned things, Meomi may be heaven for you when it comes to art and wallpapers.

Meomi is comprised of two artists, Vicki Wong and Michael Murphy. Together they have created art for an illustrious list of clientele, including Google, Electronic Arts and Nick Jr. Vicki and Michael also act as authors and artists behind the Octonauts series of children's books. Meomi's 2008 wallpaper story takes place in Kachi Kingdom, where you follow the adventures of Johnny Cloudseed, following in his grandfather's footsteps as a seeder and planting seeds that assist the Kachi spirits to grow their "Magical Moments" plants.

Meomi Universe May Wallpaper

Meomi reveal more about Johnny's story month by month as new wallpapers come out (each month's has a calendar on it so you can track the days along with the story.) Their most recent print project is Color Cloud Seeding, in which Meomi explore the lost art of "cloud gardening" in drawings, sketches and photos, creating a crisp wonderland of hues.

Meomi Universe March Wallpaper

About those wallpapers -- Meomi have a whole page of their website dedicated to them that date all the way back to 2002 (when the year ends, they provide the wallpapers with the calendars removed so you can enjoy the art on its own.) I've provided some of them here for you to see, but if you want the full sized versions check out the Meomi website to grab them and make your desktop worth smiling at when you come in on Monday morning.

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The Color Of Language: English Color Etymologies

The Color Of Language: English Color Etymologies


This is the first post in a series on English Color Etymologies. Today we are looking at the colors that come from the names of animals, insects, and flowers, trees and plants.

English is a colorful language. Since its birth among the tribes of Europe, English has built its color vocabulary with the wealth of words it has inherited from Anglo-Saxon, Norman French, Latin, and Greek. Collected here are 172 colors that standard dictionaries (I used the American Heritage and the Random House) classify as specific color nouns (these do not, of course, include the standard ten – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, grey, white – or any Crayola inventions). This treasure of colors is broken down by etymological origin: is the color the name of a flower, an animal, or even a historical person? Some colors appear twice (when I felt two origins were sufficiently different). Others appear only once though they could certainly fit into several categories.

Ever wonder how a color got its name? Refer to the following and enjoy your new grasp on color!

ANIMALS


Photo by fortphoto

The plumage, pelts, tusks, shells, and scales of various animals have all lent their names to colors.

Ivory
Elephant tusk (made of the same material as all mammalian teeth).
eggshell
Covering of a bird’s or reptile’s egg, made of calcium.
buff
Soft leather, particularly from buffalo, elk, or
oxen.
salmon
A game fish.
Flamingo
A large wading bird.
coral
Rocklike structure formed of the calcareous skeletons of various, small sea creatures.
Canary
A small finch native to the Canary Islands (“the island of dogs”).
Teal
A small freshwater duck.
fawn
A young deer.
chamois
A European goat antelope.
Taupe
A French mole (word now obsolete for reference to the animal).
Sable
A small, forest-dwelling, carnivorous mammal, related to the martens.
sepia
Italian word for the cuttlefish (and the ink it secretes).

INSECTS


Photo by markop

Various insects have been used for dyeing fabric over time and have thus become their own color.

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Color Inspiration: Monsters and Dubious Characters II

Color Inspiration: Monsters and Dubious Characters II


I thought it was about time we revisited Mojizu.com and shared some more of their wonderfully creative character designs. So to follow up from Color Inspiration: Monsters and Dubious Characters, here are 20 more characters and some examples of characters used in good graphic and web designs.

Creative Characters in Modern Web Designs

We've been seeing vector characters pop up as mascots for new web sites and they do a great job of adding a little extra personality to the sites. Smashing Magazine, showcases a dozen or so in their Isn’t it sweet? Mascots in Modern Web Design post. Here are just a few from that post:

Pasquale D’Silva - Darkmotion
Pasquale D’Silva - Darkmotion

Kent Pribbernow - Elitist Snob
Kent Pribbernow - Elitist Snob

Freelanceswitch
Freelanceswitch

Octwelve
Octwelve

Mooourl
Mooourl

Meomi
Meomi

20 Creative Characters from Mojizu

Senor Pecho    Senor Pecho
 Hometown  Erie Swaps across eastern america
  
 Likes  Singing David Bowie covers
  
 Dis-likes  american idol and moist fur
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Color In Nature: Stapeliads

Color In Nature: Stapeliads


From the harsh arid regions of South Africa and reaching to some areas of Southern Europe color inspiration can be found in the beauty of the Stapeliads. Resembling cacti, Stapeliads are most abundant in warm, dry climates. " Their stems are often angular, mostly four-angled in cross-section, but in some species there are six or more, with some species of Hoodia having more than thirty angles. In size they vary from less than 2.5 cm/1" in length to over 2 m/6" tall. The leaves are in most species reduced to rudiments, sometimes hardened and thorn-like, arranged on bumps or tubercles on the angles."

Below is a stunning set of images of Stapeliads taken by Martin Heigan, plus a few other random flowers as well.

The Many Kinds and Colors of Stapeliads

Orbea Speciosa

 

Photo by Martin Heigan

Orbea Speciosa
Tromotriche Longii

 

Photo by Martin Heigan

Tromotriche Longii
Cotyledon Orbiculata

 

Photo by Martin Heigan

Cotyledon Orbiculata
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All 120 Crayon Names, Color Codes and Fun Facts

All 120 Crayon Names, Color Codes and Fun Facts


For the last 100 years or so kids have been exploring and creating worlds of color with Crayons. For a lot of us, our life long love affairs with color began with these wax sticks and a blank sheet of paper. According to a Yale University study, the scent of Crayola crayons is among the 20 most recognizable to American adults. Coffee and peanut butter are 1 and 2. Here we go down crayon color memory lane with all 120 color names and hex codes, fun facts and photos.

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Crowded Crayon Colors
Photo by Sir Fish

Crayola crayons currently come in 120 colors including 23 reds, 20 greens, 19 blues, 16 purples, 14 oranges, 11 browns, 8 yellows, 2 grays, 2 coppers, 2 blacks, 1 white, 1 gold and 1 silver. Although Crayola crayons come in 120 different colors, the labels are only made in 18, which cover the full color spectrum. Nearly 3 billion crayons are made each year, an average of 12 million daily. That's enough to circle the globe 6 times with color!

120 Crayon Names and Color Codes

Aaron at ColorSchemer.com created a fun list of all 120 Crayon Colors with their hex codes and RGB values. "All of these colors are rough approximations from Crayola’s current list of 120 Crayon Colors. -CS"

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Octarine: The Imaginary Color of Magic

Octarine: The Imaginary Color of Magic


"Octarine" is a color name coined by Terry Pratchett in his Discworld novels. Octarine is said to be the color of magic, as it is apparent in the crackling and shimmering of light. The word refers to the "eighth color," in a spectrum of black, blue, green, yellow, purple, orange, and red. Octarine has been likened to a fluorescent greenish-yellow purple, a combination impossible to perceive with normal human eyes. Imagine, if you can, the marriage of these two swatches:

smile_magic magic_eyes

Scholar of magic Pete Carroll says he imagines Octarine to be "a particular shade of electric pinkish-purple," a common color in optical illusions. Who can see octarine with the naked eye? Legend has it that only wizards and felines can. That's because an ordinary eye, equipped with rods and cones, would see greenish-yellow purple as gray, black, or nothing at all, while a wizard's eye is said to be equipped with octagons. Some people claim to catch glimpses of octarine in peacock feathers, lightning bolts, rainbows, lens flares, soap bubbles, bonfires, and gemstones.

OctarineThere can be no doubt that octarine is an imaginary color. But is it preposterous to think that normal human eyes might one day be able to perceive a fluorescent greenish-yellow purple? The folks at the Conscious Entities blog posed that very question: "There has to be an octarine, doesn't there? The mere conceivability of another color shows that the spectrum is not an absolute reality. It seems to me that, just as we can always encounter a completely new smell, there would always be scope for a new color, if our eyes were able to develop new responses the way our nose presumably can. But I don't even need to rely on conceivability. Some insects can see ultraviolet light, for example, and some snakes can see infrared. They must assign to those wavelengths colors which we can't see, mustn't they?"

OctarineTheir conclusion, however, is negatory: "Look at the way the spectrum forms a closed circle. If we extended it downwards below red, we should simply get another, lower, violet. Now I grant you that the 'lowerness' would have to be expressed in some way - possibly as 'warmth.' The colors of the visible spectrum are differentiated in terms of warmth, so perhaps the lower violet would appear distinctly warmer than the one we're used to (great scope for interior decorators...). I repeat, the spectrum is a reality. You can call it a mathematical reality if that helps, but it's real. If we saw color the way we hear pitch, all this would be obvious. But the fact that we can't see color harmonies or more than a single octave of colors means there's never been any scope for a genius to come along and produce a regularized interpretation of the spectrum, the way J.S.Bach did for the musical scale."

The COLOURlovers library shimmers with magical colors, though as of this writing there's no color named "octarine." Some magic colors include:

the_magic magic_teal

magic_lime Purple_Magic

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Color In Nature: Wood

Color In Nature: Wood


Sorting through the incredible number of wood varieties is a task of enormous proportions, and one we didn't even think of taking on. Lucky for us there are people who are doing just that.

Exotic Wood Pictures: Exotic Wood Displayed, described, and Identified is "a non-commercial site focusing on color-correct pictures of exotic and domestic woods." The site, which I found while performing the always necessary first step in any research, a Google search, is wonderful for exploring the amazing colors of the different varieties of wood. The highlighted statistics for the site read:

# different types of wood represented: 685
# unique pictures of those woods: 17,722

For any hard core wood fan out there this a great site to sort through hundreds of options for any upcoming wood related projects you might have on the table, or in the COLOURlovers case, this site can offer inspiration from the unique colors that make up each type.

Below we have assembled a few inspirational palettes with their corresponding types from some of the 685 wood varieties represented on the site. Plus, a few images of the incredible colors of petrified wood.

Wood Color Inspiration

  • Angico
  • Guearu
  • Bosse
  • Cinnamon
  • Caretto

  • Oak, Bog
  • Bishop Wood
  • Briar
  • Podo
  • Zircote

  • Cocuswood
  • Blackbean
  • Beech
  • Makai
  • Buckthorn

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Cooking Inspiration: The Colorful Kitchen

Cooking Inspiration: The Colorful Kitchen


While it takes a brave soul to paint one's living room a vibrant shade of persimmon or yellow, the kitchen is often a room in which one feels more courageous when it comes to decorating vibrantly. It is truly the best room for it, especially if one subscribes to the beliefs about the effects of colors as used in the home (although if everyone subscribed to that, we would never see the gorgeous red rooms that leave us breathless on the pages of design magazines!)

As the kitchen is essentially a creative place, use of colorful decor can only intensify the mood and give the room a vibe of powerful positivity. There are several ways to add color to your own kitchen, whether you choose to take the route of permanent change with paint or simply using colorful accessories for accent, it's all up to you!

moodboard_colorful_2.jpg
Via Tsuga Studios

Adding Accessories

Painting your kitchen a strong color is a definite commitment. No matter how long you spend staring at your color swatches and envisioning the new walls, it never quite matches up to the final product. For the decorator uneasy with a complete overhaul, colorful accents in a plain white or neutral kitchen go a long way when it comes to making the room "pop." Best of all, if you tire of the look they can be removed, or if you want to try a different color all you have to do is change your accessories and you have an instant new look. Here are a few fun pieces that can make immediate impact:

img64l.jpg
Via Pottery Barn

img70m.jpg
Via Williams-Sonoma

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The Controversy of Naked Colors

The Controversy of Naked Colors


"It was color as such, naked color, unabashedly itself, and assertively dominant."
—Elizabeth Frank, Esteban Vicente

So-called "naked colors" expose a stark naturalness that many viewers would consider titillating or indiscreet. Naked colors invite the viewer to peek into an intimate range of wavelengths that yield a profoundly sensual impression and uncover a hidden truth. Naked colors embody what the French phenomenological philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty calls "interpenetration," wherein the fine line between a public arena and a private one starts "gaping open" (qtd. in Henry James and the Philosophical Novel, by Merle A. Williams, 1993). In other words, Merleau-Ponty is suggesting that a naked color on a visible surface can serve to lead the imagination toward something typically not visible.

Naked colors appear in the art world and the natural world. The red and gold Santa Rita mountains and the violet Catalina mountains of Arizona display a "wild bright beauty" of "naked color" (Glenn Hughes, Broken Lights: A Book of Verse, 1920). In the springtime in London's city parks, flower bulbs "break against the renewing grass in naked colour" (David Piper, The Companion Guide to London, 1983). In the Dutch painter Pieter Mondrian's later work, he focused his attention to "'naked' colour dynamics: patches of pure red, yellow and blue held in place by a grid of black lines (Jon Thompson, How to Read a Modern Painting, 2006). In the world of fashion, "naked color turns into decorationism" (Marc Chagall, Marc Chagall on Art and Culture, 2003). However, quantum physicists tell us that "naked colour is never to be seen" in quarks (Nigel Calder, Magic Universe: The Oxford Guide to Modern Science, 2003).

The COLOURlovers library is full of naked color inspiration. (Viewer discretion advised.)

stark_naked naked

naked naked

naked Nude

Naked Leave_Me_Naked

Naked_Truth feel_good_naked

nude naked

Cover img by auntie.

Craig ConleyAbout the Guest Author, Craig Conley
Website: http://www.OneLetterWords.com
Craig is an independent scholar and author of dozens of strange and unusual books, including a unicorn field guide and a dictionary of magic words. He also loves color: Prof. Oddfellow

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