How do Colors get their names?

Have you ever wondered where the names of the colors come from? The Universal colors are of course black, white, red, green, yellow, and blue. Live Science points out that these are the primary colors seen and named in various cultures. This may be because people see the wavelengths of these colors first. Of course, not every culture has names for even the primary colors.

Black and white seem to be the most common colors, with terms relating to them across most cultures and countries. Even in cultures with 11 basic colors, like the United States, it’s often only the basics that are named. But there are many colors which have derived their names from all sorts of places—from people, food, and drink items, to other languages, animals and bugs, nature and plants, and anything people can think up to call a color. Some have strange names, and some have elegant ones. Find below a few interesting colors-

  • Alice Blue: This is a pale grayish-blue color that may be named after Alice Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt’s oldest daughter. It’s actual origin isn’t confirmed, however.
  • Cerise: Cerise, a color also known as “Fashion Fuchsia,” gets its name from the French meaning of the word.
  • Cerise means cherry. The color is described as a deep reddish-pink.
  • Fuchsia: The original fuchsia color gets its name from the flower of the fuchsia plant. The plants itself got its name from a botanist in the sixteenth century, Leonhard Fuchs.
  • Prussian Blue: Another color with multiple names, Prussian Blue, is also known as Berlin Blue. The color was initially discovered in Berlin but was then used to color the uniforms of the Prussian army.
  • Puce: Puce is French for flea, the bug that torments household pets, and wild animals. The reddish-brown color resembles that of the nuisance insect. The bug and the name of the color both sound gross.
  • Tyrian Purple: Royal Purple is another name for Tyrian Purple, a color named for the city of Tyre by the ancient Phoenicians. The “Royal” moniker comes from the fact that the color was expensive and only the wealthy were able to afford it.
  • Zinnwaldite: Zinnwaldite is named for the beige mineral that shares its shade.

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