Real and Fake Color Names (A.K.A. "The Color of My Wind")

I recently came off a mammoth project, the technical details of which would bore you to tears. Suffice it to say that the bloated, sluggish web browser with which you are currently reading this blog is bloated and sluggish because it understands dozens and dozens of color names (among other things). That's right, color names. Not RGB values, not color hex codes (although it implements them too), but real human-readable color names.

And not just normal colors that real guys use, like blue. No, it also understands weird, swishy color names. Like from a crayon naming contest gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Okay, even though I am a seasoned graphic designer, I am the first to admit it: Men only understand six colors. Twelve if you count the tertiaries--but we don't have names for them. --I know the joke is that most guys think Fuchsia is a cuss word and Puce is a bodily function. But I'm not talking about these second-tier color names. I'm not surprised that HTML understands the more common "weird" colors names--the kind women like to trick men with--like Indigo, Chartreuse and Magenta.

No, it's the really strange ones. HTML also understands bizarre, unnatural colors like Linen and Gainsboro. Now come on! Just because these words are nouns doesn't automatically make them colors. For example, your browser knows what Tomato is--Knows it by name. But probably pronounces it tuh-MAH-tow.

It also knows what Bisque is.

--Brother! I'm not even sure I know what Bisque is.

I thought I knew. I thought it was something to eat. But if the colors are supposed to be based on foods, then how do you explain names like BurlyWood and SaddleBrown? There's no way I'd try to gag something like that down. Not even on a bet.

And speaking of the gag reflex, how about colors with names like MistyRose and AliceBlue? Heck, I think I went to school with MistyRose. I have distinct memories of getting to second base with her in the storage room where they keep the pommel horse. And I'll pay you cash money if it turns out AliceBlue is not, in reality, a porn name.

So after an intense session with HTML color names, I decided to make up some of my own. After all, how hard can it be? It's easy to see how after looking at names like MintCream (real) and MidnightBlue (real), your mind doesn't just extrapolate MidnightCream (fake).

Try and see if you can guess which list includes real, officially sanctioned HTML color names, and which are just WhiteSmoke--which is a real color name by the way. Ironically WhiteSmoke is the same thing the developers were on when they added the following color names:



One of these lists may not be real colors.


But maybe they'll catch on. Imagine saying "I want my business cards a tasteful BumSet, please," or "Suzy is doing her wedding all in Nurple and TowelSnap."

I implore you to use these color names often and indiscriminately. Use them in inappropriate situations and in incongruous ways on web forums and in blogs. Then you'll be representin' your colors bloggy-style!

I'm still stuck on gainsboro. While I have an idea of what linen, bisque, and saddlebrown describe, gainsboro leaves me clueless.

I have a few more for your list:


Coming to a Home Depot/Lowe's near you!
You probably *thought* all these things, not *though*.
RE Grammar Nazi:
'though' becomes 'thought' in unattributed edit. But which came first, I wonder (or wander).

RE Bones:
I shall apply hotpant to the swatches (or vice versa).
Is Booger a color?
Booger, hotpant and gag, my friend.

Not necessarily in that order.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?