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Rated: E · Essay · Contest Entry · #2218369
How do you find or invent a name for that special color in your latest writing?
Naming Colors

The Round 49 prompt ‘Colors,’ together with a current project of mine, got me thinking about the subject of colors and the naming thereof.
Writers use colors extensively, no matter the genre, and we can’t be satisfied with the primary colors red, yellow, and blue. Even adding the secondary colors orange, green, and purple still leaves us with an inadequate palette for expression. We can’t use the computer codes:

“Her 234,6,46 nail polish glistened in the rain as she slit my throat.”


“Her #080ff eyes filled with tears when I told her to bug off.”

Unaided, I can visualize the difference between ‘Kelly Green’ and ‘Forest Green’ or ‘Navy Blue’ and ‘Sky Blue,’ but in today’s world of technology and writing, that won’t work. ‘Blue sky’ and ‘green grass’ are not enough.
Writers describe colors with sensuous adjectives to evoke emotions. I suspect some of it is made up, but not all. Nor do I believe that every good writer has such a vast vocabulary that color descriptors fall naturally from the pen. Eureka! They look them up.
Somewhere there must be a thesaurus of color names, and I resolved to find it. Start with Google. Paydirt! Plenty of websites show up in response to a search for ‘color names.’ You can find them and bookmark them as you wish. Too many choices and still not quite what I am looking for.
How do I find the name for the color my eye sees? Too hard. How about the next question: How do I find the name for the color I see in a picture my camera took? I answered that one partly and I suspect someone else has come up with a simpler answer (Ockham’s Razor), but for now, you can send me three trillion gift points, and I will share the secret. Or for the title of a good color name thesaurus, I’ll send you 1,000 gift points (really). Finally, we can use the Fantasy Name Generator to gin up a name for that color we must use in our romance novel or gory horror story. Whatever you do, keep writing and be sure you don’t confuse #4dffdb with #e60073.


Word count: 363
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