How Well Do You Know the Language of Colors?



By: Staff

5 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

When you're a little kid, the first colors you typically learn are the primary ones. You later add the secondary colors and get an understanding of black and white. Then, of course, you learn that the rainbow has seven colors. You learn that older video games used only eight colors, then sixteen, and now a huge spectrum.

You learn that colorblindness means that some people have all sorts of weird and wonderful palettes through which they see the world. You learn about the island in the Pacific where, thanks to a typhoon killing off nearly everyone some years ago and a fully colorblind person being among the survivors, a huge percentage of people see in black and white! You start to learn about colors that don't even appear within the human eye's capacity to see, such as infra-red and ultra-violet and more - and that these are the majority of colors, and bees can see a great many of them! You learn about the condition known as synesthesia, when people's minds connect colors to hearing and taste and smell. 

You start to wonder if your red is the same as the same as everyone else's, or if your red is her green, which is his blue, which is your orange. And if you can still make sense of all of it and remember the right label for everything you encounter along the way... you ace the heck out of this quiz!

What shade of green do you find in hospitals?

Mint green is used in hospitals because it's nice and clean-looking, as well as quite soothing. Never lick the walls, though.


What brown-grey color takes its name from the French word for "mole"?

Taupe is popular in rooms that are decorated in earth tones. It's also a common color for pantyhose.


Fuchsia is a shade of what?

Fuchsia is a purple-pink color. There is an actual fuchsia plant.


What shade of dark pink gets its name from the French word for flea?

Puce is named for a rather icky reason - when you crush a flea that has bitten someone, a blood-colored pink comes out. Charming.


By what other name is the shade called chartreuse known?

Chartreuse is acid green, like the drink absinthe. The color of the beverage is natural.


What color of red is named for the Catholic clergy who wear it?

Cardinal red is a strong red that the second-highest clergy in the Catholic hierarchy wear. Male cardinal birds display this color as well.


What color of yellow-green is a fruit that can prevent scurvy?

British ships used to carry limes to avoid scurvy, a disease caused by a deficiency in vitamin C. That's why Brits were sometimes known as limeys.


What color of yellow is named for a kind of seed?

Mustard yellow is a little darker and browner than canary. Anyone want a hotdog?


What collective name is given to red, yellow and blue?

The primary colors are red, yellow and blue.


What collective name is given to green, orange and purple?

Purple, green, and orange are what you get when you mix the primary colors in pairs.


Seafoam is a shade of what?

Seafoam is actually kind of turquoise. Lovely name, though.


What name is given to a light, bright, almost fluorescent blue with a slight hint of lime?

Cyan is a primary color if you're using printer ink. "Cyan" rhymes with "Dianne."


What middling shade of blue is noted for featuring in a powerful speech from "The Devil Wears Prada"?

Meryl Streep's fashion boss gives Anne Hathaway's assistant character a piece of her mind about the role of fashion. She never should have worn that cerulean sweater.


What dark red is named for a region in France?

Burgundy is a region in France as well as a dark maroon color - and a fine wine.


What golden-red color is often used to describe the fur of a fox?

Russet is a beautiful color found in fox fur and also sunsets.


What very obscure yellow color is the exact color of a ripe banana?

It literally means the color of a ripe banana. Never mind the green or brown ones.


What shiny green is named for the place you find it in nature?

Iridescent green dye in this color was popular in the 19th century. Ducks were fashionable without even trying, back then.


What soothing pink is believed to make people calm?

Apparently this pink is the most soothing color of all! Just keep the baby girls away from the drunk tank.


What shade of blue is commonly used to dress babies?

Powder blue is usually used to dress baby boys in Western countries. Funny enough, in the early 1900s and before, blue was considered the color for girls and pink for boys - or just white for both.


What shade of off-white is slightly green tinged?

Apple white is a good color to paint a room, as it's not too bright.


Which of these is not a shade of light brown?

Eggshell is an off-white color. The others are all a sort of whitish brown.


The stone "bluejohn" comes in two colors. One is blue. What is the other?

It comes from the French "jaune," meaning yellow. Hence, "bluejohn."


Which of the below is a shade of green?

It's darker than grass green and looks great on a horse!


What poetic shade of red is mentioned in Shakespeare's "Macbeth"?

Shakespeare refers to the "seas incarnadine" in "Macbeth" when imagining them filled with spilled blood. It's similar to crimson.


Which of these is a shade of turquoise?

It's not just a dog! It's also a color based on a turquoise mineral - labradorite.


What name, once belonging to a dance, later evolved to describe a coral pink?

This old dance came to mean this color. It's not entirely clear why! Must have been quite a dance.


What pinkish-orange color is named for a fish?

Salmon pink is almost orange, almost pink, and often pretty.


What name, adapted from the French name for a flower of this color, means a charming mid-bright shade of blue?

It comes from the word "pervenche" meaning periwinkle. Periwinkle plants have evergreen leaves.


What color suffers from an unfortunate name that is meant to describe a sort of dull brown knit?

Shakespeare used this word but he didn't mean vomit, just dull brown. Puke was actually a high-quality fabric.


What pigment color, made by burning cobalt and once called "zaffre," is the origin of a name for a deep, rich blue?

Sapphire blue is a deep blue. It's richer than navy but darker than royal blue.


What color name can refer to a number of colors?

"Nude" used to refer to "the color of a white person's skin," but now it is more inclusive and means a color that appears to be neutral or matching to the wearer, irrespective of their skin tone. It is also known as "sarcoline."


What green was Pantene's 2013 Color of the Year?

The Latin word for "emerald" is "smaragdus." Hence this emerald green has this rather funny name.


What dark brownish copper color is popular in high-end furniture stores?

The tree for which it is named is endangered, but the color can be replicated with stain or paint.


What off-white color is the technically correct term for what we call "ivory"?

Eburnean sounds like ebony, but it is in fact the very opposite - a slightly shiny off-white often used in wedding gowns.


What beautiful pinkish red is named for a short-blooming perennial?

Amaranth is both beautiful and edible. It has been cultivated for 8,000 years as well as giving its name to the pinkish-red shade that matches its flower.


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