8 Colors You've Probably Never Heard of ...


8 Colors You've Probably Never Heard of ...
8 Colors You've Probably Never Heard of ...

I know kids crayons, colored pencils, and markers always have interesting names etched on them, such as Thistle, Prussian Blue, Melon, and so on. Most of the following 8 colors you’ve probably never heard of have been around for centuries. I find it fascinating to learn about colors that are new to me, but were common decades and decades ago.

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Icterine Photo Credit: Foto John

This name is derived from the Latin word meaning jaundice. It is mostly used when describing birds with yellowish feathers, such as the Icterine Greenbul or the Icterine Warbler. It is an extremely pail hue of yellow.



Rufous Image source: xresimleri.com

This color name is said to be derived from the Latin word for ‘red’. It doesn’t refer to a subtle and plain red color, but more of a brownish-red or reddish brown. It might be compared to the color of rust and is often used when describing animal fur, skin, or feathers, such as the Rufous-sided Towhee.



Verdigris Photo Credit: flickriver.com

This name is a common one for the pigment that is created when acetic acid is added to copper plates. The Statue of Liberty is now this color, due to the weathered copper she is made from. The natural patina formed on bronze, brass, or copper is known as verdigris. This name comes from the old French spelling that meant ‘green of Greece’. Greek artists made this color by holding copper plates over hot vinegar. This was done inside a sealed pot and caused a green crusty substance to form on the plate of copper.



Gamboge Photo Credit: csaper

This is named after the gamboges tree, which has yellow resin. Painters used this hue in water colors and it was also used as wood varnish. The tree is found in Cambodia, which is where the name for this darkish yellow tint was derived. It wasn’t until 1634 that gamboge was used in the English language. The transparent color known as gamboges sometimes appears to be almost orange at times.



Wenge Photo Credit: Mike Black photos

The name for this color comes from the wood is resembles. The color is a grayish-brown that has accents of copper in it. The overall color is a very rich brown. Wenge wood comes from the tropics and is a very durable and hard wood. Many musical instruments are made from this type of wood.



Zaffre Photo Credit: LibertysYarn

The deep blue pigment of this color used to be obtained by an impure form of cobalt arseniate or cobalt oxide. This pigment was used in stain glass creations during the Victorian Era. The name zaffre for a color has been used since the mid-1500s. It is a form of blue that is both bright, yet dark at the same time. It’s hard to describe how that is possible to be done by the same color, but that’s exactly what zaffre is.



Malachite Photo Credit: sbailliez

This color is one you’ve surely seen on a few styles of the newer cars. It is a greenish tint that many car companies have begun to paint some vehicles in. Malachite is a color that seems to appear throughout history. Demeter’s throne is this color, as well as the Malachite room in Hermitage. Copper carbonate is the other name for Malachite and is where the vibrant green color comes from. The color might be closer to neon green than anything else.



Xanadu Photo Credit: thelandscaperenovator.com

A plant in Australia is called the Xanadu and it has leaves that are a greenish-gray color. The hue Xanadu is in reference to the tint of the leaves of the plant by the same name. The Resene Paint Company in Australia includes this color name among its list of many choices in colors of paint.

I’m sure this list of 8 colors you’ve probably never heard of will be of interest to you if you are an artist of some sort. If you have done any painting, you might have even heard of a couple of these already. What other odd colors have you heard of that you think others might not know about?

Top Photo Credit: ANGELA.Clik.Flickr

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I had heard about malachite, but the rest were unimaginable

"Your eyes are this beautiful xanadu colour..." Hahahaha, crazy but interesting

Rufous....is the name of my pet dog who is reddish-brown in colour.

Great post! You know, Malachite sounds like a pretty color! ~Melanie

what, what, what and what!? hehehe:)

oh, I heard one. Xanadu:)

never heard of any of them except verdigris. love icterine and rufous!

Gamboge and #2 are the prettiest colors.

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