What’s in a color’s name?

If you’ve been taking the color survey at xkcd over the past couple of months, you know how frustrating it is to get the exact right name of a color. There’s also a chance that you don’t care what a color is beyond blue or green or brown. This is apparently more likely if you’re a guy. I’m not a guy, but when I took the color survey, I grew very frustrated after about fifteen colors and started writing in the closest color I could think of. Blue? Green? Brown? Puke? It didn’t matter. I just threw something in the box and kept going, finally giving up because the survey would just give me another color.

xkcd published the results of color name survey today, and there are some gems. Nobody could spell fuchsia. (In fact, I misspelled it while writing this post and will definitely be using the trick mentioned therein and may have spelled it wrong while taking the survey–if I used that word at all.) The terms that were disproportionately female or male show either how seriously the two groups took the survey or how well they perceive color. Butter yellow? Dusty teal? Really? Baige cracked me up, even if it is a misspelling.

The best part is the page containing the most common RGB colors as defined by the survey takers. This includes misspellings. Enough people spelled beige correctly, so baige wasn’t an option. With colors like forrest green (not my typo), vomit, lighter green, Barbie pink, shit brown, and poop brown (these are two distinct colors, mind), scrolling through that page is a hilarious scroll. I’ll never see color the same way again.

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