Posted by: Jack Henry | January 14, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Fancy Colors, Part 2

Hello, little chickadees! Today is part two of the color article from Merriam-Webster. Let’s just jump right into things!


Color: Medium purple

About the Word: This color comes from a kind of orchid named for William Cattley, a patron of botany whose enthusiasm for orchids helped fuel a British craze for the flowers in the 1700s. The most common form of one of Cattley’s original orchids (the cattleya labiata) highlights the color cattleya.

Full Definition: a moderate purple that is redder and paler than heliotrope, bluer and paler than average amethyst, and paler and slightly bluer than manganese violet

[KC – I had to look up heliotrope and manganese violet. You’re welcome!]


Manganese Violet


Color: Medium blue

About the Word: The color name comes from the blue glass of the same name. Smalt is created by fusing together—melting—potassium carbonate, silica, and cobalt oxide; the word’s Germanic ancestor means "to melt."

Full Definition: a moderate blue that is redder and duller than average copen, redder and deeper than azurite blue, Dresden blue, or pompadour, and greener and deeper than luster blue


Color: Grayish red

About the Word: It may or may not have originated in Damascus, but the name of the damask rose—a flower that traveled to Europe during the Middle Ages—honors that Syrian city. The hue of the blossom lives on as a color name.

Full Definition: a grayish red that is bluer than bois de rose, bluer, lighter, and stronger than blush rose, and bluer and deeper than Pompeian red or appleblossom


Color: Blackish green

About the Word: The color name jasper comes from the name of the opaque quartz stone called jasper. The ancient Hebrew word from which jasper comes may have meant something like "glittering" or "polish."

Full Definition: a blackish green that is bluer than cannon


Color: Deep reddish orange

About the Word: The oval berries of the European bittersweet plant taste first sweetish, and then bitter. But it was the American plant called "false bittersweet," with its orangey-colored fruits, that inspired the color name bittersweet.

Full Definition: a deep orange that is deeper than bittersweet orange; a dark to deep reddish orange

That’s it, everyone! You are now officially able to decipher paint colors at Home Depot®!

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Technical Editor, Advisory

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