The Phrontistry – Colorful verbiage and obscure color terms

The Phrontistry has this great list of rare and obscure color terms. Some are quite common, such as khaki, magenta, maroon and indigo. Others are far from ordinary.

You may have heard that there is a fight on the internet in regards to the color magenta, more on that later.  Did you know the color magenta was named after a french battle?  After learning that fabulous fact, I wen’t down a rabbit hole after the color yellow. The history for this one is harder to trace, but it goes back a long way. I have not yet found a single origin for the word yellow, but it did unearth this little etymological gem.

The Phrontistry

vintage add for a Glossographia, from The Phrontistry


Some of my favorites

  • Flavescent (yellowish)
  • Plumbeous (lead-coloured)
  • Watchet (pale blue)
  • Coquelicot (brilliant red; poppy red)
  • Smaragdine (emerald green)

Check out the complete list at –

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