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Is this page cerulean or ultramarine?

Over 140,000 people participated in the xkcd Color Survey, naming various colors and the results are in. Among other cool things, you can see a nice map of RGB colors to color names and see the most commonly identified 954 color names. The webcomic is not the first institution to survey people about color choices and present pretty results. At the heart of color naming is a deeper debate about language, whether colors are universal, and how words shape perception. One highly influential view suggests that there are 11 universal basic colors, though the number of colors identified in native tongues varies across the world, but even the English origins of color words are complex. Perhaps you should test your own color perception, or just see a huge chart of color names in different languages. [also, prev.]
posted by blahblahblah on May 4, 2010 - 42 comments

Raw umber is just the beginning...

Colors have many names. The online color thesaurus will recognize 20,000 of them (and let you see which is most popular). You can also browse a page of colors and associated names (yes, "goose turd" and "dead Spaniard" were once common color names). Of course, the most popular color names probably come from our childhoods. [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah on Jun 20, 2008 - 29 comments

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