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Colornames.org – A collaborative effort to name all 16.7M colors (colornames.org)
557 points by picdit 42 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 224 comments

"Later he applied his extravagant principle to the other numbers. In place of seven thousand thirteen, he would say (for example) Maximo Perez; in place of seven thousand fourteen, The Train; other numbers were Luis Melian Lafinur, Olimar, Brimstone, Clubs, The Whale, Gas, The Cauldron, Napoleon, Agustin de Vedia. In lieu of five hundred, he would say nine. Each word had a particular sign, a species of mark; the last were very complicated.... I attempted to explain that this rhapsody of unconnected terms was precisely the contrary of a system of enumeration. I said that to say three hundred and sixty-five was to say three hundreds, six tens, five units: an analysis which does not exist in such numbers as The Negro Timoteo or The Flesh Blanket. Funes did not understand me, or did not wish to understand me."

-- Funes the Memorious, Borges

Brilliant. I knew it was Borges after the first sentence! There’s something a little Library of Babel about this project.

A few of my favorites so far:

Screaming Grey: #AAAAAA

It's Still Basically Black: #000001

Nice: #696969 (lol)

These would make for some great candidates: https://colors.lol/ ;)

I have a handful I'd nominate as "lazy programmer" colors that I think are useful as placeholders but aren't as horrid as #FF00FF etc:

  blue   #aabbdd
  green  #aaddbb
  purple #bbaadd
  pink   #ddaabb
  orange #ddbbaa
(I usually end up using #bbddaa as well but it's just a different shade of green)

After seeing your comment, I thought blue should be #DaBaDe(e) but I wasn't first to come up with this idea: https://colornames.org/color/dabade

That ought to end well. "It enhances understanding! We benefit from a nomenclature..."

... that is apparently entirely reliant on case-sensitivity. Because "I'm Blue" is a very different color to "I'M BLuE" (and I guarantee there's probably dozens of other variations there, at least).


Are they doing names for families of colors?

Yours should be called Yabba Dabba Doo.

Or perhaps Fred Flintstone.

Maybe call them Coder”s Blue etc..

#BADA55 - hex for some key lime pie in the web UI

For a project a few years ago I labeled a color "priest socks." It was something like #000044: very very very very very very dark blue.

That managed to uncover all of the Father Ted fans on the team.

BTW, that "Nice Cyan" (#006969) is actually really nice (at least to me), I can imagine myself building a website/app with that color theme.

BTW, Slashdot is #006666

May be they should restrict it to 2 or 3 words without punctuation.

If it's 3 non-repeating unordered words, the minimum vocabulary will need to be 256*3 = 768. Realistically you'll need an order of magnitude larger. That's a pretty large vocabulary.

It is a minor point, but 467 words would suffice, as there are 16865705 possibilities to choose 3 elements out of 467. (This is the smallest possible.)

Strictly speaking, yes, if you just view it as unordered sampling without replacement. Although that would squeeze out nearly all of the creative side of things.

That’s not right. 256 * 255 * 254

I suspect you didn't catch gp's meaning: To get to 24 bits of color info, you'd need at least 3 words of 8 bit info each. If you want these to be non-repeating and unordered that makes 256x3=768 unique words.

This isn't correct though.

You need 256 base words, and two substitute words, one of which substitutes for the first repeat, and the other for the second, so 258 words total.

That accounts for the repeating but not the ordering, right?

Oh, by 'unordered' you mean that the three words could be in any order and still mean the same thing?

Okay but that's a strange requirement. A 'big burger house' isn't a 'big house burger', after all.

I had read 'unordered' as 'the collation order of the words has no connection to the ordinal rank of the underlying byte', for some reason

I'm just jumping in where I saw a misunderstanding :) I think that's what they mean by unordered as that makes sense with the numbers (I think).

To some degree I agree, but there are also a lot of cases where different orders aren't distinguishable easily. "Light bright red" and "bright light red" is the best I can come up with quickly but I'm sure you get the idea.

haven't checked if it's there, but

Stubbed Toe: #FFFFFF

#DEADBF is dead beef, as it should be.

No Fate: #000fa8

Added "Hacker News Orange" to the list: https://colornames.org/color/ff6500

I'm struggling to figure out if this is a serious attempt, though.

On my browser, it appears that the top bar of Hacker News is #ff6600. Is there somewhere that #ff6500 is used?

But it's bgcolor="#ff6600"?

Both are there: https://colornames.org/search/results/?query=Hacker+News+Ora...

Although the 65 one needs to be better named "Fake Hacker News Orange" or "Hacker Fake News Orange".

Oh no, it is #ff6600! I didn’t realize that I had customized my topbar color to a different orange.

hopefully the masses can figure it out and correct it.

Heyyo "Hacker News Orange [0.123]" is ranked #5 now.

Edit: I think my new favorite is "#403403 Forbidden Brown"

I honestly doubt, considering https://colornames.org/color/31df4e is called "Tyrannosaurus Ur Ex"

HN should allow changing of color of top bar via a get parameter. It would be awesome.

You can change it in your profile settings (though that’s not exactly what you’re asking for). I think there’s a karma threshold, though.

I believe it's 256

It’s 250. There’s also a list of all colors in use, sorted by frequency: https://news.ycombinator.com/topcolors

Nice. I did not know this. I have set mine to #fff2af. I used to manually edit each character and see if it fits for me. It is 480 of 2923 in that list!

Some funny ones:

c0ffee, dadb0d, badcab, deface, deadbf, baddad, daddad, debeef, beefed, adbeef, beeeef, efface, faceb0, deeded, facade, 2faced, decafe, dabeef

#debeef is a lovely lavender actually!

I love that chrome offers to translate this page from Welsh.

#abcabc is second on HN... "soft foam". Because people like foam, or easy to remember?

I was so happy when I reached that number (or whatever it was) and didn't have to look at the orange bar any more.

For anyone looking for a more tasteful topcolor, try d0c8b5. It's just a darker version of the main HN background color, so it's easy on the eyes.

And here I thought it was released for everyone at the point where I apparently hit that number. Is it just me, or is the fact that it's based on karma not clear?

I mean, Hackernews isn't known for its good UX. What does "showdead", "noprocrast", "maxvisit", "minaway", "delay" do in the profile? I've been using HN for a while and I have no clue

There's a FAQ that covers the profile settings: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html

Write a Grease-monkey (or equivalent) script, that reads your query variable, applies the value to the top bar, and then add that parameter to all links on the page.

Optional: Then write a bookmarklet, that displays a color-picker, and reloads the tab with the changed querystring variable.

(HN web server admin might get some "scary" log file entries though, regarding an "unusual" additional QS variable)

That’s called CSS. Use a user style, not javascript. The query is not applicable since its not offered by HN themselves.

You are misunderstanding what grease-monkey can do, and what I'm proposing.

e.g. try loading news.ycombinator.com?myColorVar=44ff55 , it will load normally, as usual. Of course, this variable means nothing to the HN backend, but this is where e.g. Grease-monkey comes in: It injects a bit of javascript of your choosing into the page context for the news.ycombinator.com/* pages. This scriplet can easily change the color of the header-bar, and add the colorVariable to all (non-external) links.

Of course, you can add a line like the following to your local userContent.css:

@-moz-document domain(news.ycombinator.com) { #hnmain>tbody>tr:first-of-type>td { background-color: lime !important; }

, but this has the disadvantage of requiring a Firefox restart for each change, whereas my method requires only twiddling the value in the URL, and it's valid for all future requests, until you change it again.

I hope, the above makes it clearer, what I meant the post above

The following code snippet in a grease-monkey-script with

// @include https://news.ycombinator.com/*

in the header will color the top-bar on HN pages with the color given in the URL such like https://news.ycombinator.com#MYC=lime or https://news.ycombinator.com#MYC=#ce1c01 .

(function() { if (color=document.location.href.match(/#MYC=(.)/)[1]) { document.querySelector("#hnmain>tbody>tr:first-of-type>td").setAttribute("bgcolor",color); document.querySelectorAll('a[href^="https://news.ycomb"],a:not([href="/"])') .forEach(e => {e.href+="#MYC="+color}); } })();

This script colors the top bar, and adds the custom colour to all HN-internal links, so until you manually change the URL, further navigation in that tab within news.ycombinator.com will retain your chosen top-bar colour.

(I hope the code comes out formatted in a legible way)

You’re missing the point of the query. What’s the point of using the query at all?

OP suggested it as a way for users to customize their HN color; Then you suggested to take this query and make an extension out of it.

If you want to customize your HN color, use CSS, not this roundabout way through a query parameter.

The query never makes sense anyway. If HN were to allow customization they’d allow it in the options, not as a random query that you have to set manually.

There are submissions from 7 and more months ago. Seems serious.

I saw this and voted it up.

I'm still working diligently on counting the grains of sand on the beach closest to me, and hopefully we can pool all of our work together for a final count. As soon as that's done I'll start trying to name all the stars. Colors? I'm tired already.

There are only 5000 stars visible to the human eye. And many already have names. That would be a much easier job than naming 16m colors ;-)

Grains of sand? Easy! Want a real challenge? Try naming all the numbers between 0 and 1! I've been at it for weeks and struggling to get much past 0.

Ha, I thought of doing that but decided it would be too hard, so i picked the much easier challenger of naming the numbers between 0-0.01. I'll be finished in no time.

Though it did cross my mind to split the range in to 2 parts and then recursively bin each part in two; if I allow repeating names ... Perhaps then ones chances would be greater than zero.


But you're not giving each one a name. Slacker.

I am workingon naming a billion stars after real people name.

Of course, 16.7M colors aren’t all colors, not even in “web space”. Enter color(display-p3). https://webkit.org/blog/10042/wide-gamut-color-in-css-with-d...

CSS Color Module 4, which introduced support for the DCI-P3 color space, also introduced support for the even larger ProPhoto RGB and Rec.2020 color spaces (as well as the similarly-sized Adobe RGB). These were already supported in media that could be embedded in web pages.

"Blartreuse" ow my sides...

They need to have a way to sort by votes, or have a "Best of" or whatever. I was curious (and they provide the data! Thanks!)...so naturally-

  $ curl -sL https://colornames.org/download/colornames.zip | zcat | sort -nk3 -t, | tail -n10
  486d83,Blue Loneliness,0.069
  123456,Incremental Blue,0.071
  1eeb01,Creeper Aw Man,0.072
  336699,MetaFilter Blue,0.077
  abcdef,Alphabet Blue,0.078
  b83c73,Red Tedir,0.139
  000000,Lil Huddy,1

Edit: sorry..."Focus Group Blue"...im dying

Hey, I independently came up with a similar solution (https://notryan.com/colors) and it renders to HTML.

But ugh... I applaud your simplicity. I used `unzip` instead of zcat, but I guess .zip files normally use GZIP internally. And, I didn't know you could use `sort` for a specific field! So I ended up using a full SQL engine... Learn something new everyday :)

I'm curious—is there a point to giving two separate names to two colors which are indistinguishable from one another to the human eye?

There are zero people in the world who can tell #FF4500 from #FF4501, so aren't they effectively the same color?

I propose that names be considered more like probability distributions. For example the name “red” has a probability distribution that probably peaks in the neighbourhood of #FF0000 but includes a large range of colors; the distribution of the name “crimson” likely has a much narrower distribution. Under this interpretation, and given enough data, one could feasibly extract “the” name for any given colour using a maximum likelihood estimation (what name is most likely to generate the observed colour).

And to collect data on this, one could for example ask many random users to choose the range of colours they believe correspond to a given name (“select all red colours”) and merge the results into the distribution. (There are many, many other ways to carry out such a survey; this is but one example).

Obviously, you won’t get to 16M names this way, but you could definitely learn quite a lot about where the “boundaries” are between colours from this kind of exercise!

You might expect to hear this, but what you're hinting at was done by xkcd: https://blog.xkcd.com/2010/05/03/color-survey-results/

Particularly, what you're describing is this: http://imgs.xkcd.com/blag/satfaces_map_1024.png :-)

Every time I see that xkcd I'm never surprised that gold is the smallest section. It's consistently a pain in the ass to get something that looks semi-decent gold ish. A shine effect helps, but then that's more work to get right.

#b18800, from the xkcd, looks pretty bad; #d4af37 is a good bit better, #cfb53b is semi-passable IMO.

By induction, doesn’t that mean we would only have one color name?

"can't tell apart" isn't a transitive relation. That is, just because I can't tell A from B and I can't tell B from C doesn't mean I can't tell A from C.

“Has the same name as”, however, is a transitive relation.

So, if no two indistinguishable colors have distinct names, and for every pair of colors have a path between them of colors such that adjacent colors in the path are indistinguishable, then all colors would have the same name.

The flaw here is the assumption that colors have a single, well-defined name.

Even if you associate each color with a set of names, if the graph where vertices are colors and edges are “these colors are indistinguishable” is connected, and any two indistinguishable colors have the same set of names, then all colors would have the same set of names.

The solution of “assign a degree of applicability if each name to each color” and allow a color name to have different levels of applicability for a pair of indistinguishable colors, sorta solves the problem?

But, in a sense, isn’t “to what degree do each of these names apply to this color” just a kind of identifier like a name is? (Though it has the advantage that we can talk about the identifiers being very close to each other )

We can’t have identifiers for colors always be the same iff the colors are indistinguishable, because “is the same” is transitive while “is visually indistinguishable” is not.

Therefore, in order to be able to describe a large variety of colors (with say, rgb), we choose to use an identifying scheme (such as rgb) which has different identifiers for colors which are visually indistinguishable.

I don't follow. Two given colors being indistinguishable doesn't imply that any two colors are indistinguishable.

Your suggestion was that if two colors are indistinguishable, they should have that name.

But given any two colors A and B you can construct a sequence C1 = A, C2, C3, ..., Cn = B where adjacent colors Ci and Ci+1 are indistinguishable from each other, and so need the same name, for 1 <= i < n. Hence, A and B have to have the same name.

The problem with your argument is that indistinguishable doesn't mean the equal. I'm not saying there is no difference between adjacent colors. I'm saying that the difference is indistinguishable. A lot of indistinguishable differences add to a distinguishable difference.

Think about it with numbers: if your sequence A, B, C... are each zero units apart, then yes, A = B = C = ...

In actuality, though, they are not zero units apart. They are a small, but positive distance apart. Those tiny differences add up so the distance from A to C is twice as far as the distance from A to B.

Let's do an example, using just colors with no red or green in their RGB representation so we just have to give the B component, which is a decimal from from 0 to 255. Let's call 0 "black".

Your suggestion was that if a color is close enough to another to be indistinguishable it the two should have the same name.

1 is close enough to 0, so gets the name "black" too.

How about 2? That's farther from 0 "black". Is it distinguishable? If not, it too is "black", and we can go on to compare 3 and 0, and beyond.

At some point we get our lowest blue-only RGB color that is distinguishable from 0 "black". Suppose that is 4. So we have 0, 1, 2, and 3 are all called "black", and since 4 is distinguishable from 0 it needs a new name, say "very light blue".

But now we have 3 "black" only 1 away from 4 "very light blue". Those are probably indistinguishable, so are supposed to have the same name. Oops.

Any two adjacent colors must either have the same name or different names.

This assumes a color must have only one name. Why not two, or more?

Having more than one name doesn’t change the story, and neither does some colors having no name at all. For each pair of adjacent colors which is indistinguishable to most people, and the two colors must either have the same name (the two sets of names are equal) or different names (the two sets of names have no intersection).

It's just the old paradox of the heap. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorites_paradox

So make Ci and Ci + 1 distinguishable. Problem solved.

Hah, I love it! There's a lot to dislike about HN and the culture here, but questions like these that sort of make me go "Well obviously not, because ... erm" are quite common and always interesting.

If there are zero people who cannot tell two colors apart, they should have the same name.

If there is at least one person who cannot tell two colors apart, they should have different names.

What does 'telling a color apart' even mean? I did a mini project some time ago, where I basically did some custom color quantization (it was to reduce an image into a configurable amount of discrete colors, to make a pixel quilt with a manageable amount of distinct fabric colors). So I used CieLAB colors to calculate the 'visual distance' between the available colors and then recursively merged colors until I got to the desired amount. But even a simple algorithm like that, it turned out, could be implemented in several way; each of which gave different, yet equally 'valid' results.

My point being - it's very hard to give a simple, unambiguous meaning to seemingly simple concepts like 'what is a color', 'when are colors the same' and 'are these two colors more similar than those other two'. There is a lot of abstraction between the physics of light and representations of color e.g. on a screen, or in fabric, or when printing.

> What does 'telling a color apart' even mean?

Being able to distinguish colors on a test such as https://xritephoto.com/cool-tools

Although I got it right in the end, I found the second row to be insanely hard.

But somehow, on all rows, the colors just seemed to snap into place for me, is that a normal feeling?

I think in the case of telling two colors apart, it's can be as simple as presenting them side by side, and seeing if someone can distinguish a difference.

Not sure that is so simple unfortunately.

First, because if I recursively apply your argument, then no color would have a name. Starting from the very 1st lowest color frequency and the 2nd right next to it, no-one could differentiate them. Apply the same logic between the 2nd and the 3rd, the 3rd and the 4th, etc.

So you cannot apply this argument to "any" color pair. You would have to define a set of starting colors, and always do the comparison against them. Now you enter the problem of which starting colors to starts, and the fact that using any pre-existing color names would most likely not be evenly distributed on the color spectrum.

Second, it wouldn't work because color recognition is not a transitive process.

- If you show me two very close red variations side by side, I may not be able to tell the difference.

- If you space the variation, I may be able to tell that there are 2 different reds, but wouldn't be able to tell which one is darker/lighter accurately.

- If instead of showing me the two close reds side by side, you show them to me paired with an other color, I may be able to tell the difference. For instance, show me a board with half red1 + yellow, and an other board with red2 + yellow. I may spot than 1 of the red + yellow is matching that good compared to the other one.

You can get out of that argument by saying that colour names apply in different amounts to different hex-colours.

So #FF0000 is red. But is #FA0101 is also red, just slightly less so.

That's interesting. So what you have is some sort of similarity metric that is colour based. You could define it as being 1 for an exact match, and 0 for not matching, so cyan, etc. would be 0 red, while orange may be slightly red (e.g. 0.1), and pink may be slightly more red (e.g. 0.25). This would be a 3D function/surface.

This would allow you to model classes of colours, like purples. Shades of a colour could then be any similar colour in the range 0 to 0.5 (or 0.25).

Yes, this is what Delta E in the CIELAB color space is meant for. But in RGB color space this concept doesn't make sense; well, only if you would accept a non linear similarity metric - but then what is the metric for, if you need to apply a curve to it to normalize it? But still, this is different from modeling 'shades' of a color (if we say 'shades' are varying brightness in RGB space using the 0.21/0.72/0.7 brightness conversion - but again, I argue that 'shades' is an ambiguous concept).

My point is, again, that colors are a much more difficult concept than some in this discussion are making it out to be, and 'distance between colors' is more complex still.

Yes, agreed.

Yep, in fact, that’s exactly what those hex codes are: a specification for how much red, how much green, and how much blue is in the color (though our vision and color perception may not map linearly to that specification).

Sort-of. My aim was to suggest looking at natural clusters of similar shades.

You can map those clusters into RGB space. Or other colour spaces.

Technically you are correct, but I don't think that's what the colour-namers are going for.

That restricts you to 8 bits per color channel, and more importantly, to the RGB color space which is non linear. Comparing colors in RGB color space is nonsense in the first place ('comparing' here is 'judge by human perception'). 'Comparing' colors is just not that easy; in fact, I'd argue that without (much) more definition and clarification, it's impossible to do, because it can mean different things depending on the purpose.

I only used RGB and 8 bits per channel in the example.

My argument was more general.

If that were so that would mean induction was a bad thing.

Sure. At a minimum, it seems some folks find it entertaining to do so. That is a point. But naming them for the conventional purpose of indexing into cognitive clusters doesn't work, obviously.

The entire website is obviously a silly joke. Even if the colours were distinguishable you wouldn't go about naming them in this fashion but in some more systematic fashion

I thought the entire thing was an excuse to have yet another node dependency.

    const namedColors = require('namedColors'); 
    const chalk = require('chalk');
    console.log(chalk.hex(nameColors['Hacker News Orange'])(
       lol, you just downloaded a 200meg dep for named colors

Good, let's have it so that the the senior developers can come in and save the day by hardcoding the "hacker news orange" :)

Depending on how it's produced it's not even _a_ colour, it's three colours, or two colours, then the same two with a bit of blue. Perhaps my eyes lack a normal number of blue receptors, and a substantial amount of blue still wouldn't alter the perceived colour.


And conversely, there are infinitely more colors than that particular digital representation can express.

I can't take it as more than a joke.

Or maybe lockdown is really getting to their head.

As long as they include rebeccapurple.


It’s the top voted name! https://colornames.org/color/663399

Every time I see that color name, I think about death. #663399 is the color of death.

Shameless plug for color-loving people :

Are all verbs blue ?


It's parsing any webpage, and coloring words based on their Part-Of-Speech tags.

The idea behind is that if we let the computer pre-parse the text for us, it should incur less mental fatigue, and help visualize the structure of sentences therefore improving our reading comprehension.

The question is how universal can we make this color-mapping ?

I like the idea but the demo page looks a boy clownish. As in, too many colors. Perhaps you should test which particular elements benefit most from this type of tagging

I have been searching for something like this for years! Wish it wasn't Firefox-only :( What would it take to get it ported to a better browser?

Here's my crack at coloring or syntax-highlighting the parts of english speech for easier analysis, but mine was a manual process: https://github.com/tomhodgins/bil

Well the first step would be to write a better browser.

> What would it take to get it ported to a better browser?

So cute, so subjective.

>What would it take to get it ported to a better browser?

It's waiting for review approval on the chrome webstore.

after checking icon and layout, they just install the extension in a sandbox and if it runs without a javascript error it passes.

Could you make it activate on demand/icon click? Excited to see how this would affect skimming web pages for me.

From a security point of view it will probably require some additional permissions, that I'm not comfortable asking yet.

It's also taking a few seconds to process big pages so for the time being I'll rather have the user click the button when he wants to.

But I'll try to think of a solution for this use case.

> What would it take to get it ported to a better browser?

If I were the dev and heard that kind of attitude, I would intentionally not port it.

What, exactly, was the point of being an ass there?

Just go to any paint store and you'll find yourself halfway there. When we were searching for gray tones we were stunned at the creative names we saw for the thousands of grays available i.e. "mindful gray" "blissful stone" etc.

That's got a be a dream job for some uber-creative artist.

And a nightmare job for some other creative artist.

I added Draymond Green


Because, why not.

Makes me think of when xkcd did a survey to produce "objective" names of swathes of the RGB spectrum [1]:


That was genuinely educational.

Colornames.org just seems to be a gimmick, kind of like the million dollar home page [2] -- remember that? But still fun though. :)

[1] https://blog.xkcd.com/2010/05/03/color-survey-results/

[2] http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/

The hex code is six numbers long, the same length as a date written in ddmmyy format. Apparently this is not a unique thought because I tried putting in some random dates and found the colors were named things like "gage's birthday".

Why do I get the feeling that you could programmatically name all these colors in some trivial way? Then you wouldn't end up with 30x "Blue" in your dataset.

Let's imagine we take the dominant byte of each color only. That's 4096 different color combinations. The lower byte makes up another 4096 color variations to each of those dominant colors. Just name 4096 "Color" words, like "Blue", "Aquamarine" etc. Then 4096 "useless adjectives" like "Mindful" and "Exotic".

And viola: Exotic Blue - 0x0xFx | xAx3x5 Mindful Blue - 0x0xFx | x5x5x5 etc.

8000 words is something a single person could do by themselves, and it would generate all 16.7 million colors. You could even have some intuitive understanding. "Aha, Mindful Blue is a little bit grayer than just 'Blue'." This isn't even the most useful schema you could come up with...

Realistically, it's foolish to even do this in the RGB colorspace. Humans are not going to notice the difference between #000000 and #000001. Colors should be organized in a way that's useful. Hierarchical color naming at least gets you partway there.

OK. Went down the rabbit hole 20 minutes ago and just surfaced. I love simple time-wasters like this. My contributions include:


Not quite baby shite

Medical attention required

Hardware store argument blue

Something tells me however that the colour picker that implements this list, while fun, would not be very performant.

There are four distinct competing pukes, a myriad buffet of barfs, and a veritable cornucopia of vomits, but none of them cover what I consider the entire gamut of requisite Ralph colors. There's a reason it's called the "Technicolor Yawn".




H. Fishlove & Co. "Whoops" Brand Fake Barf has its own distinct set of signature colors, including "perfect puke-yellow" with "Cabernet chunks", easily recognizable by connoisseurs and aficionados of fine fake barf. And artisanal hand-made farm-to-floor fake barf has its own earthy bouquet of organic colors.


>The latex is initially white, but after a day or so, dries into the perfect puke-yellow. “Then, they attach it to a card that says ‘Whoops’ and sell it,” Stan says.

>Of course, now, the original “Whoops” has many gnarly competitors. “One of the better ones is called Glop, made by the famous S. S. Adams joke company.” Others made across the Pacific include Fake Barf and “Oops.”

I would if they restrict names to be two or rarely three words and avoid punctuation. Also, I think they should advise against humorous/jocular names and ask people to suggest brief but descriptive names.

I was voting on suggested names, very many are those jocular names, overlong and with too much punctuation that does not really serve the purpose.

Ah! This is fantastic!

For those curious, I created a script that sorts their data by votes! https://notryan.com/colors

Salad color varies greatly from person to person, apparently


Some don’t even contain chlorophyll

This is a similar (and very old) project, something like a Pinterest for colours and colour palettes.


It's a great project from a great idea, but I'm a little desapointed that it seems to be turned into a joke contest.

For example, most voted name for 000009 is "Really Dark Blue ", which does not really work...

They should have named 12-bit (4096), 15-bit (32768) and 18-bit (262144) color spaces first then the 24-bit (16.7M) color space. It's easier for humans to manage smaller data sets at first.

More importantly they shouldn't limit themselves to an RGB bound color space

Then go all the way and use perceptually uniform colorspace. But that has complicated relationship to RGB used everywhere.

This immediately reminded me of this interactive art installation, wax chromatic, by Alexander Reben: https://areben.com/project/wax-chromatic/

The audience names a color, and the lights change accordingly. I remember attending a talk of his where he briefly mentioned the huge color name mapping he created for this piece!

If I ever need a quick colour to highlight something when testing I use #BADA55, it’s a rank lime green and it’s spelt BadAss so it’s easy to remember.

As colour blind (I fall under the umbrella of Deuteranomaly) I must only celebrate this kind of efforts. I should probably know better but if I recall, up to 8-10% of male population can suffer some kind of colour blindness so it's a huge slice of population that can be benefitted from this.


All humans are colour blind to some degree; as they get older, even more so.

Interesting. I didn't know that.

More discrimination against us colour blind people. The basic names are confusing enough - my housemate mentions something "green" when there's no such thing, he's talking about the brown one.

I sometimes wonder if there are actually that many colours, or whether people are just making up differences that don't exist.

They seem to have their conspiracy up and running pretty tight, though: when I ask different people, they usually give me the same answer. All very well prepared!

Can you suggest an alternative?

I think Perenti is just joking.

I'm colourblind myself. I mind when eg UI elements or real world distinctions are _only_ communicated by hue (instead of also using texture, brightness, saturation, shape, text, etc); but I don't think anyone can mind less disabled people making full use of the facilities they have.

Although mostly tongue in cheek, I do think the lack of awareness by some UI designers is a real issue. I've also found IDE syntax colouring schemes that are just too hard.

I've also found posters and signs where important information is in colours/shades that I can't discriminate between. Sometimes I wonder if there should be a law that prevents safety information being green on brown, or brown on green, or the wrong shades of red/green/brown together.

And no, I don't do domestic wiring, nor can I read many resistors.

I am wary of adding extra laws. Especially ones that are hard to enforce. Luckily, I found that people seem to be paying more attention to accessibility than they did in the past.

Eg Game Maker's Toolkit has a video series about 'designing for disability', see eg their 'Colourblindness & Low Vision' entry at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrqdU4cZaLw

One of their points is that lots of adjustments made to assist people with disabilities can also help normal people grasp information quicker or in unusual circumstances.

One challenge with this is that the same name will be proposed for similar colors.

For example: https://colornames.org/search/results/?query=+Safety+Orange+

Deciding what to call a color is going to require more than seeing which name for each color gets the most votes. For a set of names to be useful, they need to make sense when taken as a set.

Next: name all 99 one-cent increments between middle C and C#.

Humans love nomenclature in music too!

Naming 32 gradients of smell between veal and beef might be useful, come to think of it.

Maybe kind of silly like buying titles to land on the moon but I have to admit to naming a few. It’s fun.

I am going to give this to my kids as a fun school break activity that still is sort of educational.

What about those colours which live beyond the pale of RGB in LAB space? Will they forever be nameless?

It's a grey area.

Up/down votes should be added to each individual color's own page, ie https://colornames.org/color/f9cdcb

Edit: I added this suggestion through their used feedback service.

But there are the up/downvote buttons already?

Wow, my mistake. The color I submitted wasn't confirmed, but for some reason, I just didn't realise that. My bad!

I had added that color as "Cartoon pig skin"

Nice project but I have a couple of questions of the team:

1. How will you deal with bots and griefers since there appears to be no login required?

2. When is a color considered named? More than X votes for the top name? Any final QA to check for profanity, trademarked terms or other malarkey?

I love how the counters on the top bar and homepage are not updated, even though new entries keep appearing in the "latest" page.

You'd expect counting the entries in a collection (or materializing that count) shouldn't be so expensive.

The Latest page is not the final arbiter of colour naming - they are also moderated before becoming "true" names.

Maybe this could be partially automated by getting lists of things like plants, animals, etc. running a web image scrape with those key words, and computing the average color of, say, the first 100 images returned for each word.

This was on metafilter.com a few days ago and I felt compelled to create one:


Unfortunately (or fortunately, depends on perspective) for these guys there's more than 16.7M colors.

The world isn't digital like that, but even in the digital realm, 10bit per RGB channel is not uncommon.

I think we should also name the numbers between 1 and 1,000,000 wiht unique names. The current names we use have too many patterns :D The number 173,515 could be a "singing dog", etc.

Those numbers already do have unique names.

The names of colors like "#ff38a1" are also unique, so what is that post about?

It should be organized as a tree where each level has 3x2-1 children for the corresponding RGB bits... (local top level is the color with the current leading bits repeated)

There has got to be some finite combination of stars that make up constellations. You all see the Big Dipper but thereabouts I see Jerry the Cowboy and Alan the Cowboy.

At the current rate, should have them all named within a year.

There should be a mash-up that lets you preview the colors on bikeshed.com.


#EBABEC is now "Pink Hork" in honor of Janelle Shane[0].

0: https://aiweirdness.com

A couple nice features would be to show you the other colors with the same name you suggested, and to also provide a browsable index of named colors.

Voting system kinda ruins it, ppl game it too much and bring in western cultural references a lot so their choice goes to the top instantly

Western cultural references are kind of unavoidable when naming things in English I think.

This is cool! Unfortunately it is case sensitive, one search term I tried applied to four different colours, differing only by case.

We already have names for all of those colors. They start with 000000 and end with FFFFFF.

So amused by this project as I struggle to give names beyond "copper", "blue", "dark green", etc.

Ha I got a random color and thought “Mutant Green”. Turns out there are 4 other colors named that! Well done all around!!

Maybe a different language from English should be used for the CMYK names to allow ambiguities when translating...

Reminds me of the idea (and the actual practice) of describing chemical formulas with words.

With the current progress, this will take less than two years to accomplish!

An interesting project (there was a similar one https://blog.xkcd.com/2010/05/03/color-survey-results/).

However, I have a few concerns. It does provide feedback "That name already exists in 3 other places." with a warning sign. It really shouldn't, for quite a few reasons:

- Names that make sense will appear many times over. It is natural and good. It will make the final result MUCH more robust if we look at the most common color.

- Right now it promotes the first move. If someone uses color "sea" for "#003b3b" (Mexican gulf oil spill?) it discourages others for using the same name for more suiting colors. The problem can be anything: poor English vocabulary, typo, atypical connotation, poor color display, etc, etc.

- Then the feedback says that my voice will be the name of a color. Too much pressure for me. English is not my mother tongue. I am am not a graphic designer. My display is good, but clearly not good enough to distinguish the tiniest changes.

I went to name a “Doodoo brown” and was warned 7 other doodoo browns exist.

Nice, I’ve found my people.

I made doodoo red for you instead:


There's a downloadable dataset! Would be fun to train a color-labeling model :)

Can't we do this automatically using webscraping + nlp + image processing?

Ok, puke-green-with-a-hint-of-brown is now "radioactive mud".

The variety of colors people associate with petrichor is interesting.

On X11 you have /etc/X11/rgb.txt with ~750 color names.

Seems there are already multiple entries for Cornflower Blue.

I've just proposed "Ubuntu Color" for #E95420

Soon to be used as a startup name generator.


There is zero indication on the whole site as to who is responsible for this.

There seems to be no privacy statement.

The registrar is anonymized.

The chances of this being a cutesy email phishing site are VERY HIGH

They don't seem to be asking for emails though. At least not when you go to name a color or downloading data.

The only place where they are asking for e-mail is on the contact form which makes sense.

True, but it lights up multiple red lights.

It's either a long con or a genuine cascade of oversights and bad decisions.

Would be nice a multi-language support

#ff6600 can be named as bhagwa

Urban Dictionary for colors :)

Lazyboy #123456 Prime #135711


This is totally addictive

So I can give it my name?

They have a voting system, it seems.

How is spam prevented?

Too bad it’s censored.

One of my favorites:

Greerg: #123321

color naming is a cultural topic.



I'm not surprised.


I can't see this succeeding at all. Randall Munroe tried something similar and the results weren't encouraging: https://blog.xkcd.com/2010/05/03/color-survey-results/

> People are primed by the colors they saw previously, which adds overall noise and some biases to the data


> Moreover, monitors vary; RGB is not an absolute color space

I think it's just for fun. After all, the top name for black (#000000) is Lil Huddy (https://colornames.org/color/000000).

2000 suggestions a hour seems like a success to me.

Would be fun to take all this data and interpolate it to all the 16M colours using a natural language model. We'll need this if we want to stand a chance against at ten bit colour depth.

"Trump Orange": That name already exists in 11 other places.

i like 854700

Very first thing I see is a rule that the names must be non offensive and the second thing I see is the color orange named after Trump.

Apparently not a very serious attempt.

People don't like to admit this, but "offensive" is by definition subjective (to whom does this give offense?).

Thus, unless you're fairly explicit about who it's not okay to offend, "offensive" is at best vague and at worst weasel-wording.

It is, however, common knowledge that calling that particular person orange is meant as an insult. No need to have a precise definition of "offensive" for cases like that.

I, as non USAer, have no idea what is the relation between Trump and orange.

I tried naming a particular shade of brown "solid poop" and it was rejected. I feel let down.

Trump can be a word meaning “done better”. I trumped you at math.

Trump does make an effort to be orange. It’s sort of a trade mark like John Deere green.

What about all the colors named on other sites? colourlovers.com alone has already named over 10 million colors. Someone should scrape those and add them :)

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