I'd constantly grvery own up thinking «cæruleus» was the appropriate word for blue in Latin---or at leastern, the blue of the sky, or water, or someone's eyes. Traffic lights are «viridis» though, I'd been told.

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Recently someone "corrected" me and also sassist to use «glaucus» and also «prasinus». Only I don't think that's ideal, those are international words---Greek, I need to think---and the various other 2 are perfectly fine for blue and also greenish-blue. Who's right?

As for white... if I put my shirt in the washing machine and also add bleach/bluing, it'll come out «candidus». If I subsequently sit for eight hours in a smoky office, it'll revolve «albus». And it'll «olet». A flower is «albus», yet snow is «candidus». Is that around correct?


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Colour words in Greek are weird, and in Latin even weirder. Firstly, they usage words where to us the colour appears wrong, such as "purple snow". Secondly, they have a very limited variety of words, particularly for the blue/green colours.

We think that what’s going on is that they were even more interested in describing the impact of light on the object. That’s exactly how they have actually 2 words for black, one for shiny, one for sooty. And "purple" really suggests "with a sort of sparkly effect".

So we can’t suppose a correspondence between English colour words and also theirs.


Purple scurrently.

Are you certain the word is wrong, and also that they weren't simply describing exactly what the snow looked favor at the time?


Yes. I have always discovered this whole descriptive choice for saturation rather than hue exceptionally fascinating.

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According to Stephen Berard: 'The ancients, particularly the Greeks, but also the Romans, provided a lot more weight to saturation or intensity ("saturitās") than to hue ("chrōma").'

He provides this list of bluish colours:

Callaïnus: teal, blue-greenAerūginōseus: verdigris-green, bluish deep green (On iron; but, this deserve to refer to rust colour)Aquamarīnus: aquamarine (Later Latin)Aquāticus: aquaVenetus: deepest blue-green; deep greenish blue; dark tealLapis lazulī (color): lapis, lighter teal (Later Latin; also lazulinus)Turcicus: turquoise, light greenish blue (Late Latin; also turcōsus and turcoïsinus)Glaucus: (pale) sea green, dull bluish green (This originally Greek word seems to refer more to paleness or, sometimes, brightness fairly than to one particular hue. It can likewise signify a pale or dull yellow.)Caesius: light blue, sky-blue; blue-greyCobaltinus: cobalt, pale blueCaelestis: (lighter) sky-blue (also caelicolor)Caeruleus: (deeper) blue, true blueĀeroīdēs: of the colour of the air, sky-blueCūmatilis/cȳmatilis: sea-blue (the colour of ocean waves)Cȳaneus: dark blue, deep-sea blue, Prussian blueVenetus: deepest green-blue; deep blue-greenCȳanāter: blue-babsence (Late Latin, used in science)