It is impossible to communicate with absolute precision. There’s always room for nuance, misinterpretation and confusion. For instance, when identifying a colour, describing it so precisely that it could be identified exactly is rare.

There are more colours than most of us have names for. And more colours than there are names for, as the are an infinite number of gradations.

I was recently at a business event and asked a delegate wearing a pinkish outfit what colour it was. We workshopped salmon and coral, before agreeing that it was the colour of a salmon crashing into coral: blood orange.

If we can’t agree on colour, being evidence-based, how can we agree on issues, products, services and personalities?

How many of these colours (and blacks, greys and whites) can you identify with precision?

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Ebony, inky, jet, licorice, noir, onyx, pitch, raven, sable, sooty, tar


Ash, battleship, charcoal, cinder, flint, granite, iron, lead, pelican, platinum, putty, salt-and-pepper, silver, slate, smoke, steel


Achromatic, alabaster, bone, chalk, cream, dove, eggshell, ivory, manila, milky, nougat, off-, oyster, pearl, snow


Apple, aquamarine, avocado, bottle, cucumber, cyprus, emerald, forest, grass, jade, leaf, lime, mint, olive, pea, pistachio, sea, teal, turquoise, ultramarine


Amber, blonde, canary, chamois, champagne, citron, corn, flaxen, gold, honey, lemon, maize, mustard, saffron, sand, straw, sulphur, sunflower, sunny, wheaten, yolk


Auburn, beige, bronze, brunette, burnt almond, burnt ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, butterscotch, camel, caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, cocoa, coffee, copper, earth, faun, hazel, khaki, leather, liver, mahogany, mocha, nut, ochre, peppercorn, raw sienna, raw umber, sepia, sienna, tan, tawny, terra-cotta, titian, toast, topaz, umber, walnut


Apricot, cantaloupe/rock melon, carrot, ginger, mandarin, peach, pumpkin, salmon, tangerine


Blood, blush, brick, burgundy, cerise, cherry, claret, cranberry, crimson, henna, lobster, magenta, maroon, paprika, pimento, ruby, ruddy, rust, scarlet, strawberry, vermillion


Carnation, coral, flamingo, hot, rose, shocking, water melon


Amethyst, aubergine/eggplant, deep, fuchsia, grape, lavender, lilac, mauve, mulberry, pansy, plum, prune, violet


Baby, cobolt, cyan, dark, deep, delft, electric, flag, ice, indigo, marine, midnight, navy, pale, powder, royal, sapphire, sea, sky, slate, true, water.

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Rodney Marks

I’m an Australian comedian, hoax speaker and corporate impostor. I mainly present comic hoaxes at business events. If you like these blogs, you’ll like my live comedy. If you don’t like these blogs, you still might like my live comedy.

Add to your bookmarks, and one day: book Marks. I don’t do cheap jokes, and I’m freer than you think. I’m comical not anatomical, economical not astronomical.

For more info – and to contact me directly – see my LinkedIn profile, and website: I’m based in Sydney and travel widely.