Order of color names

A color question someone asked me recently: What color are tennis balls?

I replied “yellow green.”

But some people reply “green yellow.”

The debate is… when you describe a color using two words, where do you put the major color? First or second? So if something has more yellow than green, do you say “yellow green” or “green yellow”?

I always thought that the first word is the dominate. But some may argue that the first word is merely describing the second word. Like the first word is an adjective.

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Tom Saaristo
18 years ago

Chartreuse

Astrolabe
18 years ago

an ancient crayola cunundrum(sp) i think you put the majority color first

unlikelymoose
18 years ago

oh man! I used to have this debate with a classmate in high school. Remember Dave Kooyenga, Spudart? He claimed tennis balls were green. I said they were yellow. When you purchase a can of tennis balls, they are most certainly yellow! Go to Target or Sportmart and check it out for yourself. YELLOW! However, after extended use, the tennis balls will turn into a shade of yellow green or perhaps green yellow.

CCHS Dave
CCHS Dave
3 years ago
Reply to  unlikelymoose

They are green!!

CCHS Erik
CCHS Erik
3 years ago
Reply to  CCHS Dave

They are yellow!!!

Tom Saaristo
18 years ago

The primary color should come before the secondary color. If the item in question is more yellow than green then the color is “yellow-green”. Why in the world would anyone say it the other way around? That simply doesn’t make any sense. My original answer was to point out that over time many colors have been given their own name, like chartreuse for “yellow-green” and aquamarine for “green-blue”.

unlikelymoose
18 years ago

hey, spudart, remember when we used to hit tennis balls at cars on route 83 during tennis practice? It’s funny that I’m in Elmhurst now and Route 83 runs through Elmhurst.

Bianca
Bianca
18 years ago

Ok, the second word is the main colour. The first word is the adjective of the main adjective, I forget what the proper word for that is. To see what I mean, saying ‘green yellow’, is just a simpler, or less silly sounding way of saying ‘greenish yellow’ or ‘greeny yellow’. You see? without the ‘ish’ or ‘y’ at the end it still means the same thing, the first word is saying the second word is slightly that colour. Ok, I’ll shut up now, oh, and I’ll just add that tennis balls are yellow, their not green at all. 🙂

K.Murph
18 years ago

I’ve debated for the past 2 weeks of scool, my teacher says it yellow, but another teacher insists its green. Clearly you can tell in YELLOW though:)ha.AND THIS PROVES IT. thanks everyone who said it was yellow.Your correct.

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