Every now and then this challenge appears on Facebook, “name a color without the letter ‘e’.” As if this is some sort of super-hard challenge. It’s so tempting to dismiss it, but our brains first think of the simple colors of the ROY G BIV spectrum: Red, orange, yellow, green blue, indigo, violet.
Six of the seven colors of the spectrum have the letter ‘e.’ Yipes! And can we really count indigo? People aren’t like, “indigo! of course!”
But of course, there are more than six colors. And that’s what irks me about this Facebook challenge. it subtly implies that there are no more colors than the big six.
Inevitably people on Facebook comment back with colors such as pink and brown. Some feisty people might even list gray and black—much to the debate if they are colors or not.
This challenge is such comment-bait. Of course, people are going to prove their brains by listing other colors. So when I saw this challenge reappear on Facebook, I figured I would end it once and for all by listing ALL the colors that don’t have the letter e.
Wikipedia has a list of 1,259 color names. Many of them are two words long, like light green and rich maroon.
Many of the adjectives in two-word names contain ‘e’:
But many adjectives don’t include ‘e’:
It didn’t seem as accurate to include two-word names, so I narrowed Wikipedia’s list down to include just one-word names. If you are curious, of the 1,259 color names (including one-word and two-word names), there are 262 that don’t have the letter e.
Putting aside the two-word names, and focusing on the one-worders… There are 296 one-word names, of which 126 colors that do not contain the letter ‘e.” That’s right. Over one hundred color names.
If you ever see this challenge on Facebook, feel free to respond with the 126 color names without the letter ‘e’:
Almond, Amaranth, Amazon, Apricot, Aqua, Asparagus, Auburn, Avocado, Bazaar, Black, Blond, Blush, Brass, Brown, Buff, Burgundy, Burlywood, Byzantium, Capri, Cardinal, Catawba, Charcoal, Cinnabar, Citron, Coconut, Coral, Cordovan, Corn, Cornsilk, Crimson, Cyan, Daffodil, Diamond, Dirt, Drab, Fallow, Fandango, Fawn, Flax, Flirt, Folly, Fuchsia, Fulvous, Gainsboro, Glaucous, Gold, Gray, Grizzly, Grullo, Inchworm, Indigo, Iris, Ivory, Jonquil, Khaki, Kobi, Kobicha, Lava, Lilac, Lion, Livid, Lust, Magnolia, Mahogany, Mandarin, Mantis, Marigold, Maroon, Midnight, Mindaro, Ming, Mint, Moccasin, Mustard, Mystic, Navy, Nyanza, Onyx, Orchid, Patriarch, Phlox, Pink, Pistachio, Platinum, Plum, Popstar, Pumpkin, Quartz, Rajah, Razzmatazz, Rhythm, Ruby, Ruddy, Rufous, Rust, Saffron, Salmon, Sand, Sandstorm, Sangria, Shadow, Shampoo, Sinopia, Smalt, Snow, Soap, Stizza, Stormcloud, Straw, Sunglow, Sunny, Sunray, Tan, Tomato, Toolbox, Topaz, Tulip, Tuscan, Tuscany, Urobilin, Vanilla, Viridian, Volt, Xanadu, and Zomp.
Now that’s laying a color smackdown!