The Color Thesaurus

I love to collect words. Making word lists can help to find the voice of my story, dig into the emotion of a scene, or create variety.

One of my on-going word collections is of colors. I love to stop in the paint section of a hardware store and find new names for red or white or yellow.  Having a variety of color names at my fingertips helps me to create specificity in my writing. I can paint a more evocative image in my reader’s mind if I describe a character’s hair as the color of rust or carrot-squash, rather than red.

So for fun, I created this color thesaurus for your reference. Of course, there are plenty more color names  in the world, so, this is just to get you started.

Fill your stories with a rainbow of images!













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43 thoughts on “The Color Thesaurus

    • Yes, cyan would also work for that color. But arctic could be a more evocative word, depending on the context of the sentence and story. The point of this color thesaurus wasn’t to 100% match the word with the color, so much as explore different evocative and sensual word choices that push past one’s first word choice of blue.

  1. Hello Ingrid!

    I just love this! I am a Makeup Artist obsessed with Color Theory, so this just lit my fire!

    Thank you so much. I shared it in Social Media with links to your blog. :-)

  2. Reblogged this on Sarvodaya and commented:
    The nuances of color are as fascinating as they are practical. Whether you’re an artist, writer, or just someone who enjoys word collecting, this is great to have on hand.

  3. I appreciation for word list also. I have large notebooks filled with them. Thank you for sharing your color list. It will come in very handy.

    You have my favorite color in your hair, purple. I think people look outstandingly with unusual hair colors. Don’t change it because it makes you look unique.

  4. I can’t thank you enough for sharing these. These would be excellent printed and hung on the wall besides my story board. I thank you, and my readers thank you. ;)

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  6. This is fantastic! Kids often don’t know what a color word means, so this would be great to help them use color words more precisely in their writing. The only one that threw me was sapphire, which is my birthstone. I always associated it with a deep, cool blue instead of the more tealish color on the chart.

    Thanks again for a great resource. Pinning for sure!

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