Pastel is a useful word, but it's not what I'm after here.
I'm wondering why we don't have a single word term that would indicate one of the basic colors with white added in. Red becomes pink, for instance. But what does yellow become? Sure, we could say pastel yellow, but do we have a single-word term for that shade? I don't think so. and I don't think we have one for green, orange and blue. Skyblue comes close, but it still includes the word 'blue' in it. And I wonder why. If we've got lavendar, pink, beige, and gray, why not single term shades for the other colors? It's just puzzling to think about, especially since the language has been evolving all these years. You would think that something as fundamental as color would have long ago covered something as simple as adding white to yellow to get that pale shade we can all imagine, yet we don't have a single English word for it. That is, unless I'm incorrect here--and I would welcome being incorrect!--and there is already a specific word for each pastel color that most people speaking English would immediately recognize.
I would really love a term for Cream-sicle orange, for instance--that lovely, pale orange. It's not exactly apricot, which has some yellow in it, or peach, which has some yellow, too... It's, yes, pastel orange, but it should have a name of its own. And that very pale green, too, should have a single name. I'd call it butter-mint green, but that's too complicated as is Cream-sicle orange. Some might say ice green or ice orange. But you're right. Pastel works well. I just wish there were single word terms for these pastel colors.
Thanks for thinking about this, wwh.