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Feb 13, 2023
This week’s theme
Words for colors

This week’s words
aeneous
argent
stramineous
rubicund
virescent

aeneous
Photo: grinvalds / iStock

Previous week’s theme
Misleading words
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Fingernails are tiny canvases and they deserve to be painted like works of art. You’d think that nail polishes came in red, green, blue, etc., and you’d be wrong.

These days, the nail polish names themselves are colorful. Often there’s no connection between the whimsical name and the actual shade. How many of these colors can you guess? (Try to guess the color before clicking on a link.)

 Taupe-Less Beach
 Another Ramen-tic Evening
 Raisin Your Voice
 Alpaca My Bags

The names are flirty, sassy, maybe even provocative. Often punny. And why not? Much more fun wearing a nail polish named “Squeeze Me” instead of just “orange”.

When Unicorn Puke and Don’t Make Me Wine become popular enough in the English language to enter the pages of the dictionary as names of colors, we’ll make sure you are informed.

Meanwhile, this week we’ll feature other words for colors: not as creative as “Squeeze Me” but not as straightforward as “pink” or “purple” either.

Painting nails may be one of those rare instances in which it’s actually fun to watch paint dry. What are your favorite shades? What’s your relationship with colors, nail polish, and beyond? Do you paint your nails defying the traditional nail polish gender binary? Email us at words@wordsmith.org or share below. Include your location (city, state).

PS: And if you have the ambition to start your own nail polish empire, here’s a handy nail polish name generator to get you started.

aeneous

PRONUNCIATION:
(ay-EE-nee-uhs, EE-nee-uhs)

MEANING:
adjective: Bronze- or brass-colored.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin aes (bronze, brass, copper). Earliest documented use: 1808.

USAGE:
“The sifting dust scattered aeneous light, making everything around the company glow as with fairy fire.”
Kenneth Mark Hoover; Quaternity; Chizine; 2015.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The crucial disadvantage of aggression, competitiveness, and skepticism as national characteristics is that these qualities cannot be turned off at five o'clock. -Margaret Halsey, novelist (13 Feb 1910-1997)

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