Wierd color names

I recently did business with a linen supply company for a gala, and, of course, now get constant emails from them. Their latest advertised a new color, Hemlock, which, they say, has "a tone that will fire your imagination as much as it calms your spirit".

Seems an odd choice to put on your banquet table, because, as Socrates could attest, hemlock has an extremely calming effect!


  • Farrow and Ball are the fancy paint company in the UK. They do a lot of "heritage" paint colours, often named after a famous house that used a similar shade and that sort of thing. They have a paint called Arsenic. And one of their very popular colours is called Elephant's Breath.
  • As one who is ridiculously susceptible to color names - even when they have nothing at all to do with the actual hue - I find this both hilarious and oddly tempting! (Given that my friends know of my fondness for the Dark Side, they would not be surprised if I told them that my nice new napkins or tablecloth or whatever was hemlock-color.)
  • We have recently used Sapphire Salute (nice colour, boring name), Teal Tension and Proud Peacock in our house. All more interesting than the Soft Almond on the walls originally.
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