CSS colour words in hex

One of the nice little fillips about writing CSS is that occasionally you use a colour code which turns out to be a word; the most famous here is probably #DECADE. I ran across bada55.io which has made a whole site from this and was quite pleased, but the terrible old grammarian in me just can’t deal with the l33tsp34k nature of most of the suggestions. You’re obviously allowed A to F, and I’m prepared to allow 0 as O and 1 as I, but using 5 as an S or 3 as E is dubious, using 1 as an L is exceptionally dubious (especially when it’s already being an I in the same word!), and 7 for T or 4 for A or 6/G or (incomprehensibly) 9/P are right out. The fun nature of the game goes away when you have to puzzle out the meaning of the word like it’s a crossword clue or one of those horrid personalised number plates.

So, if we excise these crimes against spelling, all the colours that make what I consider to be proper words are below. There are obviously rather a lot of pastel shades, since each of the red, green, and blue channels will almost certainly be A0 or larger, but that’s not necessarily a problem (and there are a couple of decent highly-saturated colours in there too; I’m particularly fond of #AC1D1C and plan to use it more often). If we admit white and black into the palette, it’d almost certainly be possible to build a site while drawing solely from this list for your colour choices. Something to bear in mind for a future project, maybe.

  • abided
  • acacia
  • accede
  • acidic
  • babied
  • baobab
  • beaded
  • bedded
  • beefed
  • bobbed
  • bodice
  • boobed
  • cabbed
  • cabbie
  • caddie
  • cicada
  • codded
  • coffee
  • coifed
  • dabbed
  • decade
  • decide
  • decode
  • deeded
  • deface
  • defied
  • deiced
  • doffed
  • doodad
  • eddied
  • efface
  • facade
  • fibbed
  • fobbed
  • office

Addendum: I forgot about three-character hex colour codes! Of which there are also quite a few, and we do a lot better at the saturated ones this time because a whole channel is quite often 0 or 1. Although it’s less lexicographically elegant to use a three-character word.

  • ace
  • add
  • ado
  • aid
  • baa
  • bad
  • bed
  • bee
  • bib
  • bid
  • boa
  • bob
  • boo
  • cab
  • cad
  • cob
  • cod
  • coo
  • dab
  • dad
  • deb
  • did
  • die
  • doc
  • doe
  • ebb
  • fad
  • fed
  • fee
  • fib
  • fie
  • fob
  • foe
  • ice
  • oaf
  • odd
  • ode
  • oof
  • off

Addendum addendum: Matthew Somerville points out a few more words, of varying acceptability in formal conversation :) I can only plead that /usr/share/dict/words didn’t contain the better ones in here (IODIDE and BODIED), and reiterate that I’m not including BAE anywhere and I don’t care if you think it’s a word. Also, the CSS Colour Module Level 4 spec dangles the tantalising possibility of eight-hex-digit codes which can include an alpha channel (#rrggbbaa) which would bring the excellent CODIFIED and ACIDIFIC into the list, as well as the increasingly Latinate FABACEAE, IBIDIDAE, and COCCIDAE.

  • BABBIE
  • BODIED
  • DOBBED
  • IDEAED
  • IODIDE
  • FAB
  • DIB
  • BOD
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More in the discussion (powered by webmentions)

  • Roberto Alsina responded at twitter.com @sil neat! DId you use some sort of script?
  • Matthew Somerville responded at twitter.com @sil drafts.csswg.org/css-color-4/ would let you have #rrggbbaa ;-)
  • Stuart Langridge responded at twitter.com @dracos that only actually adds "codified" to the list, so I declare it to be a useless specification ;)
  • Thomas Meehan responded at tag:twitter.... (twitter.com)
  • Frederic Marx responded at tag:twitter.... (twitter.com)
  • Fabian A. Scherschel responded at twitter.com @sil #FAB is rather fab. :D
  • Birmingham.IO responded at twitter.com Stuart Langridge: CSS colour words in hex by @sil buff.ly/1q4lKeZ #PlanetBirmingham
  • Richard Brown responded at twitter.com "Stuart Langridge: CSS colour words in hex" kryogenix.org/days/2016/05/0… #CSS
  • James Edwards responded at tag:twitter.... (twitter.com)
  • Thomas Meehan responded at twitter.com RT @sil: Playing with CSS colours that are words. I must use #DEICED more. kryogenix.org/days/2016/05/0…
  • Larry responded at twitter.com Stuart Langridge: CSS colour words in hex kryogenix.org/days/2016/05/0… via @Inoreader
  • Larry responded at twitter.com Stuart Langridge: CSS colour words in hex kryogenix.org/days/2016/05/0… via @Inoreader fb.me/4kAzgM7av
  • Ronald McCollam responded at plus.google.com Hah! Nice! :D
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  • Will Thompson responded at twitter.com @sil re kryogenix.org/days/2016/05/0… you might enjoy @hashfacade
  • Garrett LeSage responded at tag:twitter.... (twitter.com)
  • e.e. marr responded at twitter.com #ac1d1c is a rocking colour