How Men and Women Name Colors
Shakespeare wrote that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But would that flower still look the same if we started calling its color "dusty mauve" instead of "rose"? Everyone perceives color differently, so we have trouble coming to a consensus about the some of the names we attach to the colors we see. Furthermore, men and women tend to use different vocabularies for colors, as evidenced by a study done by the webcomic xkcd, and an interactive visualization of the results by Data Pointed.
The online study, done in 2010, asked participants to name colors they were shown. Over five million colors were named in 222,050 user sessions. The results showed that while men and women on average would call colors the same names, there were certain names that skewed either male or female. Men were more likely to use names like "awesome blue," "goblin green," and "lightish red." While women were more likely to use names like "pale sage," "dusty teal," and "deep periwinkle."
The Data Pointed infographic plots the 2000 most commonly-used colors names by gender preference so that the most feminine names are at the top and the most masculine names are at the bottom. You can also re-arrange the graph to view the data by hue, saturation, brightness, popularity, or color name.
Gender differences aside, the graph is great fun to explore, just to see the various names people come up with. Suffice to say, you won't find many of these names in any Pantone library.
And once and for all, we can finally know the exact difference between "greenish yellow" and "yellowish green."