The Vibrant Origins of Words Describing Colors

Host Dr. Erica Brozovsky, PhD of the PBS series Otherwords digs into the vibrant etymological origins of words that describe colors, noting that early civilizations didn’t need words for things they saw every day. But as civilization developed, the few basic words, employed for a simpler time, became more numerous and complex as the world changed.

The earliest humans didn’t have words for colors they had words for objects and actions and it took tens of thousands of years for those words to evolve into the names of the colors we used today looking back gives us a glimpse at how those early people saw the world around them.

Origins of Color Words
Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.