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COLOR YOUR WORLD is a series of threads to provide lists of synonyms for different colors. All too often, writers resort to using the same word for a color repeatedly in their writing, leading to a sometimes boring redundancy which can lend itself to making the story uninteresting at worst, ho-hum at best.
This thread series will give you more options to choose from to keep your color references fresh and inviting.



According to : “Purple’s rarity in nature and the expense of creating the color and has given purple a supernatural aura for centuries. Purple is also the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow – and it’s a color with a powerful history that has evolved over time. In fact, the origins of the symbolism of purple are more significant and interesting than those of any other color. If we go back to our pre-historic existence, our ancestors probably never saw a purple fruit, flower, bird, fish – or any living thing – because purple is very rare in nature. This is hard to imagine in today’s connected world.

As civilizations developed, so did clothing and colored dyes. The earliest purple dyes date back to about 1900 B.C. It took some 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye – barely enough for dying a single garment the size of the Roman toga. It’s no wonder then, that this color was used primarily for garments of the emperors or privileged individuals.

Over the course of history, purple pigments and dyes became less costly and complex, but one thing has remained the same: Purple symbolizes nobility and luxury to most people in the world. Today, science has revealed much more about purple than our ancestors ever realized: Purple is the most powerful visible wavelength of electromagnetic energy.  It’s just a few steps away from x-rays and gamma rays.

Perhaps this explains why purple is associated with supernatural energy and the cosmos than with the physical world as we know it.

Taking all aspects of purple’s past and present into consideration, purple symbolizes magic, mystery, spirituality, the sub-conscious, creativity, dignity, royalty – and it evokes all of these meanings more so than any other color.

Variations of purple convey different meanings: Light purples are light-hearted, floral, and romantic. The dark shades are more intellectual and dignified.

The negative meanings of purple are decadence, conceit, and pomposity. Purple is also a color of mourning.

Purple’s global similarities are significant:

Purple tends to be a color that people either love or hate.

Among Mediterranean people, purple was reserved for emperors and popes. The Japanese christened it “Imperial Purple”

Purple is the color of mourning or death in many cultures (U.K., Italy, Thailand, Brazil)

Purple is not a common flag color. Only two flags contain purple.

Unique Meanings of Purple in Different Cultures

The “Purple Heart” is the American award for bravery.

Purple is a symbolic color for the gay community in many Western cultures.

Purple is the color of popular children’s television characters – “Barney” and “Tinky Winky” (the purple Teletubby from the BBC).

In Italy most performing artists would not go on stage if they have to wear anything purple.”


Given the complexities of this color, it can be a fantastic world building tool. Below you will find a list of the varying shades of this fantastic color to use in Building your World.

African violet


Antique fuchsia



Bright lavender

Bright ube

Brilliant lavender



China rose

Chinese violet

Cyber grape


Dark byzantium

Dark lavender

Dark magenta

Dark orchid

Dark pastel purple

Dark raspberry

Dark violet

Deep fuchsia

Deep lilac

Deep magenta

Deep mauve

Deep ruby

Deep Tuscan red


Electric lavender

Electric purple

Electric violet


English lavender

English violet


French lilac

French mauve


Fuchsia (Crayola)


Halayà úbe




Imperial purple

Japanese violet

Jazzberry jam

Lavender (floral)

Lavender purple

Light medium orchid

Light pastel purple



Magenta (Crayola)

Magenta (dye)

Magenta (Pantone)

Magenta (process)

Mardi Gras


Mauve taupe

Medium lavender magenta

Medium orchid

Medium purple

Medium violet-red

Mountbatten pink


Old lavender

Old mauve

Opera mauve


Palatinate purple

Pale lavender

Pale magenta

Pale plum

Pale red-violet

Pale violet-red

Pansy purple

Pastel magenta

Pastel purple

Pastel violet


Pearly purple




Plum (web)

Pomp and Power

Psychedelic purple



Purple (Munsell)

Purple (X11)

Purple Heart

Purple mountain majesty

Purple pizzazz

Purple taupe


Razzmic Berry


Rich brilliant lavender

Rich lavender

Rich lilac

Royal fuchsia

Royal purple

Russian violet

Sky magenta

True Purple

Twilight lavender

Tyrian purple



Violet (color wheel)

Violet (RYB)

Violet (web)

Vivid orchid

Vivid violet


To see what each shade actually looks like you can visit the original list site at: