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WikiProject Color (Rated Stub-class, Mid-importance)
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Instead of moving this to Wiktionary, someone could just expand this like the other color articles...


All right, what I did was copied the basic template for a color from another article and added it inside a remark (<!-- -->) JD 03:28, Mar 15, 2005 (UTC)

Should the RBG for this be #961E42 it seems to match the description better then the current one. Lidden 18:15, 2 June 2006 (UTC)


"The mystery behind this colour involves its use in English as a sort of nonsensical-sounding colour name, much like chartreuse, a yellowish-green colour." <-- Does this sentence make little sense to anybody else but me? What mystery is being talked about here? And if people do use it in this fasion, maybe someone should give an example? Kidicarus222 05:48, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

I just removed that. It really didn't make any sense- first, I don't know where this "mystery" idea comes from, and second, does any color have a name that makes sense? Does green look "green"? I honestly can't believe this sentence was in the article for so long. -- Kicking222 03:12, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

The "Santa Claus" movie reference[edit]

...Nuh-uh, it was not the magical element that made reindeer fly. What made reindeer fly was the magical element in lollipops which the elf (Dudley Moore) chose to color puce after that color was suggested by B.Z. the evil toy-manufacturer's assistant, Howser. The magical element which made reindeer fly was some kind of gold dust -- which was also then added to the puce colored lollipops which BZ gave for free to all the children in the world, to take over Christmas ("Santa Claus is finished!"). So now ya'll know. :-) 16:47, 26 August 2006 (CET)

hex triplet[edit]

sorry no account yet, I'll get one soon. Anyways, the hex code does not match with the RGB code, maybe triplet means that both digits have to be the same but I doubt it cuz that's kinda counterintuitive. Not sure which is correct, just though tI'd point it out.-- 07:05, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

modern day usage[edit]

In my experience, Puce has become somewhat of the one color that nobody knows about. This article briefly touches on it but I think can be more direct about it. Of course, it's my experience, has anyone else say, have a teacher quiz you on what color puce is? -- 07:14, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Silly Colors: The book Science Made Stupid allocated puce, along with such colors as mauve and ecru, to the Risible Spectrum. WHPratt (talk) 15:27, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Popular culture: I think there was a Beetle Bailey comic strip wherein Sergeant Snorkel inspects the kitchen and sticks a paper star on the wall. The chef had been hoping for gold or silver, but gets one in puce, and dubs it a "sracastic" star or some such. WHPratt (talk) 17:12, 26 January 2011 (UTC) That's "sarcastic." Sorry. WHPratt (talk) 12:06, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

"Puce Green"[edit]

Did no one else grow up with the color he "puce green"? In the usage I grew up with, it's an unpleasant pale brownish yellow-green, much like mashed peas. Some might also call it "baby sh*t green". Does anyone know where this usage came from. A google search shows it to me a very common usage. It warrants mentioning certainly, but I'm not sure what to say about it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Natureguy1980 (talkcontribs) 06:59, 10 December 2006 (UTC).

I've always thought puce was a pukey orange color. Not sure where I got that idea from!

I kinda had thought the same thing, since I remember reading a book where this girl dyed her orange shoes baby blue, and ended up with "puce", so I assumed it was some brownish-orange puke color. 16:55, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't know what all the regional variations are, but there is no such color as puce green. "Puke" (note the K) can be used to qualify other colors as sickly-appearing (e.g. "puke green" or "puke orange"). "Puce" has a long history in the world of fashion and design that has always been in the purple spectrum. Alki (talk) 05:00, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I was brought up in Suffolk in the 60s & 70s with references to the colour 'puce green'. A disagreement with my husband who was describing the colour of the sky tonight led me to googling the definition, so I was relieved to find someone else who thought 'puce' was a greenish yellow colour. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cuckoo63 (talkcontribs) 19:52, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I was brought up in Kansas thinking puce was a sickly yellowish-green or brownish-yellow... I think my ma told me that... I think a color close to it was "baby sh*t yellow"... imagine my surprise today to find out puce is also a nice dusky purply-rose color... (talk) 15:28, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

yes, PUCE GREEN was definitely in use, growing up in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, in the 70s and 80s, mostly used in reference to some God-awful color, usually worn by someone whose taste you wanted to ridicule and sometimes followed by ″Gag me!″, being in Valley Girl territory. yes, A GROSS GREEN.

Yes, I too grew up with puce green as the yellowish green / dark mustard color. I think the confusion comes in, that puce and puce green are two different colors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Savannadance (talkcontribs) 21:00, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I think it's more likely that a few people thought that the word 'puce' sounded like it should describe an unpleasant green color -- possibly because it sounds like 'puke.' And the more they misused it, the more the misuse caught on and spread because, after all, it does sound kind of right. But it's not. There's no such thing as puce green outside of these odd pockets of misappropriation of the word. Krychek (talk) 18:17, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't think the entry should be describing any colour as "unpleasant" - as that's an entirely subjective judgement. And colours can be perceived as "pleasant" in some contexts, and "unpleasant" in others. (talk) 02:01, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

Incorrect Colour Reference[edit]

I find it quite annoying that someone would be so careless as to assign a colour in the rosy pink range to an article describing the colour "puce". This is extremely inaccurate, and is a disservice to those who are trying to find out what this colour truly entails.

Go to and search on "puce" - the responses talk about either purplish-brown or a range from dark red to purplish brown. An older hard copy dictionary I have gives "Flea-colour, purple-brown".

Look at the etymology:

1787, from Fr. puce "flea," from L. pucilem (nom. pulex) "flea," cognate with Skt. plusih, Gk. psylla, O.C.S. blucha, Lith. blusa, Arm. lu "flea." It is the color of a flea.

Source: Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

Every other reference I have seen, whether in print or showing a colour, refers to a shade in the dark red-brown or purple-brown category.

Although I could edit this page easily to remove the word references to the colour pink, I don't know how to edit the colour references. Would someone who has this knowledge please correct this page???

Nanaimo12 00:16, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

That etymology needs to be checked. Fleas are generally various shades of brown, and their sternites are not usually (as the article presently claims) a purplish color, or indeed colored noticeably different. Pulex irritans might be considered dark chestnut or sienna, but that's about as close to "puce" as fleas get. At an arm's lenght, i.e. as non-biologists would usually encounter them, fleas are essentially black (think cat/dog fleas, they do not look that different).
As far as I remember it, "puce" as a color term is something of an euphemism and refers to the color of the stain of digested blood left after a flea has been killed - which is achieved by pinching/shredding it with the fingernails (as these buggers are notoriously laterally compressed and cannot be crushed or swatted like other insects). This will cause the flea's last meal to squirt out; think droplet of half-congealed (but very liquid, due to the flea's digestive enzymes) blood. On linen or similar fabric, this yields a stain of a color quite like #CC8899; it is not the dark rusty color of an old (oxydized) bloodstain.
Human fleas are rare these days, bedbugs are more commonly seen and produce a comparable effect, but the adults contain much more blood.

puce by woody alan[edit]

one more reference to puce in earlier decades is on "The Woody Allen Special from September 21, 1969 - which was part of TV series called The Kraft Music Hall." (talk) 13:30, 14 July 2008 (UTC)toli

Phantom of the Opera[edit]

At the beginning of Act II, in the song Masquerade, the line goes "Flash of mauve, splash of puce," (Not a profound reference, perhaps, but it sticks in my head every time I see the word puce) 4:00, July 22, 2013 (UTC) - AK2013 — Preceding unsigned comment added by ByakkoChan (talkcontribs)

"Something in ... puce." by Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.[edit]

In an episode of the 1960's American TV show, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the protagonist, superspy Napoleon Solo, enters a fashionable women's clothing store while chasing an enemy agent. The store clerk, a woman, asks something like "Can I help you with anything, Sir?" He says "I'd like to see something in ... puce." She went off to check and Solo continued on. That seemed SO sophisticated at the time. None of us watching the show together knew what colour "puce" was, and we were duly impressed by such suaveness. (talk) 05:01, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Inconsistent approach to TV references[edit]

The TV shows from the UK are referred to as the either "the BBC TV series" or the "British TV series" but the US originated series are not referred to as "the FOX TV series", "CBS TV series" or even "US TV Series". Is there not a Wikipedia standard for references like this that can be used for consistency?

Oh and why are the TV series "Rise and fall of Reginald Perrin" referenced but not the original novel? (talk) 10:29, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

This color is messed up[edit]

I did a little research trying to confirm my sources together. The more I search the less that colour seem defined. I concluded that puce is 50% saturation, 50% luminance in ANY hue but a small tendency toward 10° due to fleas color.

The most reliable sources I found suggest to ban that color name. I won't do any kind of OR on the main article, but I'm close to have enough sources.

One can search on colourlover ([[1]]) to understand how undefined that color name really is. Iluvalar (talk) 22:24, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Well, Google images returns more of what's in the infobox than any other colour. The link you provide shows the both kinds. It's all probably okay. I don't really see to many other variants. Would you say calamine lotion is puce? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 23:14, 13 April 2013 (UTC)