You should wear smaragdine on St. Patrick's Day and look for furniture in a nice shade of wenge. Here are a few more colors you've probably never heard of.

1. Sarcoline

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Sarcoline means “flesh-colored.” Wearing sarcoline high heels makes your legs look longer, but wearing a sarcoline leather jacket might remind people of Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs.

2. Coquelicot

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Originally a French word for “poppy,” coquelicot refers to the color of a rooster’s comb. Today, it is more frequently associated with several species of orange-red Eurasian poppies. (It also sounds like a celebrity baby name.)

3. Smaragdine

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Smaragdine, a green tone, comes from a 13th-century Middle English word for emerald (smaragd). It was the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year.

4. Mikado

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It's a Japanese emperor, a comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, and a bold yellow hue.

5. Glaucous

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Glaucous, from the Latin word (glaucus), meaning “bright” or “gleaming,” was first used as a color name in 1671 to describe the powdery blue-gray or blue-green coating on grapes and plums.

6. Wenge

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If you've ever shopped for furniture, you know wenge. It's that dark brown wood color with copper undertones that even classes up particleboard. Actual wenge wood comes from Millettia laurentii, an endangered tree native to central Africa.

7. Fulvous

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Fulvous may come from flavus, the Latin word for “yellow.” Today it’s used mostly as a descriptor for some ducks with brownish-yellow feathers.

8. Xanadu

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It's a Mongolian city, a 1980 musical flop, and a gray-green tone.

9. Falu

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The deep red shade commonly found on barns in Sweden, Finland, and Balkan countries is falu, named for the Swedish city of Falun, where refuse from the region’s copper mines was used to make red paint.

10. Eburnean

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Something that's eburnean is as white as ivory. Of course, ivory is not completely white—it has a slightly yellow undertone.

11. Amaranth

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Rose-red amaranth might refer to the plants of the genus Amaranthus, which have small clusters of purplish-red flowers. The word may have emerged from the Greek amarantos, a mythical, everlasting flower.

A version of this story ran in 2015; it has been updated for 2022.