How men and women label colors

May 4, 2010  |  Infographics, Statistics

Along the same lines of Dolores Labs' color experiment, Randall Munroe of xkcd reveals the results of his color survey. He took a slightly different approach though. Here are some of the basic findings:

If you ask people to name colors long enough, they go totally crazy.

“Puke” and “vomit” are totally real colors.

Colorblind people are more likely than non-colorblind people to type “fuck this” (or some variant) and quit in frustration.

Indigo was totally just added to the rainbow so it would have 7 colors and make that “ROY G. BIV” acronym work, just like you always suspected. It should really be ROY GBP, with maybe a C or T thrown in there between G and B depending on how the spectrum was converted to RGB.

A couple dozen people embedded SQL ‘drop table’ statements in the color names. Nice try, kids.

Nobody can spell “fuchsia”.

His calculation of most masculine and feminine colors is by far the most interesting part of the results, however. Here are the top five feminine colors, by finding the ones that were most disproportionately used by women:

  1. Dusty Teal
  2. Blush Pink
  3. Dusty Lavender
  4. Butter Yellow
  5. Dusky Rose

Not bad, right? The colors are flowery and descriptive. Nothing surprising there. Now here's the top five masculine colors:

  1. Penis
  2. Gay
  3. WTF
  4. Dunno
  5. Baige

The only real color in the list is "baige" — and it was misspelled. Like Randall, I also weep for my gender. Although, I think these results also say a lot about the type of people who read xkcd (like me).

Catch the full analysis here, and if you want to play with the color survey data yourself, which might be pretty fun, there's a link at the end.

[Thanks, Jesse & @mja]

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