Tag Archives: colours

Puce

Growing up,I always thought that the colour puce was a yucky member of the green family shade card. Think mushy peas.

I would never wear a ‘mushy pea’ outfit no matter how carefully tailored or expensive, next my pale skin covered in freckles and topped with a crown of rich auburn tresses. Just thinking about it, is enough to bring on morning sickness…. Even at my age!

Then I discovered that Puce is a brownish purple or a dark reddish brown. I did have an outfit a few years ago that answered that description, I loved and wore it into the ground, as they say – who ever ‘they’ are. Nobody ever admired it, but they always told me how well I looked, when I was wearing it.

Years ago, I learned that if the first thing people notice are ‘your eyes’, then you are wearing the correct colour.

Then I learned that Puce is the French word for flea. It is said to be the colour of the bloodstains remaining on linen or bed sheets, even after being laundered, from a flea’s droppings or after a flea has been crushed. I don’t really want to think of that. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, the first French use of puce as a colour name, meaning “flea-colour,” dates to the 17th century.

I would still go for clothes in brownish purple, but I think I would invent a new colour name first! 😉

Any suggestions?