Uncommon Arabic Words for Colours


root: ل-و-ن / noun / plural: أَلْوان / definition: colour

I opened my laptop intending to write a different type of post today, but when I saw a certain note in my phone, I decided that this Tuesday would be the start of a whole new series of posts: Uncommon Arabic Words for…

In the notes app on my phone, I have a few of these types of lists: uncommon Arabic prepositions, uncommon Arabic words for “cloud”, and—the newest one and the one I’m starting this series with—uncommon Arabic words for colours.

Now, this list isn’t at all extensive at the moment, but the idea with these Uncommon Arabic Words posts is that I’ll be updating them as and when I come across new words.

(And I’m hoping for some contributions from you all in the comments too!)

So without further ado, the current collection:

قانِئ / أَحمَر قانٍ

blood-red, deep-red

(easy to remember if you know the Turkish word for “blood”: kan)




scarlet, crimson

(Turkish has a related word for red: kırmızı)


bright red



(related to النّيل, the Nile?)

مَناوِش / مَناوِشي

bluish purple




sky-blue, azure, cerulean




khaki, earth-coloured



حَلِك / حالِك


(you can find a form XIV verb from the root ح-ل-ك in this post—and yes, it’s related to the colour)

That’s all I have on my list so far, hopefully I’ll have added some more when you next check back.

Feel free to add any other uncommon Arabic words for colours in the comments below, I look forward to reading your contributions!

!إلى اللقاء

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