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It seems that color, too, is in the eye of the beholder. According to this fascinating data visualization by Stephen Von Worley, what men call "vomit," women politely label as "mustard."


Stephen Von Worley, Data Pointed

Von Worley, an artist and scientist who runs the data visualization blog Data Pointed, created this graphic of popular color names mapped by gender preference. The visualization features a dot for each of the 2,000 most commonly-used color names, based on a color survey by XKCD with more than 5 million results.

The size of the circle corresponds with the color’s relative usage, with larger circles being the most commonly used color names. The circles are positioned horizontally by hue and vertically by gender preference. Women tend to use the color names that are nearer to the top, while men tend to use those towards the bottom. The dashed line represents a 50-50 split, or equal usage by both sexes.

Right away, the proliferation of small dots above the line suggests that women tend to use a greater variety of names for colors. The huge ovals that represent the most common color names – green, blue, purple, etc – cluster slightly below the 50 percent line, indicating that men use these labels more often than women. The gender differences in names are pretty hilarious: Among the most “female” of color names are “neon lavender,” “dusty teal,” and “pale sage,” while men offer up such gems as “goblin green,” “crap,” and “baby vomit.”

We’ve labeled a few of the color differences above, including “vomit” vs. “mustard,” “British racing green” vs. “dark sage,” and “cyan” (good job, men!) vs. “robin’s egg blue.” To see far more of these labels, view the original interactive version of the graph here.

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