Colors: رنگها

NOTE: In many cases you could find Arabic words being used that I may not have listed. You will find them here. Looking for other shades? Ask in the comments!

Color: رنگ (rang)

Light (modifier, after the color name): رُوشَن (ruwshan, “row-shan”)

Dark (modifier, after the color name): تیره (tīrah)

Red: قِرمِز (qirmiz), سُرخ (surkh)

  • Burgundy: شرابی رنگ (sharābī-rang, “wine-colored”; could be shortened to شرابی)
  • Crimson: قرمز سیر (qirmiz-i sīr, “deep red”)
  • Maroon: شاه بلوط اروپائی (shāh-i bulūṭ-i urūpāʾī, “European chestnut”)
  • Rose: رنگ گلی (rang-i gulī, “color of rose”; NOTE: گل means “rose” but it can also mean “flower” in general)
  • Ruby: یاقوتی (yāqūtī)
  • Scarlet: سُرخ (surkh)

Orange: نارَنجی (nāranjī), پُرتُقالی (purtuqālī)

  • Amber: کُربا رنگ (kahrubā-rang), کهربائی (kahrubāʾī)
  • Vermilion: شنگرف (shangarf)

Yellow: زَرد (zard)

  • Gold: رنگ زرد طلائی (rang-i zard-i ṭalāʾī, “golden yellow color”)
  • Mustard: رنگ خردل (rang-i khardal, “mustard color”)

Green: سَبز (sabz)

  • Lime: سبز لیمویی (sabz-i līmūnī)
  • Olive: سبز زیتونی (sabz-i zaytūnī)

Blue: آبی (ābī)

  • Azure: لاجوردی (lājūrdī)
  • Sapphire: کبودی (kabūdī)
  • Teal: آبی سیر (ābīyi sīr)
  • Turquoise: فیروزه (fīrūzah)

Indigo: نیلی (nīlī)

Purple: ارغُوانی (arghuvānī), زِرِشکی (zirishkī)

  • Violet: بنفش (bunafsh)

Pink: صورَتی (ṣūratī)

  • Puce: آلوبالوئی (ālūbālūʾī)

Black: سیاه (siyāh)

White: سَفید (safīd)

  • Beige: بژ (bazh)

Gray (grey): خاکِستَری (khākistarī)

  • Silver: رنگ نقره‌ای (rang-i nuqraʾī)

Brown: قَهوه‌ای (qahvaʾī, “coffee-colored”)

  • Chestnut: شاه بلوط (shāh-i bulūṭ)
  • Tan: برنزه (birunzah, “bronze”)

You can also talk about most of the “in-between” shades by using the word مائل (māʾil), which has many meanings but in this case means “inclined” (or maybe “shaded” in a less literal sense), plus the preposition به (bih), which here means “to” or “toward.” So, for example:

  • “Tan” could be قَهوه‌ای مائل به زرد (qahvaʾī māʾil bih zard, literally “brown shaded toward yellow”)
  • “Taupe” is خاکِستَری مائل به قَهوه‌ای (khākistarī māʾil bih qahvaʾī, “gray shaded toward brown”)
  • “Auburn” is قَهوه‌ای مائل به قرمز (qahvaʾī māʾil bih qirmiz, “brown shaded toward red”)
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Chaharshanbe Suri

I neglected to mention this holiday yesterday, but in my defense it’s hard to think about the coming of Spring when we just got hit with 8 inches of snow a couple of days ago and there’s more on tap for next week.

Anyway, the eve of the last Wednesday before the Iranian New Year, Nowruz (نوروز), is a fun little pre-Islamic Iranian holiday called چهارشنبه ‌سوری (chahārshanbah sūrī, pronounced “cha-haar-sham-beh-soo-ree”), from چهارشنبه (chahārshanbah) or “Wednesday” (in this case it’s Wednesday eve, but that’s traditionally considered Wednesday), and سوری (sūrī), which can mean “banquet” but here takes its secondary meaning, “red,” a shortening of the Persian word سُرخ (surkh, “sorkh”) or “red.”

The holiday features fire-jumping (told you it was fun), hearkening back to Zoroastrian times when fire was a sacred object of worship. Bonfires are lit, fireworks set off, and Iranians leap over the fires while saying زَردِ مَن از تو سُرخِ تو از مَن (zard-i man az tū surkh-i tū az man, “zard-eh-man-az-toh-sorkh-eh-toh-az-man”), which means “my yellow for you, your red for me.” The invocation is meant to throw the speaker’s “yellows”–illness or whatever else is troubling them–into the fire, and draw the fire’s “red”–its health, vigor, vitality, power–out to them.

In the news: Ukraine, Russia, and Crimea

  • Russia: روسیه (rūsiyah)
  • Ukraine: اوکراین (ūkrāyn)
  • Russian (person): روسی (rūsī)
  • Ukrainian (person): اوکراینی (ūkrāynī)
  • Russian (language): زَبانِ روسی (zabān-i rūsī)
  • Ukrainian (language): زَبانِ اوکراینی (zabān-i ūkrāynī)
  • Crimea: کریمه (kirīmah)
  • Tatar (person): تاتار (tātār)
  • Tatar (language): زَبانِ تاتاری (zabān-i tātārī)