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Icterine

Icterine

Some colors are very beautiful yet lack beautiful names.  Such is the case with icterine, which sounds like a particularly nasty fruit, but turns out to be a lovely pale yellow.  Although the bright spring color is pretty enough, the roots of its ghastly name are also ugly.  The name is derived from the ancient Greek word “ikteros” which means jaundice.  The color icterine is used by ornithologists to describe birds with pale yellow feathers and there are several birds with icterine in their common or scientific name.  The color is not limited to birds: searching through internet images, one discovers various garments, iphone covers, and other consumer goods in shades of icterine, but it seems to be more popular in Europe than in the Americas.

The Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina)

The Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina)

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