Colour words in Arabic

Arabic colour words have different forms for use with masculine singular, feminine singular and masculine or feminine plural nouns.

Key abbreviations: m = masculine, f = feminine, sg = singular, pl = plural

pl (sūd) سود | f/sg (sawdāʾ) سوداء | m/sg - (aswad) أسود - black black

pl (bīḍ) بيض | f/sg (bayḍāʾ) بيضاء | m/sg - (ʾabyaḍ) أبيض - white white

pl (ḥumr) حمر | f/sg (ḥamrāʾ) حمراء | m/sg (ʾaḥmar) أحمر - red red

pl (ṣufr) صفر | f/sg (ṣafrāʾ) صفراء | m/sg (ʾaṣfar) أصفر - yellow yellow

pl (zurq) زرق | f/sg (zarqāʾ) زرقاء | m/sg (ʾazraq) أزرق - blue blue

pl (ḫuḍr) خضر | f/sg (ḫaḍrāʾ) خضراء | m/sg (ʾaḫḍar) أخضر - green green

"coffee bean" = (bunnī) بني - brown brown

"rose" = (wardī) وردي / (qarnafli) قرنفلي / (ʾaḥmar wardī) أحمر وردي - pink pink

"orange (fruit)" = (burtuqālī) برتقالي - orange orange

commonly used - "ash" = (ramādī) رمادي - grey grey

used only for horses - pl (šuhb) شهب | f/sg (šahbāʾ) شهباء | m/sg (ʾašhab) أشهب - grey

indigo = (nili) نيلي / lilac/purple = (laylaki) ليلكي / (ʾarǧwānī) أرجواني - purple purple

Notes on Arabic colours by Benjamin Yang

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Colour words in other languages


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