Colour words in Nepali

Words for colours in Nepali and some colour-related expressions.

  • रङ्ग (raṅga) [rʌ̃ŋɡʌ] – colour, amusement, skin colour

black कालो (kālo) [kälo] – black, dark. glum, sullen, a Black person

Expressions:

  • कालाबन्जार (kālābanjāra) – old-growth forest
  • कालीबोक्सी (kālīboksī) – bitch (pejorative, feminine)
  • कालीभीर (kālībhīra) – precipice, escarpment
  • कालीमाटी (kālīmāṭī) – black mud
  • कालीलहरो (kālīlaharo) – fodder
  • कालो चिया (kālo ciyā) [kälo t͡sijä] – black tea
  • कालो धन (kālo dhana) – black money
  • कालो कर्तुत (kālo kartuta) – deception
  • कालो कुकुर (kālo kukura) – bastard (pejorative, masculine)
  • कालो निलो (kālo nilo) – petrified
  • कालोपत्र (kālopatra) – asphalt
  • कालो बजार (kālo bajāra) – black market
  • कालो मसान (kālo masāna) – phantom, ghost
  • दालमा कालो हुनु (dālamā kālo hunu) – to sound fishy

white सेतो (seto) [set̪o] – white, blank, eggwhite

White is associated with purity, cleanliness, peace and knowledge. The highest social caste, the Brahmin, is associated with white. A Hindu widow would wear a white dress in mourning.

Expressions:

  • सेतो आतङ्क (seto ātaṅka) – ethnic violence
  • सेतो भालु (seto bhālu) – polar bear
  • सेतो दुबो (seto dubo) – fern
  • सेतो दुभी (seto dubhī) – vitiligo

red रातो (rāto) [rat̪o] – red, flushed

Red represents both significance and purity. It is the colour most frequently used for auspicious occasions like marriages, birth of a child, festivals and so on. A red coloured dress is put on deities who are charitable, brave and protective. The red colour on the Nepalese flag represents the bravery of the Gurkhas.

Shades and expressions:

  • रातो-रातो (rāto-rāto) – light red, pink
  • सिम्रिक (simrik) [sĩmrik] – crimson
  • गाढा रातो (gāḍhā rāto) [ɡäɽä ɾät̪o] – crimson
  • रातीगेडी (rātīgeḍī) – bankrupt
  • रातो टाटो (rāto ṭāṭo) – twilight
  • रातोपिरो (rātopiro) – robust, vigorous, healty, roseate
  • रातो मत्स्येन्द्रनाथ (rāto matsyendranātha) – Avalokiteśvara (bodhisattva of compassion)
  • रातो माटो – red mud
  • रातो मुख – red face, especially from embarrassment, anger, or shame

yellow पहेँलो (pahẽlo) – yellow, yellowed, spoiled (vegetables)

Yellow is the colour of knowledge and learning. It is associated with happiness, peace, meditation, competence and mental development. It is also believed to ward off evil spirits.

Expressions:

  • पहेँलो घाम (pahẽlo ghāma) – dusk

green हरियो (hariyo) [ɦʌɾijo] – green

Expressions:

  • कागती (kāgatī) [käɡʌt̪i] - lime (green)
  • गाढा हरियो (gāḍhā hariyo) [ɡäɽä ɦʌɾijo] - dark green
  • हरियोपरियो (hariyopariyo) – green vegetables

blue निलो (nilo) [nĩlo] – blue

Blue is associated with virility, bravery and determination, and also peace. The blue border of the Nepalese flag represents the peaceful nature of the Nepalese.

Shades and expressions:

  • अस्मानी (asmānī) [äsmä̃nĩ] – cyan
  • आकाशे (ākāśe) [äkäse] – cyan, sky blue
  • नीलबैजनी (nīlabaijanī) – periwinkle
  • कालो निलो (kālo nilo) – petrified
  • निलोत्पल (nilotpala) – Egyptian lotus
  • नीलकण्ठ (nīlakaṇṭha) – Shiva (one of the principal deities of Hinduism)
  • नीलगाई (nīlagāī) – Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus - a type of antelope)
  • नीलडाम (nīlaḍāma) – bruise
  • नीलमणि (nīlamaṇi) – blue sapphire

brown खैरो (khairo) – brown

Expressions:

  • खैरो पानी (khairo pānī) – alcohol

pink गुलाफी (gulāphī) [ɡuläbi] – pink

Expressions:

  • गुलाफी छेद (gulāphī cheda) – backbite

orange सुन्तले (suntale) – orange


grey खरानी (kharānī) – grey

Expressions:

  • खरानी दानी (kharānī dānī) – ashtray

purple बैजनी (baijanī) [bʌi̯d͡zʌ̃nĩ] – purple, violet, indigo, eggplant
जामुनी (jāmunī) [d͡zä̃mũnĩ] – purple, purplish


silver रजत (rajata) – silver

Expressions:

  • रजत जयन्ती (rajata jayantī) – silver jubilee

gold सुनौलो (sunaulo), स्वर्ण (svarṇa) – gold

Expressions:

  • स्वर्णकार (svarṇakāra) – goldsmith
  • स्वर्णकीट (svarṇakīṭa) – firefly
  • स्वर्णगिरि (svarṇagiri) – Sumeru Parbat (a mountain in northern India)
  • स्वर्ण जयन्ती (svarṇa jayantī) – golden jubilee
  • स्वर्ण दिवस (svarṇa divasa) – red-letter day
  • स्वर्णयुग (svarṇayuga) – golden age
  • स्वर्णाभ (svarṇābha) – golden glow

Other colours

  • मजेन्टा (majenṭā) [mʌ̃d͡zẽɳʈä] – magenta
  • नीलबैजनी (nīlabaijanī) – periwinkle

Details provided by Arnav Darnal

Hear some colour words in Nepali

Links

Information about Nepali colours
https://www.imnepal.com/name-colors-in-nepali-english/
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/कालो
http://polymath.org/nepali_colors.php https://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/schmidt/

Information about Nepali | Phrases | Numbers | Colours | Family Words | Tower of Babel

Colour words in other languages


Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:

 

If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.

Note: all links on this site to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.