Hexadecimal Color Codes And English Words

The flight was boring, to say the least. Strapped between two strangers in the middle seat, I had a funny little thought – list out all English words that can make a hexadecimal color code! And what excited me further was checking out the colors those words would “produce”.

I’m sure you already know that hexadecimal color codes, which are 6 characters long, have only A to F letters and 0-9 digits. The first word that came to my mind was facade or to put it in hexadecimal form, #FACADE, which is a lovely shade of pink.
FYI, facade comes from French façade.#FACADE - hexadecimal color code produces a shade of pink

Beaded (or #BEADED) and bedded (#BEDDED) followed soon. And then I was stumped.#BEADED hexadecimal color code#BEDDED hexadecimal color code

After several minutes of intense brain racking I just couldn’t come up with additional words. This was getting frustrating especially knowing that I could get the list of English words if I could just open my laptop. But for that I had to prise myself off from the middle, smile at the person sitting in the aisle seat, open the overhead locker, take out my laptop and plant myself back and then start the computer.

“Let’s not be lazy… it’s going to be fun”, I told myself and up I stood.

I knew that, on the Mac, the entire list of words are stored in a file named “words” in the folder “/usr/share/dict”. It was just a matter was writing a small Perl script which would use regular expressions to go through the English words list and dig out all words that are exactly 6 letters and have only a-f letters. This was the ease part.

So here are the words with the corresponding colours.

Color Hex Code English Word
#ACCEDE Accede
#BACABA Bacaba
#BACCAE Baccae
#BEDEAD Bedead
#BEDEAF Bedeaf
#DECADE Decade
#DEFACE Deface
#EFFACE Efface

The list was surprising small. So I had another thought – what if we replace the alphabet O with the digit 0? Will the list of words increase substantially? After all, we were adding one more vowel.

Color Hex Code English Word
#BA0BAB Baobab
#B0BBED Bobbed
#C0BAEA Cobaea
#C0BBED Cobbed
#C0BCAB Cobcab
#C0FFEA Coffea
#C0FFEE Coffee
#DEC0DE Decode
#D0BBED Dobbed
#D0DDED Dodded
#D00DAB Doodab
#D00DAD Doodad

That was a fun-filled exercise. Quite nerdy but, hey, at least I kept myself occupied.

By the way, one can substitute 1 (or 7) with the alphabet I, 2 for Z, 3 for E, 5 for S, 9 for g and other such variations.

Update: Sherri’s comment to this post is brilliant. It never occurred too me that I can also put in 3-letter English word equivalents of the shorthand hexadecimal color codes… and here they are.

Color Shorthand Hex Code 3-Letter English Word
#ace Ace
#add Add
#baa Baa
#bad Bad
#bae Bae
#bed Bed
#bee Bee
#cab Cab
#cad Cad
#dab Dab
#dad Dad
#ebb Ebb
#fad Fad
#fed Fed
#fee Fee

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  • Sophia June 5th, 2019

    Never noticed that hex can be words like these, I like “Decade” and “Coffee”. Thanks

  • Sherri October 3rd, 2019

    Hi, Good one. I’m sure there would be tens of 3-letter English words that would translate to the abbreviated 3-letter color codes. Words like like ‘ace’, ‘add’ etc.

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