Do These Want to Make You Roll with Laughter or Brush Them Off?

OK, readers of the Blog of Funny Names, today we dip our sticks into the world of paint.

Yes, I may have been around too many open cans while working in the paint department at the store.

But I can’t help but be amused when a customer walks up to the paint desk, proudly thrusts a chip in my face and asks me to mix up some of … (And, yes, that’s what they call those snippets of tough paper that hold the colors and bar codes. Chips. Ahoy, there.)

My mind races when somebody actual says the name, as in, “Can I have a Gallon of Cream in My Coffe?”

Wow, I think, what a big mug you must have!

Photo in Public Domain

Photo in Public Domain

Of course, no.

That’s the name of a beige-ish color featured by the Valspar company.



See for yourself, from the paint company’s site.

At least I get that one, the relationship of name and color.

Some are just way, way out there.

Get a load of the hue below the beige: Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue. Was the paint-namer that day thinking about a split personality, a pending country club membership for winning an international prize for writing or peace?

From my experience with the brands they sell at the store, it’s an industry-wide practice.

For equal time, I present this page from Sherwin-Williams.

Photo from

Photo from

In what room of the house might you like to paint the walls Sedate Gray? OK, the meditation room, I’ll give you that one. But your doctor might use it in pre-op, no?

And how about Expressive Plum? Don’t talk back to me, fruit plate.

OK, they set the mood so you don’t have to think so hard.

From Olympic, we have a couple of head-scratchers.



Does Always Blue threaten to change to Sometimes Red when you’re out for dinner?

Does Happy Trails not anger you so much if it leaves a trail of drips down the wall as you paint?

I do smile when the customer hands me the paint chip, we finalize the details about finish, grade of paint, size of the can, and I steal a glance at the name of the color they’ve selected.

About markbialczak

Mark Bialczak is a veteran journalist. He started his blog,, in February, 2013, to write about music, entertainment, sports and life.
This entry was posted in humor, humour and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Do These Want to Make You Roll with Laughter or Brush Them Off?

  1. Elyse says:

    Whate Ed the name, you can be sure it will look nothing like the chip when it gets on your wall!

  2. Paul says:

    Bwahaha! That’s women’s turf – they easily talk sand sundown beige and sea stormy pearl. I plead color blindness and just do exactly as I am told. And I mean exactly – I demand it be put in writing (because I have a poor memory) and bring back precisely what is on the paper. By describing my self as a bucket of failed sense and skills, I can reduce the anxiety that is bound to come between the statements of: ” We need to paint”. and “There , isn’t that so much better?”

    Inevitably it is the task of a man at the store to satisfy the women customers in the paint department, and I have no doubt that that is because no sane woman would try to attempt to satisfy all those women with visions of beautifully new painted walls.

  3. Mark says:

    If you think paint color names are odd, did you check out the colorant recipes? I’ve been mixing paint for about 30 years, and some of them still boggle my mind. For instance, black paint has white colorant in the mix!

  4. First of all, I love what you did with the banner at the top of the post this morning, Mark. What a great idea.

    Secondly, paint-paint-paint color gives me a bit of anxiety. My parents were interior designers and had no fear of color. When I moved out it was twenty years before I wanted anything but white on my walls. And even then I’ve only ever tried two other colors in small doses. It’s better to ease into it. My siblings, on the other hand, paint with abandon and panache.

    Glad you’re having fun with the paint names. Chips, chips, what a treasure trove.

  5. Arto says:

    I remember greatly enjoyed the names when we were looking for paints to spruce up the living room. The wife of course had her ideas of colors, while I mostly tried to pick ones that sounded good, like “Honeysuckle Almond” or whatever. I forget the best ones but they were all fantastic. Your experience is clearly accurate.

    Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue has to be the least descriptive name for a color. I’m pretty sure it’s some sort of completely insane blue, but who can tell.

  6. Liz says:

    So I haven’t been around in near forever and have little authority in making any sort of pronouncements, but it seems to me you have broken new ground here at BoFN. Likely this is its first post about funny paint names? Those paint folks are creative in their naming, yes. You’ve put a good collection together. Love all that can be pondered in this space.

    Nail polish colors are funny, too, and sometimes near-porn can be read into it. Hope you sell only rated G (though PG-13 is ok, too) paint colors. It is a family store after all.

  7. Bumba says:

    Thank you for keeoing our (mineral) spirits high.

  8. ksbeth says:

    love the title, the banner and the incredible paint names. they just getting more creative all the time.

  9. kerbey says:

    Obviously, they should have a Clouds In My Coffee, Clouds In My Coffee. Then they could just stare at how beautiful the shade is all the time. How can a plum be expressive? You’ve got me asking so many questions. I always thought it would be super fun to think up paint names (and car names).

    • markbialczak says:

      You’re so vain, Kerbey. I bet you think this reply is about you!


      Car names, unfortunately, have devolved into made-up words. What in heck is an

      • kerbey says:

        Right? I think it’s a small antelope. Which reminds me, I pulled up to an SUV yesterday, and it was a Porsche Cayenne! Oh, no, Sir–that is NOT a Porsche. That 60K mommy SUV has sullied the good name of Porsche. And Cayenne? Are you serious? What’s next? The Ford Fennel? The Chevy Cilantro?

        • Paul says:

          Bwahaha! We actually studied that in B-school Kerbey. The car companies hire big consulting companies to do market testing for new names – many of which are just made up of sounds with no meaning.Every now and then they bomb out big time. For instance when they introduced the NOVA, it was a major seller in the North American market. They couldn’t sell one in Spain no matter how hard they tried – until they realized that No-Va means “No Go” ion Spanish. Bwahaha!

          • kerbey says:

            Jinx! I told my son that story last Sunday! He was asking about languages and bad words, and the NOVA story came up.

          • markbialczak says:

            My first car was a 1969 Chevy Nova, Paul, presented to me by my parents in 1977 for graduating Junior College. And contrary to that meaning in Spanish, wow, could that little blue car go!

        • Elyse says:

          What does a new Chevy Cilantro smell like, I wonder! Thanks for the chuckle. I’m having a hassle-filled morning and you brought back my good mood. Thankssssssssss.

          • kerbey says:

            As one who used to HATE the smell of overpowering cilantro wafting through my childhood home, I attest that smelling it all day would not be good. A little goes a long way. (We had a man who lived in our attic and made fresh salsa each day in the kitchen because in the 1970s that made sense.). Now we know why air fresheners are often pine and not cilantro. But maybe the Chevy Cilantro comes with a free gift card to Chipotle? Minus the E. coli, of course.

          • Elyse says:

            Basil would be nice. Although I think it would need to be some form of British car. And we’d have to pronounce it like Basil in Fawlty Towers!

        • markbialczak says:

          The Oldsmobile Okra? Oh, I forgot, GM killed off Olds, Kerbey. 😦

  10. wdydfae says:

    “. . . color me astounded . . . by Mark’s color post . . .”
    “. . . Mark sure hews through those hues . . .Whew! . . .”
    “. . . Mark’s new post has me really primed . . .”
    “. . . Mark’s really on a roll–or should we say a roller–with his fabulous paint post . . .”
    “. . . there’s no need for Mark to ‘brush’ up his posting skills–he’s a real pro . . .”
    “. . . Mark’s painted himself into a corner with this new post, and we mean that in a totally good way . . .”

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