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In English, there are eleven [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_term#Basic_color_terms basic color terms]] -- [[TropesInBlack black]], {{blue|Tropes}}, [[ThisIndexIsBrown brown]], {{gray|Tropes}}, {{green|Tropes}}, [[AnIndexOrange orange]], {{pink|Tropes}}, {{purple|IsTheNewTrope}}, [[PaintTheIndexRed red]], [[TropesInWhite white]] and [[TheYellowIndex yellow]]. These colors are fairly consistent, each with culturally canonical hues, by which similar hues are usually associated -- for instance, scarlet is considered a type of red, gold is considered a type of yellow, etc.

In the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinosphere Sinosphere]] -- the regions that either speak one of the Chinese languages (such as China, Singapore, Taiwan, etc.), or have languages that incorporate massive amounts of Chinese-derived extended vocabulary and have historically made widespread use of Chinese written characters (such as Japan, Korea and Vietnam), these regions traditionally have [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distinguishing_blue_from_green_in_language the same word for both blue and green]], indicated with the Chinese character 靑 (or its alternate glyph 青).[[note]]This character is read as reconstructed Middle Chinese ''tsheng'', Mandarin ''qīng'', Vietnamese ''thanh'' (poetic) or ''xanh'' (daily usage), Korean 청 ''cheong'', indigenous Japanese あお ''ao'', さお ''sao'' and しい ''shii'', and Sino-Japanese せい ''sei'' and しょう ''shō''.[[/note]] Most natural and traditional uses of both blue and green are represented by this word, including the color of the sea, the color of forests, etc. In more recent centuries, there has arisen a greater need to distinguish the concepts that English-speakers would understand as blue and green. The newer compound Chinese character 綠 (or its alternate 緑) came to use in Chinese, Japanese and Korean to specifically mean green as opposed to blue.[[note]]This character is as reconstructed Middle Chinese ''ljowk'', Mandarin ''jī'', ''jí'', ''lǜ'' and ''qī'', Vietnamese ''lục'', Korean 록 ''rok'' and 녹 ''nok'', indigenous Japanese みどり ''midori'', and Sino-Japanese りょく ''ryoku'' and ろく ''roku''.[[/note]]

However, even today, these two terms are not universally distinguished as would be understood in English. For example, forests are still 靑 (blue). Green eyes are also confusingly 靑 -- they were known to traditional Chinese civilization because there were ethnic groups on the periphery of their civilization (such as the Tocharian and Turkic peoples) who often had green eyes. And even green traffic lights are 靑. But not all "natural" green things are 靑 and not all "modern" green things are 綠 -- for instance, gemstones such as jade and emeralds are 綠 (green). Perhaps most confusingly, even though forests and grass are 靑 (blue), verdant flora is 綠 (green). In [[ChineseDialectsAndAccents Cantonese]], 靑 usually refers to yellow-green or lime green more often than blue.

The Sinosphere is not the only place where languages often muddle the distinction between green and blue. This has also been observed in the modern Celtic languages ([[UsefulNotes/{{Ireland}} Irish]], [[UsefulNotes/{{Wales}} Welsh]], etc.), where there is not only some muddling between green and blue, but also between green and ''gray''. South Slavic languages call blond hair blue; in this case, blue originally meant "fair", Similarly, older UsefulNotes/{{Ital|y}}ians lump orange in with red. Before about 1500, orange ''in English'' was lumped in with either red (as with "red" hair, robin "redbreast"), or yellow/gold; the colour orange is actually named after the fruit.

For further reading, see Guy Deutscher’s ''Through the Language Glass'' for an in-depth explanation of this trope and its equivalents in other countries.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/DragonBall'', the Super Saiyans eye color is usually greenish in the anime, but from time to time they appear blue in some Toriyama illustrations, as well as in some promotional media and certain isolated anime episodes.
* The ''Manga/YuGiOh'' manga gave Bakura blue eyes while the [[Anime/YuGiOhFirstAnimeSeries first anime adaption]] gave him green eyes. The [[Anime/YuGiOh second adaptation]] (the one which made it overseas) said "screw it" and made them brown.
* Yuno's drunken rant in ''Manga/HidamariSketch'', currently NonindicativeName's page quote, is about green traffic lights.
* ''Anime/EurekaSevenAO'' uses both colors interchangeably. Not surprising, since the troublesome word that means both "blue" and "green" is right in the title, and it's the protagonist's name: Ao has blue-green hair, blue clothes, drives a robot that emits green contrails, and works for Generation Bleu.
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'': Detective Takagi has been given several contradictory witness statements about a robber in the case ''Sato's Omiai''. Some of his confusion is cleared up when he realizes that an elderly witness used the old word for "green" (あお ''ao'') instead of the new word (みどり ''midori''), and that therefore the witness had said that the robber was wearing green, not blue (as he'd originally thought).

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''[[http://www.co2comics.com/pages/co2_ginger_fox_graphic_novel.html The World of Ginger Fox]]'', Ginger's eyes are sometimes blue and sometimes green. The cover art shows her with an eye color partway between green and blue.

* ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' and ''Literature/TheIliad'' never mention the color blue. It might be slightly odd, given all the sea-faring in the ''Odyssey'', but this was because the ancient Greek language did not have a word at the time that meant 'blue'. Instead, the sea was called 'wine-dark'. The word that in middle-Greek came to mean blue (or blue-green, as the case may be) ''κυανό'' (where we get 'cyan') was used to describe the color of grass (i.e. what we would call green), as well as honey and the hair of blond people (i.e. what we would call yellow).
** It should be noted that the color of iron, sheep and clouds were all likened to each other (gray, that is, not white) but the word used in ancient greek was the word ''ιοδνεφής'' that in later greek came to mean 'purple' or 'violet'.
* This trope causes a bit of confusion when it comes to translating Chinese epics; for instance ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' has a handful of translation difficulties, most commonly in trying to determine if Guan Yu's iconic BladeOnAStick is the Green Dragon Saber or Blue Dragon Blade. Since ''Three Kingdoms'' uses color prominently in its descriptions, this has led to something of a lack of consistency in translations as well as in [[VideoGame/DynastyWarriors derivative]] [[VideoGame/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms works]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/TokkeiWinspector'', the heroes are meant to reflect the traffic lights. With that said, Walter was more bluish than greenish.
* Similar to ''Winspector'', ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger''/''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' has the finishing move of the main robot use a gun with three colored barrels resembling traffic lights... with the colors being red, yellow and bluish green.
** "Green" lights ''[[JustifiedTrope are]]'' tinted blue, so that red-green colorblind people can distinguish between a green light and a red light.
* Oddly inverted in ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger''. The Shinkengers are meant to be the [[LegacyCharacter latest descendants of]] five ([[SixthRanger later six]]) mystical bloodlines dating back to ancient Japan. Despite this there's a separate blue and green ranger even though Japan didn't have a concept of blue being different from green when they supposedly originated.
** What makes this especially annoying is that the first ancient Japan-themed ''Franchise/SuperSentai'', ''Series/NinjaSentaiKakuranger'' got this right, as not only did it omit the green ranger (the team colors being red, white, blue, black and yellow) but their blue ranger's costume used a greenish/cyan shade of blue in contrast to most blue rangers' deep royal blue coloration.

* Amy Lee of {{Evanescence}} did an interview on Tokyo FM, and was complimented on her green eyes. This is where it gets complicated. It's been said that she has green eyes naturally, and wore blue contacts around the time of the first album. This interview was near the time of the second album, but in her childhood photos she had blue eyes. It gets really complicated, because in the Japanese translation, the DJ used the English loanword グリーン, or green.
* [[{{Vocaloid}} Miku Hatsune]]'s thematic color tends to fluctuate between any given shade of green or blue, depending on the artist.

[[folder:Religion and Mythology]]
* Qīng Lóng/Seiryuu of TheFourGods is called the "Azure Dragon", despite his element being wood, [[FridgeLogic so one would think it would be colored green]].
** Somewhat justified in that [[GreenThumb wood]] is associated with [[BlowYouAway air]] in Wu Xing (contrary to the Japanese "translations" listing Seiryuu as earth and Byakko as air), so you can either go along with WindIsGreen or simply see the Azure Dragon as a manifestation of the sky.
* Brown in a much more common a color for lentil stew than red. It's quite likely that when the Book of Genesis was composed, the two weren't distinguished in Hebrew.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the early days of ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'', the color of Luigi's clothes was inconsistently portrayed as blue or green. It took a little while before the vivid green color became firmly established.
* Fox [=McCloud=] from ''VideoGame/StarFox'' is one of the better documented examples of this {{trope}}. In the 1993 comic, his eyes were green in the early pages, then blue through the rest of the comic. They remained blue in ''VideoGame/StarFox2''. ''VideoGame/StarFox64'' had a particular ArtShift that did not show eye color at all, but ''Farewell, Beloved Falco'' and ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures'' firmly established him with emerald green eyes. But this began to slip again in ''VideoGame/StarFoxAssault'', where most of the official art showed him with green eyes, but at least one picture not only showed him with blue eyes, but the blue faded to green within the same irises. They're green again in [[SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'', Big Boss' eyes are described as blue in dialogue, but they appear green. Snake's eyes were also dark green in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'', but described in his bio in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'' as blue and appear clearly blue in that game.
* Several Franchise/{{Pokemon}} are listed as "green" in the Pokédex, when most Westerners would consider them teal: specifically, Bronzor, Bronzong, Golett and Golurk are all listed as "green"; this is especially unusual for the last two as they were designed by a Brit, James Turner (though the illustrator, Ken Sugimori, is Japanese).
** There are several orange Pokémon as well. But the Pokédex ends up listing them as either red or brown.
** It gets funny when Western had Red and ''Blue'', whereas Eastern got Red and ''Green''.
*** ...which caused a problem when dealing with two characters in [[Manga/PokemonSpecial the manga]]. Green was TheRival of the main character, Red. Blue was a CanonForeigner artwise based on an intended [[SchrodingersPlayerCharacter female protagonist]] into the games. [[DubNameChange Translators named Green Blue and Blue Green.]] Later on, when ''[[VideogameRemake Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen]]'' came out, option of choosing between a male and a female character came, and the female character was Blue... [[InconsistentDub who, instead of Green, was renamed]] ''[[InconsistentDub Leaf!]]''
* [[MegaMan2 Crashman]] is orange in game, but red character art.
* The Orange Star army of NintendoWars has red to orange units depending on the game and pink fatigues.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Torahiko Ōshima from ''VisualNovel/{{Morenatsu}}'' is usually drawn with blue eyes, but some of the artwork shows him with green eyes.
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'': Although the text says that Saber's eyes are green, she is more often than not drawn with blue-green or even just flat-out blue eyes.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The point at which more finely differentiated color terms entering a language seems to correspond to the development of that culture's ability to produce pigments of those colors. Many hunter-gatherer cultures have rather limited color vocabulary (e.g. three colors: 'dark' (blacks), 'warm' (reds), and 'cold' (whites), corresponding to the earth-tone pigments available to them. Most bronze age languages (Mycaneian Greek, Chou dynasty Chinese) did not have words distinguising blue from green corresponding to a lack of technology to create pigments or dyes that were distinguishably either blue or green (an expection was Ancient Egyption that, uniquely, had a word for blue and a blue pigment made from calcium copper silicate), by the Iron Age most languages had up to 6 distinct color terms including seperate terms for blue and green.
* In Japan, "go" traffic lights are green, but art of traffic lights is blue. This shows up in an early episode of ''TransformersCybertron,'' where we see an actual traffic light (well, it's a robot in disguise, but still), and a slideshow presentation of a traffic light, and they're different colors.
** Related: The three forms of [[Series/KamenRiderDouble Kamen Rider Accel]] are supposed to be based off of the three colors in a traffic light. These forms are colored red, yellow and, you guessed it, blue.
* Russian language differentiates two hues of blue. They are "siniy" for dark, navy blue, and "goluboy" for a bright, azure, blue". Green in Russian is "zhelenyi".
* The reason why an orange-plumed bird or orange-furred or haired mammal is described as "red" is that the English language simply did not have a word for "orange" until comparatively recently. Anything of roughly the right hue was described as "red" as this was the only word English had. For example, robins are always described as having a red breast, despite the fact it's more of an orange or russety brown. The red fox, another orange-brown creature, is also seemingly assigned the wrong colour adjective, as are all "red-haired" people and "red tabby" cats. Our word "orange" is imported from Spanish along with the fruit. Una naranja became in English a norrange. The "n" shifted to the indefinite article in accordance with grammar, becoming an orange. Anything of that particular colour stopped being "red" and became orange, instead. But older uses persisted.