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->The strands in your eyes / They color them wonderful
->-Edwin [=McCain=], ''I'll Be''

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 [[UsefulNotes/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. You can see this in Spanish, too: the word for the fruit (''naranja'') is the root of the word for the color(''anaranjado'').

One anthropological researcher had the idea of taking a green object and a blue object, and asking his test subjects "Are these two exactly the same color?" He had thought that the explanation for this trope was some kind of colorblindness. Naturally, however, they could see that they were different colors: of course the two objects are different shades of ''tscheng''.

Recent advances in neuropsychological and archeological research suggest that the conception of colors in different civilizations accompanied the ability to create dyes of that color artificially. In most cultures, the technology for manufacturing blue dyes was most difficult and came last and contributed to the conflation between blue and green. [[http://www.radiolab.org/story/211213-sky-isnt-blue/ for more details, listen to this audio clip.]]

For further reading, see Guy Deutscherís ''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).
* Angela and Tata from ''Franchise/{{Jewelpet}}'' have respectively blue and turquoise eyes, but belong to the Magical Green class (the attribution of these classes depends entirely on eye color).
* Misty's eye color is very inconsistent in the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime. Sometimes she has blue eyes and other times they're green. Since the switch to digital she's ''usually'' been a SignificantGreenEyedRedhead though.

[[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.
* Western Example: Despite the team's name, it was pretty easy to tell that the Green Monkeys from ''Series/LegendsOfTheHiddenTemple'' were wearing light blue T-shirts, just barely edging on teal.

* Amy Lee of Music/{{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.
* [[Music/{{Vocaloid}} Miku Hatsune]]'s thematic color tends to fluctuate between any given shade of green or blue, depending on the artist.
* In "Our Song" by Music/EltonJohn he mentions he doesn't remember if his boyfriend has blue or green eyes.

[[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 ''[[VideoGame/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 intentionally we had Red and ''Blue'', whereas Japan got Red and ''Green''.
*** ...which caused a problem when dealing with your rival. His Japanese name of "Green" fits his families plant themed names, the fact that green and red are complementary colors, and his bedroom is green toned. Still he is called "Blue" in the games even after ''[=FireRed=]'' and ''[=Leafgreen=]''.
* [[MegaMan2 Crashman]] is orange in game, but red character art.
* The Orange Star army of ''VideoGame/NintendoWars'' has red to orange units depending on the game and pink fatigues (they're called the Red Star army in Japan, but --[[RedsWithRockets for some reason]]-- this got changed for Western markets).
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'':
** The first {{summon|Magic}} that Arcanists learn, [[BlowYouAway Emerald Carbuncle]], has a clearly blue body.
** One of the dyes used to color armors is called "Celeste Green", but its description is "A labor-saving blue dye, used for coloring anything from cloth to metal." What some western players seem to consider a translation mistake reoccurs in other color shades.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' a can of hot chocolate powder in Undyne's house is described as a 'green cylinder' despite being clearly blue on screen. Since the game was written by an American (but homaging Japanese console RPGs), it's likely an homage to this trope.
* In ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'', Aerith comments that Mako energy makes Zack's eyes 'glow blue like the sky'. Zack's eyes ''are'' blue, but the way she phrases it makes it clear she's referring to Mako energy itself, which is green.

[[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 distinguishing 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 Egyptian 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 separate 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.
* The Russian language differentiates two hues of blue. They are ''siniy'' for dark, navy blue, and ''goluboy'' for a bright azure blue[[note]](with a secondary meaning of male homosexuality)[[/note]]. Green in Russian is ''zeleniy''.
** Similarly, and respectively, Italian differentiates the blues as ''blu'' and ''azzuro'', Greek as ''ble'' and ''galanos'', and [[http://www.enchantedlearning.com/colors/hebrew/ Hebrew]] as ''kakhol'' and ''tekhelet''.
* 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" was [[http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=orange&allowed_in_frame=0 imported from French]] along with the fruit. The French likely removed the initial n because of confusion (''une narange'' - ''une arange'') and changed the initial to o by analogy with 'or' (gold). Anything of that particular colour stopped being "red" and became orange, instead. But older uses persisted.
* Inverted with indigo. This was part of an attempt by Isaac Newton to fit the visible spectrum to a classical musical scale, in which indigo and orange were the semitones and red, yellow, green, blue, and violet were the tones. The part of the spectrum he called "blue" was just the bright azure/cyan blue, while the deep blue part he called "indigo"; both then and now, indigo was not a common color term, and today most people learning about the traditional colors of the rainbow are confused by it, thinking that there is some distinctive color between blue and purple that is not a type of blue or of purple. Now it is common, although incorrect, to presume that indigo is a dark bluish purple, closer to blue than even violet is (by comparison, indigo dye, from which the color term arose a generation before Newton was born, is a distinctly blue dye, the dye now used in the manufacture of blue jeans).
* To add to the confusion, the "green" light in U.S. traffic signals is deliberately mixed with a strong component of blue, to assist people with red-green colour blindness to distinguish between "stop" and "go" at a distance.