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What are grey colors called?

What are grey colors called?

Grey is an interesting color that can have different names depending on the specific shade. From light silvery greys to dark charcoal greys, there are many terms used to describe the variations within this color family. In this article, we’ll explore the different names used for grey colors.

Light Greys

On the light end of the grey spectrum, you’ll find colors that are silvery and cool in tone. Some common names for light greys include:

Silver This metallic grey has hints of sheen and shine.
Platinum Slightly darker than silver, platinum grey has a refined elegance.
Ash Ash grey has subtle blue undertones for a cool, understated look.
Iron Named after the metal, iron grey is a pale, solid grey color.
Smoke Evoking billowing smoke, this grey has soft blurred edges.

These light greys pair beautifully with other cool tones like blue, purple, white and black. They bring an airy, ethereal quality to designs.

Mid-Tone Greys

Moving into the mid-tones of grey, you’ll find more complex, nuanced shades like:

Charcoal Darker than light grey but lighter than true charcoal, this grey has depth.
Carbon Carbon grey is a neutral grey reminiscent of carbon fiber.
Lead Similar to graphite, lead grey has a refined, professional look.
Stone Capturing the solid essence of stones, stone grey is steady and subtle.
Concrete Concrete grey mirrors weathered concrete with complex undertones.

These greys beautifully bridge the gap between light and dark shades. They’re versatile and work with nearly any color scheme.

Dark Greys

On the darker end of the spectrum are greys with blackened tones. Some common dark greys are:

Charcoal True charcoal grey captures the blackened, sooty essence of charcoal.
Slate Slate grey perfectly mimics the color of stone slate.
Onyx Named after the jet black stone, onyx grey has deep black undertones.
Pigeon Pigeon grey has blueish undertones like the color of pigeon feathers.
Tin Tin grey beautifully captures the matte tone of tinned metal.

These sophisticated dark greys work well with deep shades like black, burgundy and navy. They create dramatic, moody color schemes.

Warm Greys

While most greys have cool undertones, there are also greys with warm, earthy tones. These include shades like:

Dust This soft grey evokes drifting dust and has a warm, weathered look.
Hickory With undertones of brown like hickory wood, this grey has vintage charm.
Dove Dove grey has subtle hints of mauve that give it a warm, cozy aura.
Taupe Taupe grey mixes grey and brown for a muted, earthy color.
Stone Stone grey can also refer to warm greys that resemble stone.

These greys work well with other earth tones like brown, terracotta, olive and peach. They bring out a cozy, natural color story.

Greys with Undertones

Many greys get their names from subtle undertones that give them unique character. Here are some examples:

Purple grey Has faint hints of purple, like lavender or lilac.
Green grey Subtle hints of sage or olive green.
Blue grey Barely perceptible blue undertones, like slate.
Pink grey A touch of blush or rose for warmth.
Mauve grey Grey with a subtle mauve influence.

These undertones can create unique, sophisticated grey shades. A purple grey will feel different than a green grey, even if they’re similar values.

Natural Greys

Grey is also commonly connected to materials found in nature. Some greys inspired by natural elements include:

Stone grey Replicates the cool grey of weathered stone.
Cloud grey Evokes a soft, billowy grey cloud.
Smoke grey Mimics the grey of drifting smoke.
Granite grey Speckled like granite stone.
Rock grey Grey with rugged, textured character.

These nature-based greys capture the subtle variations found outdoors in stone, clouds and other elements. They have an organic, relaxed feel.

Greys Inspired by Animals

In the animal kingdom, many fur and feather colors inspire lovely greys. Some animal-inspired greys include:

Dove grey Grey with warm undertones like a dove’s feathers.
Dolphin grey Cool grey reminiscent of a dolphin’s skin.
Wolf grey Has smoky black tones like a wolf’s fur.
Panda grey Inky dark and white like a panda’s fur.
Shark grey Menacing, like the skin of a shark.

These animal greys capture qualities we associate with those creatures through color. Dove grey feels gentle and soft, while shark grey seems intense and dangerous.

Creative and Quirky Greys

Grey can also have fun, fanciful names that add a playful character:

Fog grey As mysterious as thick fog.
Wizard grey Worthy of a wise old wizard’s robe.
Ghost grey Ethereal and haunting, like a ghost.
Shadow grey Evokes a shadowy, dark grey shade.
Luna grey Named for the moon, with a lunar radiance.

These imaginative greys are perfect for adding a mood or character to a space. Fog grey will feel just right for a misty, moody design.

Industry-Inspired Greys

Greys are also connected to certain industries and professions. These include:

Battleship grey The color of naval battleships.
Cadet grey Specific grey used in military uniforms.
Steel grey Grey reminiscent of weathered steel.
Titanium grey Lighter grey like unpolished titanium.
Rocket grey Grey used in aerospace designs.

These industry greys evoke those vocations through their names and color associations. Battleship grey feels rugged, cadet grey disciplined, and rocket grey futuristic.

Greys Named After Places

Some greys get their common names from locations around the world:

London grey Classic grey shade reminiscent of London fog.
York grey Named after New York City.
Confederate grey Grey used in Confederate army uniforms.
Paris grey Fashionable, refined grey, like Paris itself.
Barcelona grey Sophisticated warm grey, evocative of Barcelona.

Naming greys after places captures cultural associations we have with those locations. Paris grey implies elegance, Barcelona grey feels artistic, and confederate grey historical.


As you can see, grey encompasses a vast range of different shades and takes many descriptive names. Whether it’s the cozy warmth of dove grey, the refined tact of London grey, or the daring edge of battleship grey, each variation of grey has its own character and design potential. With so many greys to choose from, there’s one that’s just right for every space and aesthetic. The next time you use grey, take a moment to appreciate all the nuances and creativity behind its many poetic names.