Eau De Nil

ˌō də ˈnē

Noun

  • A pale greenish color.

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Example Sentences

“I want eau de nil drapes, and this fabric is too pastel for what I have in mind.”

“I thought her dress was blue, but in better lighting I realized it was eau de nil.”

“The eau de nil plates will add a tinge of color against the white linens for the reception.”

Word Origin

French, late 19th century

Why this word?

Pinpointing the name for an exact shade of a color can be a tricky thing — what one person calls “cornflower blue” might be “periwinkle” to another — but “eau de nil” is especially so. It’s defined as “a pale greenish color,” but the “ish” leaves things open to wide interpretation. Eau de nil (translated from French as “water of the Nile”) came into vogue along with “Egyptomania” in the late 19th century. Painters, decorators, and dressmakers were all fascinated with shades of light green that varied with hints of blue and yellow. The color was more vibrant upon its inception, and while the name “eau de nil” is still in use, it’s faded to a lighter shade of green. For example, fashion bloggers called Emma Stone’s 2024 Academy Awards dress “eau de nil,” but it appeared almost white in certain lighting.

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Learn a new word Protean

ˈprōdēən