I am compliling a list for aspiring writers. Feel free to add to the list.(Some shades of red on this list are darker, lighter, or with different undertones, than your standard red…but then again red does have many tones and shades)
Keep in mind, don’t overuse these words. Use them sparingly for impact, otherwise you cheapen it with over use.
Ruby Crimson Brick Garnet Claret Rose Strawberry Rust Firetruck Siren Burgundy Blush/ Flushed Cardinal Robin’s Breast Fire/ Flame Lava / magma Rouge Volcano Mars (Mars Dust) Poppy Columbine Salmon Cherry Cerise Wine Yarrow Phoenix Inflammed/ irritated Blood (Blood clot) Rubicund Coral Crab / Lobster Sun Scarlet Maroon Chestnut Carmine Vermillion Burnt Singed Raging Ruddy Blaze Fever Scorched Ember Cinnabar Watermelon Rose Quartz Pepper Chili Grapefruit Peony Artery Sunstone Carnelian Red Beryl Fire Opal Raspberry Tomato Lady Bug Fox Rosaceous/ rosey Apple Rooster Rhubarb Pomegranate Paprika Dark Raspberry Candycane Sunburn Pink Garnet Cadmium Venetian Red Terra Cotta Autumn Red Black Cherry Heart Throb Dragon Fruit Salsa Licorice Candy Valentine Ginger Hollyhock Stop Sign Royal Red Lust Mohogany Red Lacquer Sex (metaphorically) Passion Cayenne Iron Oxide Raw Meat Bromine Embarassed Rash Sequioa/ Redwood Raddish Flushed/ Flustered Beetroot Red ochre Fire Ant Cranberry Kidney (bean and human organ) Burnt Sienna Ketchup Red/ Desert Clay Blood Orange Grapefruit Annatto Lips Red Velvet Cake Inferno Merlot Pinot Noir Blister Bug Bite Scab Acne Harvest Moon Intestine Dragon’s Breath Furnace Hot Coals Red Sandstone
Mind you, some colors are not appropriate for certain characteristics…for instance, you wouldn’t call a man’s angry face “valentine”….because “valentine implies something sweet. Call his complexion “Fiery” or “Lava” to imply anger as well as the color.
Likewise, don’t call a soldier’s red uniform “Cherry”….because that seems too weak for a soldier…..Call it something like “Siren red” or “stop sign red”, “artery” or “blood” to imply authority, and maybe to describe their profession in a subtle way.
A woman in a red cocktail dress can be “salsa”, “rose”, candy red” or “the color of sex/ passion/ lust”, to imply what kind of sexy she is.
The underlying red of a baby’s new flesh can be “strawberry” or “blush” to imply something sweet and soft. Don’t call it something like “sunburn” because that just sounds painful for a baby. Different colors imply different feelings. Use them well!