Several years ago I was in the position of picking out colors for the closet in our apartment in Cambridge that we were calling "our nursery." My son, now 5, was about to be born. It was at the Home Depot that I started thinking: with a good color name (Midnight Meadow) you can get away with anything, even a terrible color (Midnight Meadow is a wasting grey blue, it would have been more aptly named Death).
The opposite is also true. For instance, Nacho. Nacho is the color I chose for the closet, "our nursery." It was a heartwarming yellow, but when friends and family asked "What color is that?" and I said, beaming, "why I'm tickled you asked, it's Nacho!" they were like, ewww, who would put their firstborn in a nacho colored closet? Couldn't the geniuses at Behr have named it Sunnyside Of The Street?
Color, like everything, is marketing. Vermillion is superior to plain Jane red, chartreuse to spring green, even a child knows this. When my children are bellydown, crayoning furiously in their coloring books, they try to outdo the Crayola marketing department and each other. "Pass me Poop," my daughter, 3, says, asking for brown. "It's not Poop, it's Diarrhea, get it right," says my son, who has superior knowledge of these bathroom matters. "Or maybe it's Throw Up."
I tell him his first experiences with Nacho. "I like Nachos, good job, Mom," he says, "but a better name is Puked Egg Yolk." If you're five, maybe. I much prefer Sunnyside of The Street.