Roy G. Biv
Lilac, canary, mustard, slate. As a visual designer, my colour vocabulary has significantly expanded since first learning about the rainbow's hue composition in grade school. And yet, it still pales in comparison to some of my contemporaries in such disciplines like interior design with their seventy 'practical' shades of white.
As such, I was blown away by a piece of trivial history stating there was a time when the colour blue did not exist. Physically it has, but in literature, the sapphire-like radiance was never mentioned in ancient times.
Homer's The Odyssey famously describes the sea as "wine-dark"... the same discrepancy is found in all surviving Ancient Greek texts, with a substitute colour always appearing instead of blue. Curiously, this linguistic blind spot occurs in most other ancient languages too.
This descriptive glitch apparently comes down to classification. In modern times, we make the distinction that a pale red is defined as pink but make no such allowances for example, between a light orange and dark orange – nomenclature-wise the same colour, but just different shades or tints.
In this respect, ancient scholars considered blue to be a deeper shade of green and this throwback is still present today in some cultures. Crazy huh?