How do you say the color "maroon" in French?

BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

How do you say the color "maroon" in French?

I have a student who wants to know how to say the color "maroon". The hex color code #800000 gives "Maroon" as the answer on the encycolorpedia.fr site, but that's the only place I see it listed. Most "first choices" on translators give "marron" as the translation -- but how do you tell the difference between marron/maroon and marron/brown? Some give bordeaux or grenat as options -- and those are "related" colors on the encycolorpedia.fr site as well. Thank you for your help with this vexing dilemma. I hope the next student chooses something "easy" like navy blue!! :)

Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Bonnie, 

Both adjectives,  grenat, and bordeaux are correct for the colour maroon which is the colour of wine.

( grenat is also the name for the garnet gem)

The colour 'bordeaux' can be translated as 'burgundy' which always makes me smile as of course to a French person it is a totally different wine region!

You might find this page interesting I think -

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenat_(couleur)#:~:text=Le%20rouge%20grenat%20est%20commun%C3%A9ment,pour%20la%20production%20de%20pigments.

Marron is a nutshell is brown unless you are talking about hair or fur and you then choose 'brun'!

Bonne Continuation!

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

According to Larousse (and wordreference) the French word for the colour 'maroon' is «bordeaux». None of Robert, Larousse or the Académie francaise include «maroon» as a French word. 

BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Merci beaucoup, Maarten. I am still very confused as to all the statements I've seen with "marron" rather than "bordeaux" for the translation. Maybe Québecois? 

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Words are very imprecise desciptors of colours at the best of times! Marron to me is definitely brown. Maybe it is just a misuse that has arisen because of the closeness of the spelling - words have changed meaning with a lot less reasoning than this.

How do you say the color "maroon" in French?

I have a student who wants to know how to say the color "maroon". The hex color code #800000 gives "Maroon" as the answer on the encycolorpedia.fr site, but that's the only place I see it listed. Most "first choices" on translators give "marron" as the translation -- but how do you tell the difference between marron/maroon and marron/brown? Some give bordeaux or grenat as options -- and those are "related" colors on the encycolorpedia.fr site as well. Thank you for your help with this vexing dilemma. I hope the next student chooses something "easy" like navy blue!! :)

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