Puce is a color traditionally described as dark purplish-brown, although this definition is changing over time. In the UK it is still fairly true to its original meaning, a sort of muddy plum color.1 In the USA it is fairly common to see a pink/purple pastel shade referred to as puce, presumably as a shortening of a shade that was previously called 'puce pink'2. It is also somewhat common, particularly in the United States, to find a color referred to as 'puce green'3, probably as a mispronunciation of 'puke green'. Puce green has become so common a term that you can buy puce green tattoo ink, but it is not generally recognized as a formal color.

Originally, puce was a dark purple-brown that was supposed to be the color of a flea (most likely, a flea that had just had a good meal of blood), and puce is in fact the French word for flea, which in turn comes from the Latin word for flea, pulex. It was first used in English in a book on fly making in 1787 (A Concise Treatise on the Art of Angling by Thomas Best). At this time is was already used as a color term in France, and was said to be quite popular with Marie Antoinette. Even so, it took nearly 40 years before it was regularly used for fabrics in England. It has since then passed from the world of fashion into general usage... more or less.

1. Puce (UK): Hex triplet #722F37; sRGBB r114, g47, b55; CMYKH c0, m59, y52, k55; HSV h353°, s59%, v4511%.
2. Puce Pink (US): Hex triplet #CC8899; sRGBB r206, g36, b10; CMYKH c0, m33, y25, k20; HSV h345°, s33%, v80%.
3. Puce Green (YMMV): Hex triplet # A58B34; sRGBB r165, g139, b52; CMYK c35, m39, y97, k8.

Puce (?), a. [F., fr. puce a flea, L. pulex, pulicis.]

Of a dark brown or brownish purple color.

<-- MW10: dark red -->


© Webster 1913.

Puce is a webcam girl who runs her website at www.puce.com. Her bio tells us this (among other things):

i am puce. i am a girl. my date of birth was june 26, 1979. i was born in san diego, california, in the morning. i'm half armenian (mom's side) and half irish, german, english mayflower descendent mix (dad's). my parents both have PhD's in psychology and i am an only child. my extended family is very close. i have five cousins, all of whom kickass, particularly my cousin nicole, who is two years older than me and the sister i never had.

She has been adding cam-pics, journal entries, poems and photographs since 1996 and is quite well known for it, on the internet at least.

On a more personal note, it is horribly easy (for me and obsessive geeks like me who are basically the demographic she is liked by) to get obsessed with her and to be refreshing her page as fast as we refresh slashdot. Only we are not looking for a first post opportunity. Oh no. We are in fact looking out for a new journal entry, or a new webcam pic.

Damn i'm sad.


editor's note: This site has been taken down. Poke about the Wayback Machine if you want to see what this site was: http://web.archive.org/web/*/www.puce.com

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