colours reflecting meaning

Although there are a lot of variations between synaesthetes, there are often similarities in certain things like letters of the alphabet – there are trends like ‘a’ is often red (mine’s black), ‘y’ is often yellow (mine’s yellow) and ‘z’ is often black (mine’s black).

I’d like to know if other synaesthetes see certain words the same too. Now with most words, it’s not the meaning of the the word that produces colour (e.g. the colour for ‘wall’ is grey for me but I’ve never seen a wall painted grey – it’s the letters in the word that are producing the colour).

But for certain words, words with very strong and vivid meanings and connotations, I’d like to know whether other synaesthetes see the colour of the meaning rather than the colour of the letters. Words I am thinking of specifically are things like this:

DEATHSUNSHINEFIREGRASSBLOOD (blood is also shiny and rounded like a blob of hot red wax before it has set)

And what about non-synaesthetes? Do they see colours when they think of these words?

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7 Responses to colours reflecting meaning

  1. Sarah says:

    Non-synaesthetes occasionally see colors, if the word is something like sunshine or grass. Everyone is different. Sometimes people do not have synathesia, but they can figure out the color of a word. But they don’t see it, just can figure it out.

  2. C M says:

    I’m not sure, that’s a fantastic question, though.

    DEATH, for me, is a brown that shifts into a very pale green, whereas BLOOD is blue that turns kind of dark brown towards the end. My GRASS is green, though.

    Maybe it’s just because they’re words that are so often associated with a specific colour.

  3. Asha says:

    I think this is a very interesting blog. As you were talking about the letter “a”, for example is RED for me, but none of the other letters are the same color for me as they are for most people, as you were saying. Like, for me, “red” is PINK, and “pink” is GRAY, “green” is PINK and, thank god, “blue” is actually blue. The way I hear or see the words I see the my own color first and then I see the color it is supposed to be.

    Also when I see or hear the word “green”, I see an elbow. And when I see or hear the word “yellow” I see a black and white checker board or stairs occasionally.

    Number 1 is blue, 2 is red, 3 is pink, 4 is blue, 5 is yellow, 6 is greenish blue, 7 is gold star, 8 is bright bright green, 9 is dark blue, 10 is brownish yellow, 11 is yellowish white, 12 is white or dark blue. Always. And then just for kicks, 1,200 is gold-ish red like auburn.
    Numbers are more like people for me, some are nice and some aren’t. That’s why I have favorite numbers and numbers I dislike. For example, the number “4” is a tall nice person wearing blue, but “8” is a mean lady with green lips. Always. And even though green is my favorite color, but it’s dark green, and this lady and her lips are bright green and I hate that color. I hate that color because when I see it, it feels gross. But sometimes if I write my “8” a little differently, like longer, it helps.

  4. Sarah says:

    That’s the same for me. If there’s a strong meaning to the word, I’ll still see the letter’s colors, but i also see a sort of glow around it that’s associated to the meaning of the word. Like for me, the word “red” takes on a red glow, but is still purple, light purple, and orange. But it depends on the word, because for me I don’t see a certain color for a word, I see each letters individually. It also evokes a certain feeling, and personality too depending on the colors of the letters in that word. Like the number 5 is red and stuck up. And the number 3 is yellow, but the word three is brown, green, purple, and light purple (x2). But yes depending on the word I see a glow thats associated with that word if it’s meaning is pronounced enough. But does anyone else know if parts of synesthesia can be sporatic? Because occasionally I’ll taste the image of zebras, it’s the strangest thing and I’ve had it all my life but it only happens one or two times a year. I don’t know why, but it does.

  5. Vivian says:

    Is it possible to have just pain synethesia? I dont have any others exept I do see the color red when thinking of it.

  6. S-S Mattie says:

    When I think of words, I cross relate it to something I know or/and pictures of it., depend on the context. I thought of sunshine as a yellow long ray with a bit of the round sun visible, But when i see the word blood, I see the picture that was provided in instructions to make fake blood.
    I don’t have synesthesia, I just think a lot with words and pictures.

  7. Julia L. says:

    so I just said “red” out loud (red closed my eyes while saying it for the first time) and I saw the border (colored sky blue) of a rectangle minus the top part.( kind of a rectangle bathtub) with a muddy brown/red background. Though i was compleatly relaxed.

    the second time I felt my heart pumping in y chest and instead i saw a sky blue dot in the center. and orange stripes in the center with the same muddy brown/red background. however the stripes did not cover the entire screen/page. The stripes made a rectangle. there was some space (force field) between the circle and the stripes. I am using “force field” as an analogy.

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