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In an essay, while describing the coloration pattern of some amphibians I often used the word orangey (to modify the principal color). All those times, my teacher erased the word or changed it by reddish, which does not means the same for me.

I would like to know if orangey is an informal word, and, in that case, which word should be used to describe a color with shades of orange.

i. e. instead of orangey brown I should use ...

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    If your teacher accepts reddish, orangey should be fine English-wise. Perhaps the difference of opinion isn’t related to language. – Lawrence Dec 23 '17 at 8:21
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    Have you asked your teacher why they changed it to reddish? Perhaps they simply consider that the colour is a reddish brown, not an orangy brown. If the change was made on purely linguistic grounds, then your teacher is quite simply wrong. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 24 '17 at 12:05
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    Thanks to everyone for your answers and comments. Since there is a wide variation in amphibian coloration, if I list the name of colors with shades of orange, the text would be too long, also some part of the variation could be missed, so that is not an option. The color I was trying to describe had definitely shades of orange, not red. However, I couldn't find examples with the word orangey. Finally, I read a reliable paper in which they use "orange-hued". I don't understand why, if most of you tell me "orangey" is just as valid as "reddish". Anyway I will go for "orange-hued". – nadiapr Dec 27 '17 at 0:02
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    If you have institutional access to the OED, they list orangey and give examples of it including orangey-blue and orangey-brown. – tchrist Jan 13 '18 at 11:03
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Orangey is a real word and is used in English but in the context it isn't suitable. Simply adding 'ey' to the end of an adjective has implications of vagueness, that the user does not know the 'proper' word to use in the situation. The 'ey' affix might be taken to mean "sort of..." In an educational and especially sciences setting this usually isn't good enough. Try looking up "ochre" as a colour...

  • Since we don’t know what the context is (“an essay” isn’t exactly much to go by), we can’t really say whether it’s suitable in the context or not. There’s nothing wrong with vagueness if the context is permissive of it. If it’s a scientific article categorising amphibians based on coloration patterns, a vague term like orangy brown would probably be too imprecise to be useful; but in a (non-scientific) essay describing fieldwork with endangered species in Borneo, describing an amphibian as having an orangy brown colour would be perfectly fine. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 24 '17 at 12:09
  • I think we can reasonably presume based upon the red marks on paper by the word that it is not suitable. Personally I feel that's not up for literary debate unless you want to ring up the teacher directly. I like the suggestion that ochre could be an acceptable color name. Very good. – Jesse Ivy Dec 26 '17 at 5:54
  • Thanks to everyone for your answers and comments. Since there is a wide variation in amphibian coloration, if I list the name of colors with shades of orange, the text would be too long, also some part of the variation could be missed, so that is not an option. The color I was trying to describe had definitely shades of orange, not red. However, I couldn't find examples with the word orangey. Finally, I read a reliable paper in which they use "orange-hued". I don't understand why, if most of you tell me "orangey" is just as valid as "reddish". Anyway I will go for "orange-hued" – nadiapr Dec 27 '17 at 0:02

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