I came across this word in a magazine recently and found it humorous. Mostly because my high school youth group used to refer to “purple” as what happened when boys (blue) and girls (red) got together.

According to dictionary.com, empurple means to “color or become purplish,” which is exceedingly logical. However, the existence of the word is puzzling. Why would someone ever need to use the word “empurple.” Not only does it sound dumb, but it has a very limited meaning. The magazine I was reading (which I won’t name) used the word as a broad term meaning enhance. It DOESN’T mean that, but I guess if you like purple a lot you could think of empurpling as enhancing.

As I’m struck by the unnecessariness of this word in terms of the color purple, dictionary.com tells me that “purple” can actually mean “profane or shocking, as in language.” So, empurple as in sprinkle a literary work with profanity? Maybe you were right magazine, and my limited knowledge of the word purple led me to write this completely useless post. Touche.

About Natalie Ramm

I read a lot, y'all.
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1 Response to Empurple

  1. Pingback: A short list | Bright Lights, Big-ish City

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