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In reading the wikipedia article on eye color, I noticed that the colors listed there seemed a bit arbitrary. Tangentially, I know that even the words we use today to recognize colors are neither old nor preserved through cultures, languages, or time. As an example, Spanish speaking peoples often use the word black to describe eye color, but English speaking peoples would say dark brown.

This left me wondering if the worldwide medical community (represented by the world health organisation or something else) has a distinct nomenclature for human eye colors. If they do, what are the various "official" eye colors?

  • Lots of upvotes. I'm surprised this doesn't have an answer. The answer is out there. – Carey Gregory Feb 5 at 2:35
  • I don't know of a standardized nomenclature for normal eye color by any medical organization, but it's possible there is one. It's not taught in, e.g., physical examination courses in medical school (which I have previously taught). There is also not a standardized nomenclature for skin color, and, unfortunately, important skin findings are taught (at least in the US) in a way that doesn't take into account the broad variability in skin tones. – De Novo supports GoFundMonica Feb 5 at 5:51
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    @DeNovo From a quick search I get the impression you're right that there is no accepted standard, but there have been attempts to establish one. See for example. – Carey Gregory Feb 5 at 6:01
  • @Carey In reading your link, I'm reminded of iridology. Though mostly pseudo-scientific, practitioners use a rather detailed classification rubric that accounts for pattern, artefacts, and color. – 3495 Feb 6 at 3:16
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There is no strong scientific consensus on eye colors. But for example, per 2019 review article at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30639910 the colors listed in that review are blue, brown and intermediate

So one approach is to bundle the non brown and non blue into a single category called 'intermediate'.

The top of a long table is pasted here to demonstrate that.

enter image description here

  • "Intermediate". I can't say I like that, but I think we can all agree on it at least. Where exactly is the line for brown? Does it include the very light kind that's sometimes greenish? – 3495 May 30 at 17:40

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