Which of the colours illustrated above is puce?
It's the satisfying shade of a well-ticked ticky box
Want to know the answer? Or simply want to know why I'm asking? Then I'll tell you.
The answer is... I don't know. You see, I've lived for many years under the impression that puce was B, but now I've looked it up in a dictionary (both the Concise Oxford and Chambers), it tells me that puce is actually C and/or D. As it happens, I only looked it up in the first place because I found the same word used in a French book today, but the colour it was referring to was definitely A. To add fuel to the flames of pucity, Wikipedia, that source of all totally accurate (hem hem) knowledge, says it's either B, C or D, but admits that it may also be A if you're French.
Result: The fog of puceness remains annoyingly opaque. Can anyone shed any light on this mystery? Or will I be obliged to find other obscure terminology to refer to soft furnishings from now on?