XCyzgreen-blue-purple-gray-black, kingfisher green, alcedine.
XCyzis another of that small group of kanji that cover the spectrum blue-green-purple-gray-black. It means 'vivid green-blue-purple-black', and originally referred to the glossy iridescent plumage of the kingfisher. It still occurs as the second kanji in the dissyllabic name of the Asiatic kingfisher (Halcyon), qXCyγΕ zA©νΉέΜ¨·, the male 'common Indian kingfisher', according to Shogakukan Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary, 2nd edition. The Shuowenjiezi Dictionary (100 AD), says: AΒ H ηB"The kingfisher (?) with the 'blue-green-purple-grey-black'plumage." (See also Β’.) 'Vivid green-blue-purple-black' or 'kingfisher green' can be a bit awkward as a translation, however, and Peter A. Boodberg has suggested 'alcedine', from Latin alcedo, 'kingfisher', as a possible rendition of a word that may equally apply to a woman's penciled eyebrows and to foliage.
One of the quatrains of Du Fu (mαiΖΩj):
_ Σ © Β φ
κ s λ γ Β V
βx ά Ό δ η H α
ε ΰ δέ ’ D
Here Du Fu's quatrain again, in Boodberg's translation.
A couple of orioles -- paried yellow-black -- birdcalling
willows plumed with alcedine,
A line of egrets -- a path of dewy white -- ascending quickblue skies,
Where windows hold embouched the Western Range, snows of a thousand harvests,
And gates moor white the Eastern Wu, the boats of Myriad Leagues
(The bridgeport of my autumn in the recurrent vernant green ...)
iάΗjΙΝ ά iΣjή@ΌδηHiΉ’κ’Ήρ΅γ€jΜαiδ«j
Reference: Cedule 14 (originally Cedule 022-550201),"On Chromatographic Effects in Chinese Poetry" from Selected Works of Peter A. Boodberg, University of California Press, 1979, ISBN 0-520-03314-0.