Just what is Hazel Eye Color?

This little debate started with my wife. Hmmmmm. Anyway, I have been under the impression that hazel eyes were green and blue, or brown and yellow, etc. As long as it was some sort of combo basically.

My wife says, oh no, the dictionary says hazel is brown and yellow. Hmmm. I check dictionaries, yep that’s what it says. Arggggh! I then ask what everyone else in the family thinks–Easter get together conversation, you know. Most people thing that hazel has some green in it. Ok, so that’s about 5 of 6 people that had this impression. I go to work today and compile some more “random” stats. OK, I’m up to about 15 of 16 people that think it has got some green it in. In the dictionary: “brown and yellow.” Never a deviation.

I do a little bit of research and think that if I go onto one of the contact lense sites I’ll probably find my answer. OK, they are basically brown.

Why are so many of us convinced there is some green in hazel, yet the dictionary states there is none.

Alright, so what’s up? Why are so many people here wrong? You know what the odds here are of 15 of 16 people being wrong about there being some green? What do you do with the rest of the combinations, such as green and blue? What are they called?

Thanks, clyde

I have been told that mine are hazel, but they are brown around the center and varying from gray to green around the outside depending on what I’m wearing. One sister’s are brown and yellow, one brother’s are like mine, my dad’s are blue, my mom’s and my other brother’s are brown and my other sister’s are gray.

I’ve seen hazel described as varying from brown to green or gray, but I’ve also at least once seen it described as varying from blue to gray, which seems unlikely to be correct. Maybe the key part is the variability.

The name must come from the plant, which has brown stems and nuts that turn from green to yellow, orange, and red, according to this: http://www.2020site.org/trees/hazel.html .

I’ve always considered myself to have hazel eyes, which are half brown (inner half), and half green (outer half)…depending on the day or how dilated my eyes are, or what I’m wearing, they can sometimes appear almost entirely green with a brown ring in the middle, or around half and half. I certainly wouldn’t say I have green eyes, since the brown is very noticable, and can’t be discounted.

FWIW, my drivers license says HAZ for eye color. (Of course, I tell them my eye color)

My eyes are brown near center and dark green near edges. People have told me they are green, or they are brown, or they are hazel.

Got the impression that “hazel” is somewhat vague or variable, but would have guessed the dictionary would say hazel meant green and brown.

Yellow? Don’t remember seeing anybody with yellow in their eyes, except my daughter when she got hepatitis. Yellow?

I have lots of yellow in my eyes, in tiny little threads interwoven into the brown. You can’t see them unless you’re really close up.
As to hazel eye color–I’ve always pictured it as at least partly greenish as well. I think what we have here is a case of a word taking on a new meaning through use.
The dictionary defines the color as you might find on a crayon, perhaps. But “hazel” when talking about eye color really seems to mean “not blue, grey, green or brown but some combination thereof”. It’s like the mutt color.

Thissays that hazel is a blue green. Mine are brown in the center and green blue on the outside and I always thought that was called varigated.

HERE is a taxidermy site that reproduces hazel eyes in glass.

Looking at Bosda’s link, I’m thinking I have Hazel eyes (which I’ve assumed in the past). A pic of my eyeball seems very similar to the taxidermy glass eye.

I always thought there were 2 hazels: green-gold and blue-green. So when people ask me what my eye color is, I say green-gold hazel. They think I am weird until they see me and then I guess it makes sense. My eyes really are green-gold, with browinsh flecks in them.

Eye color is controlled almost primarily by the amount of melanin pigment in the eye…the same pigment that causes skin color and hair color (a brownish pigment). By varying the amount in the iris fibers, you can vary the colors to all degrees. If the front iris fibers have only a little or no pigment the eye color will be bluish or greenish, depending on the size and spacing between the fibers (which controls the way the light is refracted off of them and reflected back at the viewer) as well as the stromal cells in the iris. However, melanin isn’t the only pigment associated with color. There are at least 5, and probably 6 different pigments, one of which “lipofuscin” is responsible for a sort of brown-yellowish pigment. Hazel colors can be produced by either varying the amount of melanin (brown pigment) or varying lipofuscin (brown-yellow pigment). It might be that the defination you have is based upon a varying of brown-yellow pigment. Sort of true, but skewed the facts a bit. Hope it helps.

I was taught hazel was a mixture of brown and greenish-yellow, like my brother’s eyes. My husband always thought his eyes were hazel, but they look blue to me. When I wore contact lenses, I had a pair that were blue-green; they were called “aqua”, which seemed exactly right to me.

As far as using “what everyone thinks” as a yardstick for truth…oh, please!

I’ve always understood “hazel” to be the miscellaneous catchall when describing eye color. Any color that is somewhere between green, blue, and brown, or a mixture thereof, fall under hazel. Aqua and gray are exceptions.

My own eyes are, for the most part, blue. But each one has a small gold/brown ring around the iris. So my eyes are usually categorized as hazel.

“Hazel” as a color is derived from the “Hazel Nut” or Hazel Tree. A light brown in color apparently. How it came to refer to a bluish-grey, like a periwinkle or “cadet-blue” as crayola puts it, I have no idea. And if we can’t trust Crayola, who can we trust?

My brother’s eyes are brown with green flecks. They are classified Hazel in every way I’ve ever seen.

My boyfriend’s eyes are brown with lots of gold/yellow. He calls them brown.

My eyes are grey (like storm clouds). They are not blue, but grey isn’t a designation on most things (like Driver’s Licenses), so I have to go with BLU on my license.

The definitive hazel eyes.

My eyes are brown with quite a bit of green flecking at times, all depending on mood, etc. ( yes, I’m a proud owner of patented **Mood Eyes]/b].

I’ve a very close friend who vigorously insist that my eyes are brown. I think she’s wrong, wrong wrong. There’s green in them thar eyes. ( Sorry, I don’t have an extreme close-up of my eyes to prove this. )


My eyes are mostly green, with a brown outer ring and a blue starburst patttern exploding from the pupil. My driver’s license says HZL, and I was always told that it meant green-brown.

And I *want *a close-up picture of my eyeball. Who’s got a teeny camera?

Heh. This is actually a fun idea. You don’t want a teeny camera, you want any camera with a macro lens, or macro setting on it.

We could post immense photos of one eyeball. It’d be like a contest!!

" Which Eye Catches Your Eye?"


my eyes are hazel, and turn yellow when i am mad or upset. makes me look like a cat. otherwise, they are mostly green with flecks of yellow.

I’ve got hazel, and when I first was in Japan, people could never figure out the color since they had never seen two-tone eyes before. Of course, everyone over here has naurally brown eyes, and blue contacts on an oriental person as a little weird.