As the editors of the AND work their way towards the end of the revision of the letter ‘P’, one of the entries being rewritten is that of the colour purpre , that is, ‘purple’  . Defining what that means is trickier than it first appears, as is often the case with colour words. Is purple a colour in the pink/red family or is it a shade of blue? To further complicate matters, there are in fact numerous words used in Anglo-Norman to refer to different shades of purple, some of which we’ll look at here. Purpre derives from the Latin purpura [DMLBS 2584c] , and doesn’t refer always to the colour we now know as purple. Originally, the term referred to the shade of dye obtained from a sea snail, which was a variable crimson or reddish shade, which is also known as Tyrian purple. The blue-purple colour found in medieval manuscripts is often plant based, normally from the plant known as turnsole though this colour was also created using a variety of other plants and berries.