Many children experience great difficulty in learning their first color word. In contrast, once children have learned 1 color word, they learn additional color words more easily. This striking fact raises the question of whether children who do not know color words have conceptual color categories capable of supporting inferences about word meaning. In 3 experiments 2-year-olds were provided with tasks that required them to base inferences on color or to map things onto color. Half the children comprehended at least 1 color word, and the remaining children comprehended none. In all experiments, the children in both groups succeeded on the color tasks. It was argued that children who do not know color words have the conceptual foundation necessary to base inferences on color but have specific constraints against basing inferences about word meaning on color.