Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Are oranges named after their color?

One of the great side effects of watching educational videos with my son is the wealth of seemingly innocent questions that arise afterwards, and the entertaining web searches to find the answer. One such question is for oranges which came first, the color or the name of the fruit?

Turns out there are a lot of theories online, and the one that rings true is this quora thread on the origins of the name. According to the online etymology dictionary the name of the fruit evolved through trade from the original Sanskrit name for the orange tree (naranga). to the Persian narang, to the Arabic naranj, to the Italian arancia, to the Latin orange, to the French orange, and finally to the current form circa 1300. The name of the color came after that.

Where would we be without the Internet and kids questions.

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