The Orange – Where’s the Creativity?


Who was the super creative person who thought up of the name for the fruit we call the orange? Why just name it after the color it is? You don’t call an apple, red or a banana, yellow. So why call an orange, orange?

Which came first, the color or the fruit? Maybe that’s what I really need to find out?

The citrus fruit definitely got named first. The earliest recorded use of orange the fruit in English is from the 1300s and came to us from the Old French orenge, adapted from the Arabic nāranj, from the Persian nārang, from the Sanskrit nāranga (“orange tree”). The Sanskrit word’s origin is unclear, but it might come from a Dravidian word meaning “fragrant.”

The word’s use as a color name doesn’t crop up for another 200 years, in the early 1500s. English speakers probably didn’t have a specific name for the color until the fruit was widely available in their markets and inspired one. Before then, linguists believe people generally referred to orange as “yellow-red,” ġeolurēad in Old English.

So the fruit was named first. Okay, this make more sense now. I think I can live with this. But if it would have been the other way around, then I wouldn’t of been able to rest until I came up with a new creative name for the orange. But, now all is good. Back to solving other world problems.


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