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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 1 decade ago

What was the first meaning of the word orange?

Was it first used to describe the fruit and then the colour or the other way around?

15 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Arabs brought the first oranges to Spain, and the fruit rapidly spread throughout Europe. The important word for the development of our term is Old Italian melarancio, derived from mela, “fruit,” and arancio, “orange tree,” from Arabic nāranj. Old Italian melarancio was translated into Old French as pume orenge, the o replacing the a because of the influence of the name of the town of Orange, from which oranges reached the northern part of France. The final stage of the odyssey of the word was its borrowing into English from the Old French form orenge. Our word is first recorded in Middle English in a text probably composed around 1380, a time preceding the arrival of the orange in the New World."

  • 1 decade ago

    Word History: Oranges imported to China from the United States reflect a journey come full circle, for the orange had worked its way westward for centuries, originating in China, then being introduced to India, and traveling on to the Middle East, into Europe, and finally to the New World. The history of the word orange keeps step with this journey only part of the way. The word is possibly ultimately from Dravidian, a family of languages spoken in southern India and northern Sri Lanka. The Dravidian word or words were adopted into the Indo-European language Sanskrit with the form nraga. As the fruit passed westward, so did the word, as evidenced by Persian nrang and Arabic nranj. Arabs brought the first oranges to Spain, and the fruit rapidly spread throughout Europe. The important word for the development of our term is Old Italian melarancio, derived from mela, “fruit,” and arancio, “orange tree,” from Arabic nranj. Old Italian melarancio was translated into Old French as pume orenge, the o replacing the a because of the influence of the name of the town of Orange, from which oranges reached the northern part of France. The final stage of the odyssey of the word was its borrowing into English from the Old French form orenge. Our word is first recorded in Middle English in a text probably composed around 1380, a time preceding the arrival of the orange in the New World.

    Source(s): dictionary.com
  • 1 decade ago

    I know many useless facts one is that there used to be no word in English for pink and also there used to be no word for the colour orange. It was either red or yellow. So I imaging the fruit came first.

  • 1 decade ago

    It totally was the fruit first. The idea of the color was borrowed from the fruit. It makes sense because in early times people didn't bother too much with color analysis but more with food.

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  • ?
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    It goes way back to the cave men. Just when man started to communicate with words. One day a man walked into his village. The villagers gawked at him,he was carrying a basket full of odd round things. He was one of few who began to speak by traveling to other villages. He knew what he carried was food...they did not. He watched while the children threw them around. Finally....he yelled, "ORANGE YOU GOING TO EAT THESE?"

    From that day on we have what we know as the Orange!

    ORANGE YOU GLAD I ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION?????

  • 1 decade ago

    the original word was in Sanskrit "Narang", then trhe same word became accepted in persian, then in arabic... From there it became "auranja" in old provenzal and finally Orange in middle french.

    The colour came from the fruit...

  • 1 decade ago

    It was definitely the the fruit which came first.

  • Chreap
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    The fruit, and then the colour was associated to it.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Fruit - Orange you glad I answered your question!

  • Queen
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I think the fruit then the color came last.

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