March 27, 2004
Word History of Orange according to dictionary.com: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.
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
The important word for the development of our term is Old Italian
melarancio, derived from mela, "fruit," and arancio, "orange
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.
final stage of the
odyssey of the word was its borrowing into English from the Old French
Our word is first recorded in Middle English in a text probably composed
around 1380, a time preceding
of the orange in the New World.
Winner: Mehran Azhar. Sad
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