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English_orange

Page history last edited by Alex Backer, Ph.D. 12 years, 1 month ago

Orange is the name of a fruit of the citrus family and the name of its color, at least in English, Spanish and Chinese. 

 

Why was this fruit chosen to give the name to the color?

Alex Bäcker at 7:38pm January 24
The pumpkin was not used because it is native to the Americas, and by the time man came to the Americas, he had already acquired a word for orange during his passage through Eurasia.

As for the persimmon, that's more of a mystery, because it is also native to Southeast Asia, but I had never heard of persimmons in my life until you mentioned them today, which makes me think it's probably less widely distributed, and that thus humans may not have encountered them until after they had encountered oranges. There are other reasons possible here, too: 

* The persimmon's color is not quite as distinct as the orange's; it's closer to red than the orange's (meaning the citrus').

* The persimmon appears to rot faster than the orange, making it harder for it to spread through commerce.

Alex Bäcker at 7:43pm January 24
And yes, surely the fruit inspired the color name.
Alex Bäcker at 7:45pm January 24
You should also have asked about the carrot. The wild carrot originates in Europe and Southwestern Asia, which was in the path of humans migrating out of Africa earlier than Southeast Asia was. But the wild carrot was a) buried under ground, not really prominent until it became domesticated, and b) not really orange in the wild form as far as I can tell --at least not bright orange, and not consisntely orange.
Alex Bäcker at 7:48pm January 24
Indeed, the modern carrot appears to have been introduced to Europe in the 8-10th centuries;[citation needed]. Ibn al-Awam, in Andalusia, describes both red and yellow carrots; Simeon Seth also mentions both colours in the 11th century. Orange-coloured carrots appeared in the Netherlands in the 17th century.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrot:8]

Parsimmons

 

An orange.

 

Wild carrot root.

 

From Wikitionary:

 

 

 

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