View previous topic | View next topic


Page 1 of 1

60247.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:59 am Reply with quote

All sorts of sources say that the roots of the word “orange,” meaning a fruit, lie in the Sanskrit “naga ranga,” which means "fatal indigestion for elephants." (See, for instance, miniurl)

This seems to come from a Malay fable, in which the orange (rather than the Biblical apple) is the sinful fruit:

“One day an elephant was passing through the forest, when he found a tree unknown to him in a clearing, bowed downward by its weight of beautiful, tempting oranges; as a result, the elephant ate so many that he burst. Many years later a man stumbled upon the scene and noticed the fossilized remains of the elephant with many orange trees growing from what had been its stomach. The man then exclaimed, ‘Amazing! What a naga ranga (fatal indigestion for elephants)!’”

60249.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:36 am Reply with quote

Etymonline agrees with the Sanskrit origin, but has the origin of the Sanskrit word itself as 'uncertain'.

It wasn't used as the name of a colour till 1542. Wonder what they used before that?

60250.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:39 am Reply with quote

I expect they just said "It's a sort of burst elephant-ey colour."

Frederick The Monk
60265.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:35 pm Reply with quote

William III of Orange got his name from the city of Orange in France.

William was of the royal house of Orange-Nassau, the first part of that name coming from his Burgundian ancestors who belonged to the Châlon-Orange family.

The town was first recorded in the 2nd century BC as Aurosia (and Romanized in 36 BC as the Colonia Julia Firma Secundanorum Arausio) and this came to be homophonous with the name of the fruit simply by an accident of language.

Source (with more on Orange origins in general)

Frederick The Monk
60272.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:52 pm Reply with quote

In middle english the closest I can find to orange (as a colour) is Tauny i.e. tawny.

In heraldry tenné is one of the three 'stains' and is described as "an orange-tawny colour". Originally this was a more browny orange but the term is used in modern blazons to mean orange. Some modern blazons, such as that of the arms of the Orange Free State actually use the world 'orange'.


Page 1 of 1

All times are GMT - 5 Hours

Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group