Question: is an orange called orange because it is the colour orange or is the colour orange called orange because of the fruit

Keywords: , , ,

  1. I did a Google search on “etymology orange” and one of the links said that before the fruit, which originated in Asia and was called a “narang” came into Europe, there was no special word for the colour – it was just a yellowish red. So the answer is the fruit came first, and the colour came after it.
    Etymology (don’t mix it up with entomology, the study of insects) is a science of studying where words come from.


  2. The fruit was named first, then the colour was given the same name later.
    Easy explanation from the Huffington post:


  3. I agree with Peter and Mia. It seems to work this way with many objects in the english language. We see something we know has a name, and then try to describe the qualities of something else that we don’t know the name of. Colours seem to come from objects everywhere, including many fruit and probably because fruit can be very colourful.

    In other languages, it isn’t always the same. I know in Dutch, the word for the fruit is sinaasappel which actually means China’s Apple, but the colour is ‘oranje’. I always mix up the two. Confusing.