John Cowan wrote:

>Ray Brown scripsit:
>>True of orange, I have no doubt. There are AFAIK no standard Middle
>>English or Old English names that correspond to the color name 'orange';
>>the name is taken from the name of the fruit whose name is certainly of
>>Arabic origin. I wasn't aware that the Arabs got the name from Persian,
>>but maybe they did.
>Spanish < Arabic < Persian < Skt 'naranja', I believe.  The n fell off
>at some point; in Portuguese, though, it got replaced by the l- of the
>article, despite the fact that Pt then lost it's l's and now uses simple
>"o a os as" as articles!


orange - c.1300, from O.Fr. orenge (12c.), from M.L. pomum de orenge,
from It. arancia, originally narancia (Venetian naranza), alt. of Ar.
naranj, from Pers. narang, from Skt. naranga-s "orange tree," of
uncertain origin. Loss of initial n- probably due to confusion with
definite article (e.g. une narange, una narancia), but perhaps infl. by
Fr. or "gold." The tree's original range probably was northern India.
The Persian orange, grown widely in southern Europe after its
introduction in Italy 11c., was bitter; sweet oranges were brought to
Europe 15c. from India by Portuguese traders and quickly displaced the
bitter variety, but only Mod.Gk. still seems to distinguish the bitter
(nerantzi) from the sweet (portokali "Portuguese") orange. Portuguese,
Spanish, Arab, and Dutch sailors planted citrus trees along trade routes
to prevent scurvy. On his second voyage in 1493, Christopher Columbus
brought the seeds of oranges, lemons and citrons to Haiti and the
Caribbean. Introduced in Florida (along with lemons) in 1513 by Sp.
explorer Juan Ponce de Leon. Introduced to Hawaii 1792. Not used as the
name of a color until 1542

David Barrow