Where Did the Name of the Color Orange Originate?

The use of "orange" to refer to the color first appeared in Anglo text in the 13th century. Orange fruits are thousands of years old and have been cultivated in the Middle East and Mediterranean region since the 9th century. Since the fruit came first, the color orange was named after the fruit rather than the other way around.

It is believed that orange fruits originated in Asia, most probably in China. They were introduced to Europe by Italian traders and the Spanish introduced the fruit to North America. Oranges were not very affordable before the 20th century however and were usually enjoyed as a treat on special occasions.

The fruit has been closely associated with Christmas. The term "orange" for the color has been in use since the 16th century.

More about orange and color:

  • "Orange" was first used as an adjective to refer to the bitter flavor of orange skins.

  • One fresh medium orange has 93% of our daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

  • Many of the names we use for colors come from stones, flowers and fruits that have that color, for example: "turquoise."

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