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View Diary: Origins of English: Hindi Words (122 comments)

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  •  According to my sources (9+ / 0-)

    orange has its origins in the Sanskrit naranga in Northern India. It passed into Persian as narang and Arabic as naranj and thus arrived in Spain (keep in mind that Spain was once Muslim country) and thus to France where it became orenge and then from here to the English.

    •  Yes, but Sanskrit borrowed it from South India (6+ / 0-)

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      by AtomikNY on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:32:23 PM PST

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    •  Originally (7+ / 0-)

      The English was "a norange". Over time this became "an orange". another word to follow this route was napron.

      Interestingly oranges are naturally mostly green unless grown in specific conditions. Marketed ones are sometimes chemically treated to change color. Aubergine is from the French for an inn which used the purples color as a sort of sign indicating the business in what might otherwise be a large house. British English uses it for an eggplant because of the color.

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      by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:35:07 PM PST

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      •  In Mexico they are still green. (1+ / 0-)
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        And, darn, I recently showed my class pictures I took of Day of the Dead altars with those green oranges as offerings, but I didn't say anything. I wonder if they knew what they were?

        Hmm. I'll show the pic again on Monday and ask them.

      •  Hmmm. The OED says that already in Middle (3+ / 0-)
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        Ojibwa, Jay C, Ahianne

        French, where we got the word, the initial "n" of orange was already gone.

        Etymology:  < Anglo-Norman and Middle French orenge (c1393 in Middle French; earlier in Anglo-Norman in phrase pume orenge (c1200), 1314 in Old French in phrase pomme d'orenge: see note below), Middle French, French orange (1515 as noun in a translation from Italian (itself translating a Portuguese source), 1553 as adjective), ultimately (probably, in spite of the chronology, via Italian arancio (c1309), arancia (a1336; also as †narancia (1598 in Florio); Italian regional (Venice) naranza, Italian regional (Reggio Emilia) naranz, Italian regional (Milan) narans) < Arabic nāranj < Persian nārang < Sanskrit nāraṅga < a Dravidian language: compare Tamil nāram, Tulu nāreṅgi. Compare also Persian nār < anār pomegranate. Compare Spanish naranja (late 14th cent.), Portuguese laranja (1377), Old Occitan arange (c1373), irange (1390), medieval Greek νεράντζιον
        •  Actually, looking at that weirdly formatted (1+ / 0-)
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          entry, it looks like the "n" was lost in Italian around 1309, and French got the word from that Italian word, "arancio," so it was always without the initial "n" in French.

      •  Lib Dem, I'm loving the learning. n/t (1+ / 0-)
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    •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
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      When I was in the UAE in 81 I recall my mother telling me that locally they called oranges "bortugal" because it was the Portuguese traders who brought them IIRC.

      •  "Bortugal" is the standard Arabic (2+ / 0-)
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        DvCM, Ojibwa

        word for orange (stress on final syllable).  Just checked an English-Arabic dictionary and found no "naranj".  A more accurate transliteration would actually be "burtuqal".  Modern Standard Arabic has no g; a qaf is the closest equivalent.  That also explains the b because Arabic does not have the voiceless bilabial stop, p.  

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        by GulfExpat on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:18:59 PM PST

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