It’s Official: Orange the Color Was Named After Orange the Fruit


Here’s today’s just under-useful fun fact, courtesy of those indefatigable trivia-seeking peons over at Reddit. We may never know the order of gallus-ovum or ovum-gallus, but at least we can say with certainty that orange the color was in fact named after orange the fruit.

Before oranges (pomme d’orenge in old French, or naranga in sanskrit) became popularized in Europe, the English word for the color orange used to be geoluhread, or “yellow-red”. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it wasn’t until 1512 that the word orange was used by someone in his will to describe that ruddy shade between red and yellow. He supposedly spelled it “orenge.”

In related news: “orang utan” means “forest person” in Malay, and not giant fruit-colored monkey; baby worms should be called “squigglets”; and A Clockwork Geoluhread doesn’t sound nearly as cool.