Orange is the new saffron

The word orange entered the English lexicon only in 1512, deriving from the French word pomme d’orange, referring to the fruit. The French word derives in turn from Italian, Italian from Arabic, and Arabic from the Sanskrit naranga. What a journey.

Prior to 1512, saffron was used to describe shades of orange, along with ġeolurēad (yellow-red) for dark orange and ġeolucrog (yellow-saffron) for light orange. ‘Red hair’, ‘the Red Planet’ and ‘robin redbreast’ were also colorful terms for the hue.

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