We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Did the Color Orange Get Its Name?

The color orange gets its name from the fruit. Mentions of the fruit by this name are found in British records as early as 14th century. According to the Oxford Etymology Dictionary, the name also was being applied to the color by the middle of the 16th century. The association between the color and the fruit occurred after Christopher Columbus introduced the fruit tree to the Caribbean in 1493 and Ponce de Leon took orange seeds to North America in 1513.

More facts about the orange:

  • The name "orange" went through several incarnations before its translation into English. The term passed through several languages, including Sanskrit and Arabic, before undergoing a process that is known as metanalysis, the dropping of the first letter and the addition of that letter to the end of the word. The English word is often thought to be based on the Italian or French translations.

  • There is no consensus on how people described the color of the fruit before the middle of the 16th century. Descriptions of fruit that is amber, yellow, red or gold might have been in reference to the fruit of the bitter Persian orange trees as well as the sweet oranges brought to Europe from India.

  • Orange trees were not cultivated in Hawaii until the late 18th century.

Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.