Word for Wednesday: Orange

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Our Word for Wednesday theme for January is colours

The word colour entered English via Old French and comes from the Latin ‘color’, from the Old Latin ‘colos’ meaning ‘a covering’, from the PIE root ‘kel-’ meaning ‘to conceal’. The word has been used in reference to skin colour since the early-thirteenth century and in reference to pigments and dye since the fourteenth century. 

The spelling colour became the common English spelling from the fourteenth century, but a classical correction made color an alternative from the fifteenth century. Color is now the common American English spelling of this word. 

Last week we looked at the word red and today’s word is orange.

While orange has been used to describe the fruit since the fourteenth century, it wasn’t used to describe the colour until the sixteenth century. 

The Sanskrit word ‘naranga’ meaning ‘orange tree’ evolved as it moved across the world: becoming ‘narang’ in Persian, ‘naranj’ in Arabic, and ‘naranza’ in Venetian. In Italian, the word changed from ‘naranza’ to ‘narancia’ to ‘arancia’. The word entered English via the Old French ‘orenge’, which comes from the Medieval Latin ‘pomum de orange’.

13 Jan 2021
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"This is a fantastic opportunity for our students!  I'm sure Spellzone will be invaluable in helping them to improve their spellings and therefore improve the quality of their writing in all subject areas!"

Teacher, High School, UK