Etymology of the Sanskrit word from which orange is derived

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by dihydrogen monoxide, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. dihydrogen monoxide Senior Member

    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    English Orange ultimately comes from Sanskrit word, I think its narang so I'd like to the origin of the Sanskrit word and its PIE reconstruction, if it's a PIE word?
  2. wonderment Senior Member

    From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

  3. Lugubert Senior Member

    Hobson_Jobson, while agreeing that "no satisfactory etymological explanation has been given", has this interesting quote:
  4. wonderment Senior Member

    The suggested link to fragrance is really interesting because orange blossoms are famous for their sweet scent. In Greek and Roman classical antiquity, there was a costly perfumed oil imported from the Near East called nardus in Latin (ναρδος in Greek). According to the Liddell and Scott lexicon, nardos is of Semitic origin, cf. Babylonian lardu.

    Incidentally, the Romance words for strawberry—fragola, fresa and fraise—are derived from Latin fraga (strawberry), which shares the same root as the verb fragro, fragrare (to emit a scent): the Sanskrit root dhraj-, to breathe. (sources here and here)
  5. tribant New Member

    I am interested in any links between the word aurania (orania) meaning cosmos (the Greek Muse), and the colour orange, and/or the colour gold.

    The link looks tenuous, but the Dutch Fort Orange (Oranje) in New York was called Fort Aurania by the British. Obviously the Dutch for 'orange' would be pronounced more like 'oranie'.

    I would also be interested in any links to the colour gold, via the French 'or' for gold and an 'aura' halo, which may often be golden.

    Many thanks.
  6. Quiviscumque

    Quiviscumque Moderator

    Ciudad del paraíso
    Concerning orange/ourania:
    Your speculations are too brave, since "orange" comes from Sanskrit "narang". Italian, French and English have dropped the initial "n-".

    Concerning aurum/aura:
    If you believe Ernout & Meillet (and you should), the "r" in "aurum" comes from an "s", as attested by the Sabin "ausom". So, again no connection with "aura", a loan from the Greek and conventionally related to "aer".
  7. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    The Greek Muse's name was not Aurania, but Urania (Ouranos in Greek means Sky).
  8. tribant New Member

    Thank you for your replies.

    I had presumed that the anglicised spelling of Ouranos was Aurania, as in the Cunard ship of that name.

    It is still convenient that a Persian narange became an English orange, and yet that term links very nicely with the:
    French ... or meaning gold
    Latin ..... aur meaning gold
    Hebrew . owr meaning illumination or the sun (a golden colour)
    Latin ..... aura meaning illumination or aura
    And or-ange for a golden fruit that looks like the sun or a halo.

    I suppose a link may be derived through the Persian
    daraniya for gold (sometimes taranj)
    naranja for orange (sometimes taranj)

    But would this mean that the Latin / French for gold was similarly influenced by the Persian d-araniya (orania) for gold?

    The link to Muse Ourania (Aurania) may be late, as the Dutch call an orange an Auranea (in pronunciation).

    Thanks again.

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