22 January 2011
From John McPhee, I learned that the word 'orange' evolved from Sanskrit. "The Chinese word for orange ... is jyu, but it did not migrate with the fruit ... The Hindus called an orange naranja, the first syllable of which, according to Tolkowsky, was a prefix meaning fragrance. This became the Persian naranj, a word the Muslims carried through the Mediterranean. In Byzantium, an orange was nerantzion. This in Neo-Latin, became variously styled as arangium, arantium, and aurantium -- eventually producing naranja in Spain, laranja in Portugal, arancia in Italy, and orange in France." Fascinating.
By any name, I will never tire of having sweet oranges right outside my door in January. We've harvested 90-something so far (I'm trying to keep count) and the tree still looks full.
On the other side of the garden, aloe flowers glow orange against the canyon this afternoon.