Thursday, June 4, 2009

My mad mad friends

If you are known by the company you keep, I wonder what my mad, mad friends say about the kind of person I am.

I had only to post on Facebook the query my older one came up with the other day - why is a mango not called an orange - for them to get into the act.

Within moments of posting, I got my first response -
Tart - Or better yet, why is the color orange not called mango? You could just say the name orange was already taken though... Or bananas aren't called yellows... maybe it is the fact mangos have green, red and yellow outsides... they are only orange on the inside.
And I would register your sons for a philosophy program...

Even before I could respond that I would not wish my kids on any philosophy professor, another piped in -
Viola - Or we could go into the etymology... I believe that orange was actually, originally, "norange", but "a norange" became "an orange" like "a napron" became "an apron"; I think it came from the Spanish "naranj", but then again I don't speak Spanish so... erm... I'm going to shut up now. ;-)

Me - An orange is called narangi in Hindi. Now, who borrowed from whom, I wonder.

Viola - Damn, I knew I should've picked up that book about proto-Indo-European at Raven the other day... then I might actually be able to answer that one. :-P

Hart - Orange the fruit in spanish is indeed naranja (though orange the color is anaranjado-- I believe literally 'of an orange' or 'like and orange')
This is making me crave Tara's lemon, limon distinction. I'll see if I can round it up...

Okay, quoting Tara, and in response to this question:
Isn't a lemon a lame lime?
she said:... Read more
No no, no! A LIME is never lame. A lemon can be lame sometimes,but it all depends on the context. Lemon drops, for example, are extremely lame, but lemon meringues are far from being lame, especially if you add a bit of lime to them. But of course, adding lime to lemon cancels out any lameness that the lemon might have. On the other hand, adding lemons to limes can have the unfortunate effect of 'lamonizing' limes, which is, of course, quite scandalous.

Bee Ess
- Narangi could be the origin, like other words of Indian origin - Check & mate from chess were originally Sheh & Maat...but we need to find out whether oranges are a native fruit to India first... :-)

Slug - From what Wikipedia has to offer on the subject, it looks as though the word comes from Tamil and Sanskrit, so it probably is the English language that is the borrower in this case. Which is funny, since many languages (including Norwegian) call the orange a "Chinese Apple" (appelsin). And since I clearly are not interested in doing what I am ... Read moresupposed to be doing, but instead end up doing silly research on the internet, I can recommend the following link to anyone with a special interest: orange

I guess I am lucky to have such wonderful friends who keep me delightfully insane!!!

And I still don't have an answer my sons would be able to process - luckily, he's forgotten the question.

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