General Question

allen_o's avatar

What came first, orange the colour or orange the fruit?

Asked by allen_o (1485points) February 26th, 2008 from iPhone

I want to know if the fruit was named after the colour or visa versa, I really like oranges, they’re my favourite fruit.

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10 Answers

PupnTaco's avatar

Fruit first. Language later.

allen_o's avatar

nice one, I was hoping it would be that way round

Schenectandy's avatar

Photons in the wavelengths ranging from 585 to 620 nanometers existed for billions of years prior to fruiting plants.

But, to PupnTaco’s point, it depends on whether you define color as a physical property or as a mental perception… and if you go with perception, although orange trees are probably older than beings we would identify as human, there wouldn’t be much different about ancestral primates’ color perception than modern humans. Fruit changes color to be identifiable to its intended consumer as ripe, so the animal would first have to be able to distinguish the color to which the fruit was changing before the plant was able to evolve to provide that signal.. so I’m still going with color.

allen_o's avatar

thats cool, I’m giving you 5 points for that

ezraglenn's avatar

Oranges were actually green prior to human intervention. So I would definitely have to say the color, considering some planets of billions of years have orange in them, although we probably didnt know that before we ate oranges. Or greens….

surlygirl's avatar

@ezraglenn: do you know why people felt the need to mess with the fruit’s color?

jack2's avatar

Interesting, did you know that they are also reffered to as Chinese Apples, and that they are actually a Berry… the colour doesn’t seem to matter anymore does it? Also, there is no actual english rhyming word to Orange! I know what your thinking… Smorange doesn’t count.

The future really is bright.

ezraglenn's avatar

Door Hinge.

VivaLaLaurennn's avatar

Fruit before color. I like both.

ysirken's avatar

That is a good question! I think fruit first and then colour since humans define such things. Orange is my favourite colour and I am a bit obsessed with it to say the least! :D

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