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[< Anglo-Norman and Middle French orenge (c1393 in Middle French; earlier in Anglo-Norman in phrase pume orenge (c1200), 1314 in Old French in phrase pomme d'orenge: see note below), Middle French, French orange (1515 as noun in a translation from Italian (itself translating a Portuguese source), 1553 as adjective), ult. (prob., in spite of the chronology, via Italian arancio (c1309), arancia (a1336; also as {dag}narancia (1598 in Florio); Italian regional (Venice) naranza, Italian regional (Reggio Emilia) naranz, Italian regional (Milan) narans) < Arabic n{amac}ranj < Persian n{amac}rang < Sanskrit n{amac}ra{ndotab}ga < a Dravidian language: cf. Tamil n{amac}ram, Tulu n{amac}re{ndotab}gi. Cf. also Persian n{amac}r < an{amac}r pomegranate. Cf. Spanish naranja (late 14th cent.), Portuguese laranja (1377), Old Occitan arange (c1373), irange (1390), medieval Greek {nu}{epsilon}{rho}{gaacu}{nu}{tau}{zeta}{iota}{omicron}{nu}.
  In Anglo-Norman pume orenge and Old French pomme d'orenge, prob. after Italian melarancio (although this is first attested later: 14th cent.) < mela apple (see MELE n.1) + arancio orange tree, orange (see above); cf. post-classical Latin pomum arantiae (1297), Italian pomerancia, and German Pomeranze (15th cent.; < Italian), and cf. also Older Scots appil orange (see Dict. Older Sc. Tongue s.v.) and Dutch oranjeappel. Initial o- in the Anglo-Norman and Old French forms is prob. after the form of the place name Orange (see ORANGE n.2; cf. forms in d'), perh. also influenced by Anglo-Norman and Old French or gold (see OR n.1), with reference to the colour. Similarly, post-classical Latin has aurantia (1609, 1626 in British sources; cf. later AURANTIA n.), by association with classical Latin aurum gold (see AURO-), beside arangia (Sicily, 12th cent.), arancia (15th cent.), arantia (16th cent.).
  The loss of initial n- in French and Italian prob. results from absorption of the n- when preceded by the indefinite article, although in some cases such forms may reflect loss of n- already in Arabic. Conversely, the 19th-cent. Scots form nirrange shows attraction of the -n of the indefinite article by metanalysis (see N).
  The native home of the orange may have been south-east Asia, and the name may have originated there. In the Middle Ages the bitter (or Seville) orange was brought by the Arabs to Sicily, from where it spread to the rest of Europe. The sweet (or China) orange was brought from China by the Portuguese in the 16th cent.
  The designations for certain varieties of pear (see senses A. 1b, B. 2c) are attested earlier in French than in English: with winter orange (in quot. 1767 at sense A. 1b) cf. French orange d'hiver (1690); with orange musk and orange pear at sense B. 2c cf. French orange musquée (1690) and poire d'orange (1603) respectively.
  Cf. the following surnames, which may reflect the Anglo-Norman or the Middle English word (or perh. even the place name ORANGE n.2, in Old French Orenge): Sibel Orenge (1296), Ricardo Orenge (1296-7), Galfridus Orenge (1310).