It’s not only other colours like purple and yellow that have several Spanish names; orange does, too. When a hue shares its name with a popular fruit, the question of which originated first naturally arises. In this case, it’s hard to tell whether the colour or the fruit arrived first.
How Do You Say Orange in Spanish
This hue was known as yellow-red or red-yellow in antiquity, whereas the French simply referred to oranges as oranges. Multiple names for this secondary color—a combination of red and yellow—are derived from the fruit.
I’ll demonstrate the several Spanish expressions for “orange” and when to utilise each one. It’s important to keep in mind that most of the terms change depending on the context, but in normal speech and frequent scenarios, “orange” will always come up first.
1: Naranja/Naranjo Means “Orange”
The term was borrowed from a Sanskrit word that meant “poison for elephants” because of a myth in which an elephant overindulged in oranges and eventually died.
The word naranja means “orange-bearing tree,” and this is where the word naranja derives from. However, naranjo was originally used to describe the sour and bitter fruits of the naranjo tree, which originated in Persia and Arabia.
Oranges were originally quite sour, but by the time they reached the Iberian Peninsula, brought there by the Portuguese, they had developed a pleasant sweetness. That’s why in modern Spanish, you’ll only hear the word “naranja” when referring to the luscious fruit of the naranjo tree.
This occurred in the Middle Ages and has persisted to the present day, with all Spanish dialects using the same word for the tree, its fruit, and its colour.
2: Orangey (Anaranjado)
Anaranjado’s etymological roots imply a connection to the colour orange. It’s an offshoot of the previous lingo, and it serves to finally set orange (fruit), orange tree (tree), and orange hue apart from one another (orangey).
Despite the fact that Spaniards still prefer to use orange when referring to the colour itself, the term is extensively used throughout Latin America. On the other hand, in Latin American countries, it is used to refer to the colour orange in general.
3: Cobrizo – Copper
Originally referring to something “copper-colored” or “pertaining to copper,” it is now commonly used as a synonym for orange. In this context, the term more accurately describes a light shade of reddish orange, not unlike the shade of copper.
One of the most common hues in aesthetic colorimetry, it is used all over the Spanish-speaking world to describe a reddish blonde hair colour.
4: Bayo – Bay
Just like alazán, it’s a name with equine roots. The coats of bayos are very light yellow, almost white. Bayo is more commonly associated with the colour yellow than with orange, making the Spanish word for orange, anaranjado, a bit of a mystery. In areas like Spain, where fishing is popular, some fishermen will use silkworms as bait. In Latin America, this pitch is also associated with a specific variety of bean.
Many of the Spanish words for orange that we’ve heard throughout this essay really refer to tints that are more commonly thought of as yellow or brown. As a result of this, we can better understand the colours that Spanish speakers are referring to and the contexts in which they are employed.