Even though Spanish has a limited number of words for colours, orange has more than one name. Since both the colour and the delicious citrus fruit share the same name, it’s only natural to question which came first.
It turns out that this colour was formerly known as a simple yellow-red or red-yellow, whereas in France oranges were simply called oranges. This secondary colour, a combination of red and yellow, got its name from the fruit and is still referred to by several other names today.
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.
Here are the Guide “How Do You Say Orange in Spanish?”
1. Naranja/Naranjo (Orange)
The fable of an elephant that overindulges in oranges leads to its untimely demise provides the inspiration for this name, which comes from the Sanskrit for “poison for elephants.”
The Spanish word naranja means “orange tree,” which is where the word “naranja” derives from. Nonetheless, the sour and bitter fruits of the naranjo tree (originally from Persia and Arabia) were also known by the name naranjo.
Oranges were originally quite sour, but by the time they reached the Iberian Peninsula, brought there by the Portuguese, they had developed a sweeter flavour.
Because of this distinction, the Spanish word naranja is currently only used to describe the delicious fruit of the naranjo tree, while the word naranjo is used to describe other citrus fruits.
This began in the Middle Ages and continues to the present day, with all kinds of Spanish using the same word for the tree, its fruit, and its colour.
2. Anaranjado (Orangey)
Anaranjado’s etymological roots indicate that it refers to something that is orange or has orange overtones. It evolved out of the preceding nomenclature and serves to clearly distinguish between the orange tree, the orange fruit, and the orange hue (orangey).
However, the Spanish still prefer to use orange when referring to the colour, therefore this term has gained widespread use throughout Latin America. Latin American countries, however, use it to refer to the colour orange more generally.
3. Azafranado (Saffron)
adjective Referring to something’s saffron hue or appearance. This exquisite herb is used in Spanish cuisine, where the name for it comes from. This related term, which appears in some literary manuscripts written in Castilian, was likely inspired by the saffron flower and the hue it lends to food and everything it touches when used as a dye.
4. Bermejo (Ginger)
It’s an extremely rich coppery red, in between the bright red of tomatoes and the dark red of redheads. It is commonly used at hair salons and some regions of Spain to refer to people who have red hair, but may also be used to describe any animal with red hair.
It is also a surname because such names were common in the ancient world and served to identify a family’s unique history or traits. It was considered to be the same as gusanillo since it was also used to extract a red dye for textiles.
5. Cobrizo (Copper)
The word orange comes from the colour of copper and refers to anything of that hue or composition. In this context, “copper” more accurately describes a light reddish-orange shade. 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.
6. Rojizo (Reddish)
The term rojizo is used to describe all shades that fall between red and yellow. This crimson hue might be as deep as burgundy or as light as copper. The word’s etymological origins indicate “that which is red” or “that which belongs to red,” but in common usage it’s used to describe any imperfect shade between true red and green.
7. Alazán (Sorrel)
It’s a Hispanic Arabic word for a particular shade of reddish-brown found primarily in certain types of horse. Although most people would probably guess that alazán is brown, it actually falls within the spectrum of reddish tones, according to the hypothesis.
It is a common literary device, especially in the form of simile, for referring to these creatures and others.
8. Bayo (Bay)
Like alazán, this is a name with equestrian roots. The coats of bayos are very light yellow, almost white. This is a highly odd translation of anaranjado into Spanish, as bayo is typically associated with the colour yellow rather than orange.
Silkworms are used as bait by some anglers, particularly in places like Spain, and this tone is also associated with a type of bean marketed in Latin America.
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.
If we can get a handle on these subtleties, we’ll have a much easier time identifying the specific hues that Spanish speakers are referring to and the contexts in which they’re employed.