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Why is a Robin Redbreast, not called a Robin Orangebreast? As the underpart of a Robin is actually coloured Orange not Red! (1 Viewer)

Question as above! Why is a Robiin Redbreast not called a Robin Orangebreast? As a Robin’s underpart is actually coloured Orange and nor Red! Answer here! And this is absolutely true!
Until the word 'orange' entered the English language, that shade was included under red. 'Orange' is derived from an area, Naranja (I think in Murcia), thanks to a misunderstanding from the largely monoglot English involved in their 'discovery' of the cultivated fruit. The location was correctly written in the documentation of the period, but was read by others as Nar-AN-je; initially the fruit was called in English 'a norringe', but repeated verbal use changed that to 'an oranj(e)', later 'corrected' by scholars to 'an orange'. The Royal Navy came to adopt the orange, the lemon and finally the lime to combat scurvy.

Incidentally, on another source of confusion on colour in the English language, 'Lincoln Green' is a term for a particular weave of cloth, which originally was produced in red or green. Therefore it's likely that the tales about Robin Hood and his Merry Men wearing Lincoln Green were originated by people who knew the weave, but were well aware that the apparel was in most cases a dull red! The one outlaw in the fable who stood out, was of course Will Scarlet in his bright red outfit!
MJB
 
Some more on this:
And another fairly well known example:
 
I personally have never (and will never) used the term Robin Redbreast. I remember the episode of QI w.r.t. orange/red
 
Some Robins are redder than others though? A European thing or am I imagining it?

According to DIM Wallace, rather the reverse, he always used to claim continental Robins were identifiably more orange and blue than British ones. Of course you are entitled to your own opinion and perhaps there is something about the eye of the beholder..... :ROFLMAO:

John
 
Does this mean that all the birds named "orange something" were discovered after the word orange was brought into use?
 
Does this mean that all the birds named "orange something" were discovered after the word orange was brought into use?
Not quite. From about the mid-17th-century the House of Orange-Nassau** increasing its influence in western Europe, becoming the Royal House of the Netherlands. (I blame William the Silent: he should have spoken up!) The 'Orange' part derives from Claudia of Châlon-Orange of French Burgundy marrying in 1515 Henry III of Nassau-Breda from German Palatinates or Princedoms.
MJB
**Orange (Orr-onge) lies in Vaucluse, France, 20kn north of Avignon of Pont d' fame. The Aerospace Museum of Orange would be of interest to those who haunt Bird Forum's "Anyone else like Birds AND planes?" thread. Just across from the Musée Aéronautique d'Orange is the Base aérienne 115 Orange-Caritat of the Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace.
 
Until the word 'orange' entered the English language, that shade was included under red. 'Orange' is derived from an area, Naranja (I think in Murcia), thanks to a misunderstanding from the largely monoglot English involved in their 'discovery' of the cultivated fruit. The location was correctly written in the documentation of the period, but was read by others as Nar-AN-je; initially the fruit was called in English 'a norringe', but repeated verbal use changed that to 'an oranj(e)', later 'corrected' by scholars to 'an orange'. The Royal Navy came to adopt the orange, the lemon and finally the lime to combat scurvy.

Incidentally, on another source of confusion on colour in the English language, 'Lincoln Green' is a term for a particular weave of cloth, which originally was produced in red or green. Therefore it's likely that the tales about Robin Hood and his Merry Men wearing Lincoln Green were originated by people who knew the weave, but were well aware that the apparel was in most cases a dull red! The one outlaw in the fable who stood out, was of course Will Scarlet in his bright red outfit!
MJB
Never heard of an area in Spain (where I was born to) called Naranja. Rather, is how oranges are called in spanish. It could be, of course.
Cheers
 
Orange comes from the French word for the fruit (via Italian arancia, from Arabic naranj).
Ultimately though, the word comes from a Dravidian source.
All stolen from wikipedia, which mentions some old ways of saying orange in English (one of them is indeed saying "red"): Orange (colour) - Wikipedia
 
Am I right in thinking they were originally generally considered Redbreast with Robin a nickname/local name like 'Jenny' Wren?
 
Am I right in thinking they were originally generally considered Redbreast with Robin a nickname/local name like 'Jenny' Wren?
Possible, but possibly not quite! This point has also been covered by QI: I quote in part the Scottish Wildlife Trust's similar version;

"Back [in] Victorian times, [when]the tradition of sending Christmas cards started, [the first] Royal Mail postmen, who wore bright red uniforms, delivered [them]. This earned them the nickname of ‘robin’ or ‘redbreast’. Artists usually illustrated Christmas cards with pictures relating to the delivery of letters, such as post-boxes or the postmen known as ‘robins’, and eventually started drawing the familiar little brown and red bird delivering letters instead of the postmen. This trend caught on and became very popular, and continues to this day." Other origins are available...
MJB
 
I seem to remember a proposed English name change (possibly in Not-BB):

“Robin” to become “Northern Orange-breasted Robin-chat”
No, my copy of Not BB has the entry but it is definitely "Northern Red-breasted Robin-chat"!

And the point being made was: it's a Robin, it's the original Robin, no qualifiers are required!

John
 
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