Colorful Thoughts: Orange!

This is part of a series.  Check out previous posts on purple, blue, yellow, and red!

I’ll be honest with you right up front.  I am not a fan of orange.

You don’t see a lot of orange used in fantasy.  According to my friend Wikipedia, orange wasn’t a color word in English until people were introduced to the fruit.  (The term for the color was a word that basically meant yellow-red.)  Really, depending on your point of view and the shade you see, orange can be considered a variant of yellow or a type of red.  See?  It isn’t even really a color.

Let’s move to nature, shall we?  Rust is orange.  Iron-bearing rocks can get rusty, making the rocks appear orange.  (That’s why Mars is orange, too.)  There are orange flowers (again, more of a dark yellow than a real color) and orange fruit.  (This is the origin of the word orange.)  There isn’t a truly orange gemstone (red-orange or yellow-orange, but not true orange).  I will admit there are some cool orange birds (like several of the orioles) and carrots, which I enjoy eating, are orange.  Eat too many carrots and you, too, can be orange!

As far as writing goes, orange can mean fire or fire-related beings, although red has that pretty well covered.  I mentioned before that it isn’t widely used in fantasy, unless in the form of gold (which is really more yellow, anyway).  I have already admitted (and further proven, in this very biased post) that I don’t like orange, so I won’t be changing the orange-less fantasy trend any time soon.  Maybe you will?


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. deshipley
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 17:11:48

    I’m not much of an orange fan, either. It tends to strike me as garish. That said, it’s a fun word (all rhyme-less and special), and it’s a pity it didn’t catch on sooner, sparing us the confusion of “redheads” with, let’s face it, usually orange hair.


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