Inspiring Robes

When I was a kid my mom, quite often, served us canned mandarin oranges. She loves those things. I, however, do not. Do not ask me why because I have no idea. There is something about the citrus family that I do not always care for. I will eat the hell out of apples, kiwis, bananas, melon, strawberries, blueberries, mangos… Enough of my fruit obsession.

Mandarin, wherever did you come from…

Word of the day: Mandarin

Entered the English language in the 16th century. Although it refers to a Chinese official, mandarin is not a Chinese word. Sanskrit mantrin meant ‘counsellor’ (it was a derivative of mantra ‘counsel,’ which itself was based on man ‘think,’ a distant relative of English mind). Its Hindi descendant mantri passed into English via Malay meteri and Portuguese mandarin. The word’s application to a variety of small loose-skinned orange, which dates in English from the 19th century, was inspired by the yellow robes worn by mandarins.

Source: Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto


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