What is the mandarin word for mandarin

Mandarin and tangerine

Which fruit belongs to St. Nicholas Day? For me it's definitely the mandarin - so much so that I actually think that the mandarin season shouldn't start until December 6th. However, the word “actually” shows that I am not adhering to this self-made “tradition”. This year, too, I didn't just eat the first tangerine of the season today.

The question I asked myself today was to what extent a tangerine has anything to do with a high-ranking Chinese official called a mandarin. Such a connection is necessary for words that are so similar to one another as the tangerine and the mandarin, inevitably on. That's why I "drilled through" a few sources and once again found a lot more than I would have expected. Here is a small excerpt, which in no way claims to be complete:

It starts with that word Mandarinused to designate a former high-ranking Chinese official is not Chinese. It would have to be yes Mandalin be called. (Please forgive me for this irresistible joke.) The word Mandarin came to us from Portuguese in the 17th century. There was probably from the Portuguese verb mandar (command) and the Malay word mantari (Counselor to the prince, minister) the word Mandarin originated. The word was then carried over to China and used for high officials there. Incidentally, such an official is called in Chinese guan.

Since China is large and there are many different dialects there, the mandarins needed an official language with which they could communicate throughout the empire. This language, which had a function similar to Latin in Europe, was adopted by the Europeans Mandarin called. Mandarin is based on the dialect spoken in Beijing and is now the standard language in China.

So much too the mandarin and the mandarin. What about the fruit now? tangerine? Much is unclear here. Depending on the source, it is said that the original variant was French (orange tangerine), Spanish (naranja mandarina) or, thanks to the travelogues of a Swedish ship's chaplain, also in Swedish (mandarin-apelsin). Definitely is over time orange or Orange dropped out and only tangerine left free. Even more unclear and more imaginative are the possible explanations why this name was used. Here some examples:

  • The fruit was named after the color that appeared in the tangerine's clothing.
  • The fruits were expensive and delicious, so worthy of a mandarin.
  • Mandarins are said to have been a traditional gift for mandarins.
  • The name is derived from the name of the island of Mandara, today's Mauritius.

Not the most likely, but perhaps the most beautiful explanation is this:

  • The fruit with a stem and a leaf is said to have a certain resemblance to a mandarin's summer hat, which, depending on the rank of its wearer, was adorned with a stick and a feather.

So you can choose for yourself which explanation you want to believe. In principle, it doesn't matter much. The main thing is that Santa Claus brings tangerines and that they are nice and sweet and juicy.

Author Dr. BoppPosted on Categories GeneralTags Food / Drink, Word History