January 12, 2019
saffron (noun)
\SAF-rahn\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : the orange usually powdered dried stigmas of a purple-flowered crocus that are used especially to color or flavor foods2 : an orange to orange yellow color
How do you use it?
Lauren used extra care when measuring the saffron for her recipe, since besides being a strong spice, it is very expensive.
Are you a word wiz?

Which of these languages do you think our word "saffron" comes from?

You're a seasoned wordsmith if you chose D. The ultimate ancestor of "saffron" is the Arabic "za'faran." That word traveled into Medieval Latin as "safranum," and then into Anglo-French as "saffron" or "safren." It was borrowed into Middle English in the 13th century. Another name for a seasoning that traces to Arabic is "tarragon." "Tarragon," a perennial with aromatic narrow leaves that impart a licorice flavor, traces ultimately to the Arabic "tarkhun," which made its way to Middle Greek and then Medieval Latin as "tarchon." Middle French picked it up as "targon," and in the early 1500s it entered English as "tarragon."
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