Morange – Where Did That Word Go?

At school I had a friend called Bernie, and she had really, really red hair.

I was always super jealous of it too, because I had very straight, very brown hair and hers was beautiful and curly and such a brilliant colour.

Anyway, sometimes we (her friends) and Bernie would refer to her hair as being ‘morange.’

It was quite the thing.

I knew another guy, Andrew who had red hair, only it was a little lighter, he too was called ‘morange.’

Now I was a teen of the 2000’s, leaving high school in 2007. Morange was a pretty frequently used word during that time. Like ‘Emo’ and ‘meh’ (this was used AUDIBLY to express indifference)

It’s funny because these words may still be used today but they aren’t super common. I was somewhere where I talked about what an emo was and the young people looked at me blankly.

I was thinking about this today because I genuinely cannot remember when I stopped using the word morange, nor where it’s gone.

The idea of using it now… it seems sort of… uncool.

As a matter of fact, I was in a social situation recently where someone was describing someone who had red hair and they were called a ‘ginga’ (another word to describe red hair) and then a ‘ranga’ (one more word to describe someone with red hair… which I am told is associated with orangutan so that’s kind of harsh…)

Anyway. It was just a thought for this morning because it is quite funny how words will suddenly become popular to use and a part of our day to day language… and then vanish without us realizing.

I suppose why this is important to remember is because we have to be careful about ‘short term slang words’ in our writing – unless of course it is a story SET in a specific time.

I read through a story I wrote when I was sixteen the other day… and cringed. Some of the words I used were SO of the moment, and I roll my eyes at them now.

I always encourage my students to be careful not to use words that  can date your story unless you WANT to date your story.

I mean no great classic book I’ve ever read had the word ‘morange’ in it… but then again I might be wrong.


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