Is "Jugo de china" common in Spain, or is it common in America?

Is it rather informal?

If it's used in Spain, is it rather "zumo de china"?

I didn't find in the dictionaries if it was informal, the regional uses, and if it's more used with jugo or zumo.

  • In Mexico I have only heard jugo de naranja although on product labels I have seen "zumo." There is a small citrus fruit called "mandarina" (which does seem to have a connection with China). Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 19:03
  • In Mexico, there is a phrase China Poblana. It's a dress, not a fruit. Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 21:17
  • what is the origin of "China poblana"?
    – Quidam
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 8:06

2 Answers 2


The use of the word china meaning naranja (orange) seems to be limited to some parts of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, according to RAE's Diccionario de americanismos. This meaning of the word china is not documented in the Diccionario de la Lengua Española (DLE, RAE).

In Spain, we do not use the word china with this meaning. We say zumo de naranja to refer to orange juice.

  • Thank you! So the word "china" is not understandable in Spain. And it's also informal?
    – Quidam
    Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 22:41
  • 1
    @Quidam the word china is used in Spain meaning female Chinese [adjective or noun, not informal] , or small stone [not informal] or small piece of hash(drug) [slang] .
    – wimi
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 6:44
  • But is "china" as fruit informal in any country?
    – Quidam
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 9:46
  • @Quidam that I cannot answer, as I am not from those countries. Hopefully someone else will know.
    – wimi
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 9:50
  • There are a lot of Argentine tango songs referencing a "china." Fortunately "jugo de china" is not one of them.
    – aris
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 23:38

It is purely slang in Puerto Rico and the DR. I’ve heard fancy explanations as to why the call oranges “China”. I have my own theory. The orange juice box or the Tropicana brand has a cartoon iconic symbol of a Pacific Islander girl. Assuming her name is Ana, thus Tropic Ana. At some point I believe Puerto Ricans and or Dominicans living together in the states must have seen the cartoon trademark and believed it to be a Chinese female due to the eyes of the drawing and called the product “Hugo de China”

  • 1
    In English the term China orange was used for the sweet oranges when they were introduced en.wiktionary.org/wiki/China_orange I imagine the sae may have happened in Spanish.
    – mdewey
    Commented Nov 4, 2023 at 17:06

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