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femiokay says

Yes - color is simply the usual American idleness, not bothering with the u. But I don't think there was a u in the Latin. The French must have put one in, and we must have kept it. Anyone know the whys and wherefores of these u words ?

If there's no u in the Latin (and there isn't) I don't see how the US spelling can be called idleness. As for French, I believe the word is couleur. So the British spelling doesn't come directly from there.

However I think French words ending in -eur regularly lead to English words in -our (in British spelling).

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