Word of the Week: Autumn

The word autumn is a noun and defined as the season between summer and winter comprising (in the northern hemisphere) of the months of September, October, and November or astronomically extending from the September equinox to the December solstice. 

The word autumn  was first used in the 15th century and derived from the Latin word autumnus meaning “the passing of the year.” The word autumn is primarily used in British English; those that commonly speak American English tend to use the word fall instead of autumn as the season between summer and winter. Fall is a noun and defined as the season when leaves fall from trees. First used before the 12th century, the word fall derives from the Old English word fiæll or the Old Norse word fall and is defined as to fall from a height. 

The original term for both fall and autumn was harvest. Commonly used in England before the 12th century, the term harvest derives from the Old Norse word “haust,” which means “to gather or pluck”. It wasn’t until the majority of people stopped farming and moved to cities that the term harvest evolved into autumn or fall… depending on where you live.

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Sources
“Autumn.” Merriam-Webster.com

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