Monday, September 13, 2021

Autumn or Fall: Why does this season have two different names?

Autumn. The loveliest season of the year. It's where the environment turns brilliant and romantic, with foliage bursting into fiery red and burnt tangerine.


But why it does have to different names? And what should be the real term for the season, is it autumn or fall?


The answer is that, it's the same.


Origin of the term


According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, both autumn and fall originated in Great Britain but fall is primarily used in the United States.

Autumn in Japan

Autumn is the older word among the two, it came to the English in 1300. It came from the Latin word, autumnus, it's unsure though where this Latin word originated.


The common term used for this season prior to autumn was harvest because harvesting of the crops happened during autumn.


Poets continued to be fascinated with the autumn season because of the changing of the color of the leaves, which also the season where falling of the leaves happened.

Autumn in South Korea

In 1600s, writers and poets began using other term in relation to the falling of the leaves - "fall". By then, the English language was expanding and it soon reached North America. Until most of the New World spoke English.


Overtime, the English language spoken in North America became diverse and it thoroughly evolved beginning with the independence of the United States. English terms spoken and used caught in the identity crisis, and fall was one of them.


Fall is widely used in America


After the American revolution where Britain was defeated, in an attempt to create their own identity, the United States developed the American English distinct from the British English. 

Autumn in Taiwan

Some of the words originated from Britain where discarded in favor of terms that were thoroughly American, one of the terms was fall.


By mid 1800s, fall was considered entirely American. Thus, today, fall, and not autumn, is the term widely used in America to describe this season.


Today, both terms, autumn and fall, are used in Europe, but autumn is considered authentic English term, and more commonly used by poets, artists and writers to describe the beauty of the season.


Now, let's set the record straight. Both autumn and fall are correct terms to describe this season. It depends on the person's mindset and taste which term to use.

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