Published on Aug 25, 2020

Autumn Fall Background Images

License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC
Advertisement

Autumn and fall are used interchangeably as words for the season between summer and winter. Both are used in American and British English, but fall occurs more often in American English. Autumn is considered the more formal name for the season.

The trees are turning; the weather’s getting cooler; Pumpkin Spice Lattes are backβ€”it’s fall!

No, that one friend who cares deeply about English tells you: it’s autumn. So how did two completely unalike words come to refer to the same season?

Advertisement

The older of the two words is autumn, which first came into English in the 1300s from the Latin word autumnus. (Etymologists aren’t sure where the Latin word came from.) It had extensive use right from its first appearance in English writing, and with good reason: the common name for this intermediary season prior to the arrival of autumn was harvest, which was potentially confusing, since harvest can refer to both the time when harvesting crops usually happens (autumn) as well as the actual harvesting of crops (harvest). The word autumn was, then, a big hit.

Names for the season didn’t just end with autumn, however. Poets continued to be wowed by the changes autumn brought, and in time, the phrase “the fall of the leaves” came to be associated with the season. This was shortened in the 1600s to fall.

Around this time, England’s empire was fast expanding, which meant that the English language was going places. One place it went was to the New World, and it set up shop in North America in the 1600s. As time went on, the English spoken in America and the English spoken in Britain diverged: there wasn’t as much contact between the two groups of English speakers. Throw into the mix the independence of the United States, and the fact that the type of English spoken in America became part of our early national identity, and the gulf between the two dialects of English widened.

A handful of words got caught in the identity crisis, and fall was one of them. Both autumn and fall were born in Britain, and both emigrated to America. But autumn was, by far, the more popular term for quite a long time. In fact, the “autumn” sense of fall wasn’t even entered into a dictionary until 1755, when Samuel Johnson first entered it in his Dictionary of the English Language.

Autumn Fall Background images gallery for free download

Advertisement

Matched Content:


Related Images:

Leave a Comment