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Saturday, 11 November 2017

Steve's Nature Quiz #24

We are now well into the third season of the year but which is the most recent term for this period of the year?

a) harvest

b) autumn

c) fall

The Autumn Crocus, Colchicum pusillum
No trick question this week, if you said Fall then you'd be right (but it's a close run thing). Prior to the 1500s the term Harvest was used in England to mark the season between Summer and Winter and many European languages still use a variation of this word. Gradually in the 1500s Autumn, from the Latin autumnus took over in England and harvest began to change its meaning to the specific gathering in of crops. In the 1540s the phrase 'fall of leaves' also came into use but it wasn't until the 1660s that this was reduced to simply the Fall. Fall and Autumn battled it out and Autumn eventually won through in England. The colonists took both to America with them but Fall won through which is why the Americans refer to the season as the Fall whilst the English call it Autumn.

More Autumnal observations in this week's #CreteNature blog: Achladia (It's All Gone Pear Shaped)

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