Naming of the Seasons


We have come to be in about mid-summer now and it feels like our weather has once again been inconsistent. British weather has never been consistent with what the stereotypes say should be the weather for the appropriate time of year. Still, it is strange to think that perhaps the seasons have not always been named as they are now. 

The first season that happens within the year is Winter. Though the winter starts the year before, January is still a winter month and thus the first season of the year is winter. The name for winter is derived from the Proto-Germanic word Wentruz. There are several possible roots that this word could have derived from. One of these possible roots is Proto-Indo-European, with the word Wed, which literally means wet. This is quite an apt description for the season of winter. Another word that could possibly be the root for Wentruz is the word wind, which literally means white. I suppose even without snow, winter will still be white because of its name. 

The second season of the year is Spring. Before the word Spring came about in the 14th century, that particular season was merely called lent. Eventually, the season became known as sprining time, because of the produce that sprouts from the ground of tbhe year. Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, so not only do the plants emerge from the ground during this season, but young creatures are often born during this time of the year. As time went on, springing time slowly became spring time instead, shorting the phrase down, which happened some timne around the 15th century. Around the 16th century, this was once again shortened down to be just spring, giving us our second yearly season as we know it today.

The third season of the year is summer. Once again, the name of this season is derived from Proto-Germanic. The hottest time of the year was once known as Sumor. Before it was Sumor, however, it found its roots in the Proto-Indo-European word Sam, which was their word for the hottest season of the Summer. Even this Proto-Indo-European word has its own origin in a completely different Proto-Indo-European word, Sem, which is a word that means together or one. This makes sense when you consider the fact that the warm weather likely makes ideal conditions for spending time with ones family and friends or even possibly new people all together. 

Autumn is the only season left to talk, although it does not simply have one name. While Autumn is how I know the season to be called personally, Americans call it Fall and some even call it Harvest. Harvest is the most obvious name of the lot. The season may  be refered to as Harvest because the food that had begun to sprout in the spring had finally matured to the point to which it may be harvested, leading Harvest season. The next most obvious would be Fall, which was a name for the season that first started in England in the 15th century due to the phrase ‘the falling of the leaves’, though it quickly made its way over to Northern America. Autumn made its way through old French and Latin and before that, it is believed that it derives from Autumnus, a Etruscan words whichs origins can be linked the the Latin word augere, meaning to increase. 

Not only have ideas and concepts evolved and shifted with the generations but so have the words in which we use to communicate these concepts. Even our language is ever evolving with new terms and colloqiualisms emerging every single day.


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