Victoria NeuroNotes

Into the Gray

The Fall


No, I’m not referring to this. . .


Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

I’m referring to a season.  My favorite season!

Rarely do I read or hear the term “Fall” from people who live outside of North America.  When Skyping with friends from other parts of the world, I’ve sometimes had to clarify when using the word; so I tend to use it sparingly unless I’m interacting with people in my neck of the woods.

Out of curiosity, I did a little investigating and found this tidbit of information:

Photo credit:

Changing colour to color can be blamed on American dictionary maker Noah Webster, but Fall for Autumn deserves another look.

Taking the vocabulary of Old English as a starting point, both Fall and Autumn as names for the season between summer and winter are late-comers. Fall derives from an Old English verb, but it wasn’t used as a noun to designate the season until the 16th century. This use most likely developed from the Middle English expression “fall of the leaf.” So what did Old English speakers call the season? Harvest.

The need for a new word arose from a population shift that made cities more important than farmland. From being a word for the season, harvest came to refer only to the agricultural event that occurs in that season.

Autumn as a word for the season came into common usage about the same time as Fall did. The English who settled the eastern American seaboard brought the word Fall with them from the homeland. The English who stayed home eventually adopted the word Autumn. Nowadays in England “Fall” sounds archaic and poetic, but in U.S. English “Autumn” has those connotations.  Source

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Apparently, etymologists have not determined the precise origin of the term Autumn.  Sources state that it was used as far back as the 1300s.  Shakespeare often used it, such as in Midsummer Night’s Dream when one of his characters describes the cycle of the year, “The spring, the summer, the childing autumn, angry winter.”   I like both terms and use them interchangeably, but I think “Fall” provides a nice foil to its opposite season, “Spring”.  It also serves to help me remember which direction to set the clocks during the time change — “spring forward, fall back”.

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It’s the time of year when I feel light-footed, the most invigorated and creative.

It’s the time of the year when I get to sleep an extra hour when the time changes.

It’s the time of the year when I am seduced by candy corn and fragrant aromas . . .

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cinnamon and ginger; nutmegs and cloves; hot cocoa and spiced cider.


The crisp morning air, soft sweaters and cuddling; the snap, crackle, pop coming from the fireplace.  Btw . . .


It produces a hormone-neurotransmitter, oxytocin, which strengthens our social relations, and helps stave off a number of psychological and physiological problems as well.


I made a video over the weekend.   I’m dedicating it to a blogging buddy.  Carmen, thank you for your friendship. 🙂


Thanks for watching.  When identifying this season, what term do you use most often?  Autumn or Fall?



Author: NeuroNotes

Victoria predominately blogs about religion, and the brain's role in religious type experiences.

72 thoughts on “The Fall

  1. Beautiful post. and I, too, love the Fall, the season of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always thought it was odd we had two names for the season. Thanks for teaching me something. It’s my favorite as well, when it feels like it. Silly Texas.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ahhh .. .beautiful season and my favourite! Like you, I use the terms interchangeably – I like the crispness in the air, the crunch of leaves underfoot, and the promise of even cooler temps and snow (yes, I’m one of those REAL wackadoodles who loves winter, too). I figure, living on the east coast of Canada, I’d best embrace it!


  4. The term I use most is “ManImissMissouri”…


  5. I like places where there are distinct seasons. Here, we’ve skipped Spring altogether and landed straight in Summer.


  6. Guess I’m odd (wo)man out as I’m more inclined towards Spring when everything is new, fresh, and green. Fall/Autumn reminds me of old age when everything is falling … 😉


    • I love Spring, too, Nan. I love the visual shock when it goes from gray to green, almost over night. I love seeing the tulips and daffodils, and cherry blossoms. But, I’ve lived in very warm and humid climates for the better part of my life, so Autumn is always a welcomed relief, a time for much needed down time. Right now I live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it is simply spectacular during the Fall. I can be moved to tears, it’s so gorgeous. Tulips, daffodils and cherry blossoms don’t have the same effect on me.


  7. Ahhhh……Fall makes me happy, happy, happy! I use Fall when I talk and Autumn when I write. Mostly I don’t have to say anything because the colors, the smell and the air says it all.
    Sorry that I have been MIA….I hope to emerge from work piles by next week. Hmmm…just in time for Autumn 😉


  8. Love the video love the season…which is way too short here.

    I used to use “fall” but now I find myself using “autumn”. Not sure why. Maybe the influence of international bloggers / tweeters. Or maybe it makes me sound more sophisticated…lol. But yeah, I do love the season and can’t wait to indulge in it’s short splendour.

    Hope you are doing well my friend!!



    • Hey Paul, thank you so much for taking the time to watch my video. Making it put me in the best of the best mood. Yes, Autumn has a more poetic tone to it, more colorful in speech, but in the U.S., I’ve noticed that Fall was said more often than Autumn, from the time I was a wee one.

      No complaints, my friend. Hope you’re doing well, too. Great to see you around these here parts.


  9. In my village, seasons are either dry or wet. No poetry in between.
    Am working towards cuddling 😀
    Nice post friend


  10. Loved the pictures and video Victoria. Such a beautiful season. Stocking up on the firewood!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lovely video and music, Victoria. I also prefer this time of year. London is having lovely weather, not too hot with cool nights. In the Uk, we call it autumn, but I do remember what way to change the clock by ‘spring forward fall back’. Personally, I hear all the arguments for and against changing clocks, but I’d rather leave them alone.


    • Cat, where I live, children are waiting for their bus in the dark of morning before the time changes at the end of October. For that reason alone, it’s best that we, in America at least, set our clocks back during this time of year. Not real keen on it getting dark so early, though. Thanks so much for watching the video and for your thoughtful comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This was a real work of ART! Very soothing, Jo


  13. Living right on the Equator, and in East Africa, no less, we rarely have such great distinctions between the Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. Actually, the terms “Autumn” and “Spring” rarely mean anything over here. We find it more useful to describe the seasons as “hot”, “cold”, “dry” and “wet”. And sometimes, around December and January, when I observe the sheer amount of snow and ice raining down on your lands, I can’t help feeling fortunate, that I live in a relatively more sane place. Ha ha.


  14. What a beautiful video Victoria! Around here we use the word ‘Autumn’ (Herfs in Afrikaans) but I do like to speak of ‘Fall colours’ to describe the beauty that Autumn brings. I love Autumn and feel the same way as you do about it. Great post and share hon. 😀 ♥ Hugs ♥


  15. I also love the Fall, which is normally what I call it, but Autumn does sounds prettier to me. In general I love seasons that represent transition and chance. The equinox representing that marker that for a short time day and night or equal, but yet the season represent anything but balance and equilibrium. As a meteorologist these seasons in mid-latitudes represent the greatest temperature contrasts between low and high latitudes and thus weather changes more rapidly, storm systems are more intense as the Earth tries desperately to restore balance to a system which is constantly being thrown out of balance by a warm south and cool north. I am not sure I can decide which season I like better, Fall or Spring as the emotions they invoke are very different. Fall is full of warm aromas and a tapestry of wonderfully warm colors. In this season I feel like I’m in the afterglow of a wonderful event. I feel a year drawing to a close, and that it is a time for reflection and thoughtfulness. Though the death of winter awaits, fall helps us pass on to the winter with, grace, dignity, and laughter.

    But in the spring. After the cold of winter first comes the thaw. White snow and ice melt into the dark soil, ready to start things anew again. Spring is about beginnings, rejuvenation, and a celebration of life as things get green and flowers bloom. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Canada that I appreciate the spring even more. I don’t know. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Having lived in Canada, I can certainly understand why spring would be your favorite season. In the South along the Gulf Coast, our winters are generally very mild. Our summers are very hot and humid, so the fall is exceptionally welcoming.

      Thank you for commenting, Swarn. Your profession must be very rewarding. Btw, I’m a weather junkie, including space weather. which is the main reason why I have the sun and umbrella in my moniker. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Victoria! I love my weather junkies. I have always been fascinated by weather since I was a small child. Not only is mother nature amazing and powerful to behold, weather is always changing and is a good reminder of the impermanence in life, and the difficulties of recognizing patterns in a complex system.

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        • The most awesome weather experience I’ve ever had was being in the eye of a cat. 3 hurricane, outside. My mother always told me I should have been a storm chaser, lol. My daughter told me that I’m the only one she knows who can spend hours watching The Weather Channel. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well if you ever want to go storm chasing sometime, you can take the class I teach in May. lol I can’t get you free tuition though so it would cost a $1000 bucks, but it’s still fun, when the weather is cooperating!

            And I am jealous, because a hurricane is the one severe weather system I have no experienced yet!

            Liked by 1 person

  16. Great and informative post! I love the fall and all the same aromas you mention floating through the air. Where I went to HS in Virginia there were 4 distinct seasons. I lived near the Blue Ridge Parkway and the fall season there was the most spectacular I’ve ever seen with all the colors of the leaves on the mountainside- you should visit that neck of the woods sometime during fall. Or at least Asheville, NC and the biltmore estate. It’s historic (originally built and owned by the Vanderbilt’s) and the grounds there are breathtaking. The tour is fun and they have wine tastings of wines from the local vineyard. Blowing Rock, NC is not far from there and there are some chalets to stay in that are world class. When my family had the disposable income we made frequent trips there. If I had my way in life I would probably live in Asheville- with its 4 seasons and gorgeous scenery- and it’s a hippy kind of place open minded peeps and artsy fartsy weirdo sorts like me lol- but it’s too expensive, not a lot of jobs, and too close to my ex lol. Beautiful video you shared too btw! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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