Derived from the Latin crispus meaning ‘curled’, this word means firm, dry and brittle and you could say it’s a great example of onomatopoeia, a word that sounds exactly like its meaning.
From the Latin dēciduous, meaning ‘falling down or off’ this word describes trees which shed leaves, usually in the autumn. Some well known decidious Australian species are the red cedar, the white cedar and the beech.
This peculiar word meaning ‘the leaves of plants’ was previously known by foilage, and has evolved from the Latin folium, which is the plural form of leaf.
Deriving from the Old English hærfest, which referred to the time of gathering crops. This became an adjective from late 14c when harvest home was the festive celebration of bringing home the last of the harvest. This was the name given to the season until the 16th century when autumn began to displace it.
Referring to the point at which the sun crosses the equator, making day and night of equal length, this word is from the Old French equinoce meaning ‘equality of night (and day)’.
Who could forget the word autumn itself. In a rare group of words ending in -mn, this derives from the ancient Etruscan root autu- which has connotations of the passing of the year, and was borrowed by the neighbouring Romans becoming autumnus.
You will know this as a popular US term for the season, but in fact this was also common in England to describe the autumn season, and is actually short for ‘fall of the leaf’.