Do you prefer ‘fall’ or ‘autumn?’

Simple poll, what’s your preferred word for the season of the year?

I like autumn, probably goes back to dumb childish pranks ‘Have a nice Fall!’ when someone tripped you from behind.

  • Fall
  • Autumn
  • Something else

0 voters

I like the simplicity of the one-syllable word “fall”.

Something else: I don’t care. I use both, and it doesn’t bother me to hear either one.

I like the look and sound of autumn, but I usually say fall. Kinda wish we’d go back to the old style harvest.

As above (and I swear I thought this before I read it), I prefer the sound of “autumn,” but usually use the word “fall.”

My understanding is that “fall” is fairly uncommon in British English, so our British dopers will probably be choosing “autumn”. I don’t know which predominates in Canada or Australia.

The OED says

“Although common in British English in the 16th century, by the end of the 17th century fall had been overtaken by autumn as the primary term for this season.”

I prefer “autumn”, but the practical Midwesterners around me would make fun of my preference so I say “fall” and move on.

Autumn because I’m English. There’s no preference involved, it’s just the word we use for this time of year. Fall is quite a nice word, especially when juxtaposed with spring, but it’s not the right word in my version of English.

I think every year at primary school involved creating an acrostic poem based on autumn. Fall would lead to much shorter poems and lots of use of Ls, probably actually lots of Lots.

I prefer Summer.

There’s no such thing around here. It’s just late summer. I can’t recall the last time I used those words in an ordinary context.

I never use autumn in conversations.

Coming from a country were the predominant trees are eucalypts and hence evergreen, (there are some deciduous eucalypts in northern Australia) the visual of “the fall” never crossed our radar.
Sure the fruit trees and some around the house were deciduous, but they aren’t native. We didn’t spend much time leaf peeping.

Autumn is unambiguous.

I grew up with “fall” but “autumn” is a prettier word. I go with “autumn”.

Autumn is standard in Australian English. People would understand fall, but the Macquarie Dictionary notes this sense of fall as “chiefly US”.

As a follow-on opinion question, what should be the name for today’s equinox, as opposed to the other equinox.

The equinox in March is called the “vernal equinox”. I like that. Vernal makes me think of “verdant”. But “autumnal” equinox sounds awkward. “Fall equinox”? What should it be called?

Autumn is the prettier word but fall has its virtues too: simple and direct.

Keat’s poem would sound off if it was titled To Fall but there is a great poem you could write about Fall too and I wonder if it exists somewhere.

I remember reading an English writer (Virginia Woolf ?) citing “fall” as an example of American English getting it right and being slightly surprised.

Indeed. We know what fall means, but no one uses it. Autumn also allows you to talk about ‘autumnal weather’ when there’s a bit of a nip in the air. My dog walk this morning certainly felt a bit autumnal.