Well, here we are and Autumn has arrived. Certainly if you are living in the Northern hemisphere you should now be experiencing the first signs of Autumn. The trees in the forest just behind my house are a mix of deciduous (they always lose their leaves in Autumn) and evergreens (they retain their leaves throughout the year). The deciduous trees are beginning to shed their leaves and the colours or hues (synonym for colour) are changing from green to yellow brown and rustic reds.
The Americans usually refer to Autumn as The Fall. The effects are the same. In the not too distant future we will be talking about “beer festivals” (in Germany), Halloween across Europe and America and other festivals connected with the harvests and the religious practices of many countries
In my house it is time to put away the light summer clothes and get out the winter woollies (warmer clothes). We don’t actually hibernate (go to sleep for the winter) but we do change our habits a little.
Heavy shoes replace sandals (flip flops), the boots are ready and jumpers and rain coats replace tee shirts and jackets. I love to see the chestnuts falling. I always collect a few. It reminds me of my childhood. We called them “conkers”. We had a simple game with conkers that we always played in late September and through the early weeks of Autumn. You put a small hole through your chestnut/conker and tied a knot in it then challenged your friends to see whose conker was the strongest. You took turns striking your opponents’ conker with your conker. The winner was the one that did not break. (careful it can be a little sore on your fingers!!)
There are lots of English phrases and idioms connected with Autumn that are very useful. Here are a few:
English Autumn Vocabulary - Infographic
8 English Phrases and Idioms connected with Autumn
An old chestnut – means an old issue or problem that has not been solved or has not gone away and from time to time is resurrected.
My friend occasionally brings up the argument we had about our days playing football. Which of us was the better footballer. Neither of us could really remember. It is an old chestnut and is never going to go away. I always say “not that old chestnut again!! Just forget it.”
To drive someone nuts – if you drive someone nuts it means you irritate or annoy them
It drives me nuts when people are constantly clicking their pen.
To turn over a new leaf – to make a new start a fresh start
I’m going to turn over a new leaf and start again. I’ll find a new job and get a new boyfriend and make new friends.
To take a leaf out of somebody else’s book – to behave or to do something in a way that someone else would
It’s raining cats and dogs – it’s raining very heavily
During the autumn months it’s raining cats and dogs, so make sure you wear your raincoat and take your umbrella.
To squirrel away – squirrels are usually very active in Autumn getting ready for a long winter. They spend their time eating and gathering nuts to get them through winter when very little food will be available for them. We squirrel away things in the same way. We do it secretly without telling anyone. Money, for example.
We might be saving for that rainy day (a day when we really need some extra cash).
He squirrelled away a nice sum of money over the early summer and was able to buy his wife a nice winter present.
Autumn of his life – alas age catches up on all of us eventually. When we are in the autumn of our life usually, we have lived a long time and we are looking forward perhaps to retirement of taking things a little easier.
My grandfather was in the autumn of his life when he decided he was too old to drive a car anymore. His eye sight was getting worse.
Fall is an interesting word. It has many uses so we will look at that in a separate blog. Thank you