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It's the last day of Summer, and a question came to my mind; In Greek, every season has a meaning:

Άνοιξη    - ανοίγουν τα λουλούδια // the flowers 'open'
Καλοκαίρι - καλός καιρός          // good weather
Φθινόπωρο - φθήνουν τα οπωρικά    // the fruits 'decline'
Χειμώνας  - χειμα = κρύο,ψύχος    // an ancient word, had to ask mama

But what about the English ones? The only results I get from Google are some ridiculous pages - like what is the inner meaning for me personally and stuff..Come someone explain? Or if they don't have, state it in an answer...

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  • Spring and (American) Fall are about plants, while the others are much older
    – Henry
    Aug 31, 2016 at 23:04
  • @Henry I would love to see an answer explaining the mystery ... :P
    – gsamaras
    Aug 31, 2016 at 23:12
  • ψύχος = psychos Interesting, wonder if there's undertones of dying. Sep 1, 2016 at 3:37
  • ψύχος means cold @HowardPautz and it's pronounced psechos.. :) Hmm, I wonder too, but my mom didn't mention something like this. Unfortunately, she is located at the other corner of the earth right now, so I cannot ask her (or hug her). :) :/
    – gsamaras
    Sep 1, 2016 at 17:21

1 Answer 1

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Here are a few snippets from an interesting article by Daven Hiskey.

Winter:

[...] probably comes from the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) *wed, meaning “wet”. Alternatively, it may come from the PIE *wind-, meaning “white”

Spring:

plants springing from the ground [...]

Summer:

[...] a variant of the Proto-Indo-European *sem- meaning “together / one”

Autumn:

[...] it’s thought “autumnus” probably came from an Etruscan word and is possibly related to the Latin “augere” meaning “to increase” [...] and became common in the 16th century, about the same time calling it “fall” popped up as the name for the season.  Before calling the season “autumn” or “fall” in English, it was called “harvest”.

Note 1. Here I'm focusing on word meanings whereas the original article is more wide-ranging and discusses the words' evolution.

Note 2. As discussed in comments this is a brief summary of someone else's work. I don't want to duplicate the entire article here. The only changes from original is the use of bold text to highlight what I think most interesting.

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  • PIE -> ???. Spring makes sense! +1...~ Autumn -> I don't understand.. :/
    – gsamaras
    Sep 1, 2016 at 17:52
  • Proto-Indo-European (PIE) Language
    – k1eran
    Sep 1, 2016 at 17:53
  • Ah a language..Why you used an asterisk before wind? Hmm, I would advice to transfer the gist of that link for Autumn, here, since link-answers are no good, especially when the link dies..
    – gsamaras
    Sep 1, 2016 at 18:00
  • I am trying to keep it brief as I don't want to repeat the whole article.
    – k1eran
    Sep 1, 2016 at 18:04
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    @gsamaras - indeed, links to other sites are not good and are discouraged for the very reason you mention. But it's all we have at the moment. ... and trying to get permission from that article's author to reprint it here as part of an answer would likely be more effort than most of us would want to undertake. If you think it would help, you could do that and post your own answer, which is certainly OK. Sep 2, 2016 at 17:42

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