In this article, you’ll learn how to make the most of this fall season while brushing up on your English skills and vibing with the sweater weather.
Fall or Autumn: What’s the Deal?
“Snuggling up in a blanket,” “whipping up some cocoa with marshmallows,” “throwing up fairy lights,” and “jamming to ‘When September Ends'”—they’re the must-haves for any Pinterest-scrolling fall enthusiast.
Let’s cut to the chase on a real head-scratcher: fall or autumn? The deal with these words depends on where you’re at.
In American English, “fall” is what the British call autumn. Way back in the 1600s, Americans were like, “Let’s ditch the long ‘fall of the leaves’ and just say ‘fall’ for the season when leaves drop.”
If you’re across the pond in the UK, “autumn” is your go-to term. But don’t worry, Americans will still get you; they just think “autumn” sounds fancier.
A Cheat Sheet of Fall Words and Slang in American English
Time to pick up some fall vocab and slang. These will come in handy for the next couple of months:
Foliage 一 Fancy word for leaves, especially those showy tree leaves in the fall.
The park’s foliage was popping with colors as those leaves did their thing.
Harvest 一 When folks gather crops, usually in the fall and around Thanksgiving.
Farmers busted their chops in the fields, gathering up those ripe crops under the warm autumn sun.
Autumnal 一 fall vibes like “autumnal colors” or “autumnal breeze.”
The autumnal leaves painted the forest in a breathtaking tapestry of red, orange, and gold.
Bountiful 一 This means abundant or overflowing. It’s like the go-to word when you talk about a bumper crop.
Our garden dished out a bountiful harvest of juicy tomatoes, thanks to our green thumbs.
Hayride 一 riding an old’ hay wagon, an autumn classic.
Our family tradition? Taking a hayride through the picturesque autumn countryside.
Hazy 一 When the morning or evening looks foggy, it’s hazy.
Look at the valley over there. Lost in a hazy mist, hiding its beauty.
Crimson 一 If something’s a deep, rich red, you can call it crimson. Think autumn leaves.
The sky was on fire with a stunning crimson hue as the sun dipped below the horizon.
Pumpkin-spiced 一 When something’s flavored with pumpkin, especially that coffee order.
“One pumpkin-spiced latte, please!” — You at the café.
Leafy 一 Use this to talk about that time when leaves are piling up all over the place.
The forest floor turned into a lush, leafy carpet with all those green leaves.
Rustling 一 It’s the sound leaves make when you step on ’em or when the wind plays with ’em.
As I strolled through the woods, the leaves were rustling in the breeze.
Casual Fall Idioms
Alright, check out these cool fall-themed idioms.
“In the autumn of one’s life” or “In the autumn years” 一 Talking about getting older, like when you’re nearing retirement.
In the autumn of her life, she decided to globe-trot and soak up all the world’s vibes before settling down.
Like the changing of the leaves 一 Describes slow, expected change, kinda like leaves changing colors in the fall.
Her mood switched up as quick as the changing of the leaves in autumn, going from super stoked to all serious in a flash.
In the pumpkin patch 一 When someone’s searching hard for something, like hunting for the perfect pumpkin in a patch.
She turned the house upside down but got lost in the pumpkin patch looking for her keys.
Autumn leaves fall, but the roots remain 一 It’s all about how some things stay the same even when everything else is changing.
Even as the company faced tough times and layoffs, the dedicated employees proved that autumn leaves fall, but the roots remain, as their commitment to the organization never wavered.
Find more idioms related to fall in this article.
Cool Autumn Movies to Check Out in English
Autumn in New York (2000)
So, there’s this romantic drama with Winona Ryder and Richard Gere, and it’s all about a love that not even death can mess with. They shot it in New York during the fall, so besides the heartwarming story, you get to soak in the colorful city vibes.
Sweet November (2001)
This one’s like a twin to “Autumn in New York.” You’ve got young Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron, comfy fall cardigans, and leaves dropping in Central Park. You won’t leave this one feeling “meh.”
Lake House (2006)
Guess what? It’s Keanu Reeves again, this time hanging out with Sandra Bullock in a gorgeous lakeside house. They bought it on the same day, but two years apart. Can the past and the present finally meet up? Or will time keep playing tricks on love? Watch it and feel the crisp autumn air outside the city.
The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
This one’s a dramedy tailor-made for anyone itching to relive their high school days, remember all the teenage drama, share a good laugh, and do it all against the backdrop of stunning American autumn. You’ve got Woody Harrelson (“Now You See Me”), Hailee Steinfeld (“The White Lotus”), and Blake Jenner (“Glee”) leading the charge.
And here are a few more movies to spice up your fall:
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
The Half Of It (2020)
Gilmore Girls Show (2000)
Dead Poets Society (1989)
Fall DIY Fun
Nothing lifts the spirits like some beautiful autumnal decor. Americans are all about the atmosphere and fall aesthetics. So, give your place a makeover with some cool autumn DoItYourself crafts. Here’s what you can do:
Cinnamon stick candle holders
Fall wood bead wreath
Chunky yarn pumpkins
Cinnamon scented pinecones
Mason jar leaf lantern
And you can totally nail this garland. Just follow the instructions and learn some English on the side:
What you’ll need:
Yarn (4 or more colors)
Cardboard or DVD case
Wooden beads (optional)
What to do:
Cut the cardboard into a rectangle.
Wrap your yarn around about 40- 50 times, don’t pull too tightly and try to keep the tension as evenly as you can when you wrap around the cardboard.
Cut two pieces of yarn a bit longer.
Thread one underneath all the layers on the top of your tassel (opposite side of where your ends are located).
Pull tight and double knot.
Cut the ends of your tassel.
Wrap your second piece of a longer yarn about 2 cm down around, pull tight and double knot.
Layout the different colored tassels into a pattern that you like.
Thread your yarn or twine through your yarn needle.
Alternate threading a wooden bead and tassel.
If the instructions are a bit fuzzy, check out a helpful video tutorial.
Top Picks for Fall Reading
When it comes to books, let’s trust the experts. We’ve put together the top four books from Reese’s Book Club’s Fall Picks over the past few years. Here’s a rad selection:
Little Fires Everywhere
Thanks to Reese, you can not only dive into this mysterious story but also binge-watch her lead the show:)
A wild tale about this young girl from Argentina who’s ready to risk it all to chase her dream…
The giver of stars
An exciting one, based on true events, about these five badass lady librarians who made sure books reached the farthest corners of the Kentucky mountains.
Where the crawdads sing
A story about Kya, this young woman who ends up all alone in the North Carolina swamps. There’s so much in her story: romance, mystery, and a bit of murder too…
Songs About Fall in English
We’ve put together a mini-playlist of songs from different times that fit any autumn vibe. Listen closely, try to catch those lyrics, and write them down in your dictionary.
Green Day 一 Wake Me Up When September Ends
Chris Daughtry 一 September
Ed Sheeran 一 Autumn Leaves (Bonus Track)
Eddie Berman 一 Untamed
Earth, Wind & Fire 一 September
Wylder 一 Autumn
Sting 一 Englishman in New York
Lana Del Ray 一 Cinnamon Girl
Taylor Swift 一 Cardigan
James Arthur 一 September
Tall Heights 一 Back to Autumn
Curtis Walsh 一 Perfect Rain
Paolo Nutini 一 Autumn
May your fall be filled with great music, warm tea, favorite movies, and top-notch English.