Indian Summer

Blue skies

Brilliant blue sky & hot Autumn sun today (Friday). How lovely to be sat basking in the garden.

The term Indian summer reached England in the 19th century, during the heyday of the British Raj in India. This led to the mistaken belief that the term referred to the Indian subcontinent. In fact, the Indians in question were probably the Native Americans.

The term Indian summer is first recorded in Letters From an American Farmer, in 1778.

“Then a severe frost succeeds which prepares it to receive the voluminous coat of snow which is soon to follow; though it is often preceded by a short interval of smoke and mildness, called the Indian Summer.”

Michel-Guillaume-Jean de Crèvecoeur:

The English already had names for the phenomenon – St. Luke’s SummerSt. Martin’s Summer or All-Hallown Summer and the French also referred to l’été de la Saint-Martin.

These have now all but disappeared and, like the rest of the world, the term Indian summer has been used in the UK for at least a century.

I think I prefer the term All Hallown Summer.

“An Indian summer crept stealthily over his closing days.”

Thomas De Quincy, 1855


7 thoughts on “Indian Summer

  1. We are having an odd autumn here in Ontario with above average temperatures and lots of rain. Not quite my idea of an Indian Summer. Also interesting to know it has an American origin and not the India one.

    Liked by 1 person

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