Fall is magical.
Natural life around you changes in the blink of an eye from green to red, brown and yellow.
Every single day is colder than the previous one, until suddenly, you are in the middle of your Halloween celebrations.
You just gotta love fall!
Spanish vocabulary is rich and beautiful. Combine that with the magic of autumn and you get the list in this post: 66 Spanish fall words with their translations, examples and occasional interesting tidbits.
By the end of this post, you will be confident enough to talk with Spanish speakers about fall like a native!
So put on your sweater, grab that umbrella and get ready to feel like it is October already.
Brr! 66 Spanish Fall Words to Cozy Up with This Autumn
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All the Things We Love: Spanish Fall Nouns
1. otoño (fall)
The word otoño comes from Latin autumnus. You have a true cognate with the word autumn.
2. estación (season)
You probably know the word estación already with the meaning of station or stop. Regarding weather, however, it is translated as “season”:
El año tiene quatro estaciones: primavera, verano, otoño e invierno. (The year has four seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter.)
3. niebla (fog, mist)
The word niebla is quite an interesting one. It is translated as “fog,” but so is the word neblina, which when translated literally means “small fog.”
Actually, this makes a lot of sense, because in Spanish you use the word niebla if the visibility is one kilometer or less, while the word neblina is used if you can see over one kilometer.
Besides, la niebla tiende a ser marrón (tends to be brownish) while la neblina tiene un color azulado (has a bluish color).
4. cosecha (harvest)
From the infinitive cosechar (to harvest, to reap).
Cosecha comes from Latin collecta, which means collection. The word colecta (collection, fundraiser, fundraising) also exists in Spanish, from the same root.
5. vendimia (grape harvest, vintage)
Although the word vendimia can be used with to generally mean “harvest,” most people use it to specifically refer to the grape harvest.
Notice how vintage comes from Latin vinum (wine), which gave us vino (wine) and vitivinícola (wine-growing). The very word vendimia comes from Latin vindemia (vinea [vine] + demere [to tear away] = vintage).
6. maíz (corn)
Even though a lot of people think corn is a summer cereal grain, the truth is that it is harvested all year round. While doing research for this post, I also discovered that corn is used for fall decorations!
7. escarcha (frost)
Just as frost means escarcha, frosty means escarchado.
Escarcha is one of those words I love for no apparent reason. Maybe the fact that I love winter (amo el invierno) has something to do with it.
The infinitive of escarcha is escarchar (to frost), but it also means “to candy” since it started being used as a culinary term.
8. hoja/s (leaf/leaves)
There are few things more otoñales (autumnal) than leaves falling from trees (hojas cayendo de los árboles). In order to pronounce this word perfectly, remember that the h is silent while the j sounds just like an English “h”!
If you want to know more about the verb caer (to fall down), have a look at word 48 below.
9. madera (wood)
Another very typical autumn word, madera is something many of us still use to start a fire in the fireplace or light a bonfire (see both words below).
Madera comes from the Latin materia (matter), a word that meant origin, source or raw material. Interestingly enough, the word materia is also a Spanish word, and it means “matter” (matter and materia are cognates).
10. barro (mud)
You have not had a childhood if you have not played in the mud for hours with your friends. With the onset of the rainy season (con la llegada de la época de lluvias), mud and puddles are some of the biggest temptations for playful folk.
I certainly cannot resist the temptation (no puedo resistir la tentación). Can you?
11. follaje (foliage, canopy)
Follaje comes from Latin folium (leaf).
You may have noticed that hoja has an h instead of the original f even though both follaje and hoja come from the same word. It is very common for words starting with an f in Latin to start with an h in Spanish (farina/harina — flour, falco/halcón — falcon, ficus/higo — fig).
Hoja also follows this rule, but there are many other words related to hoja and follaje that have retained the initial f, like folio (page, sheet), exfoliar (exfoliate), folleto (brochure), etc.
12. bosque (forest)
There is a very beautiful expression in Spanish:
Los árboles no dejan ver el bosque. (The trees do npt let you see the forest.)
It means that sometimes it is hard to see the big picture when you focus too closely on the details. Remember to see the whole bosque!
13. seta (mushroom)
Going mushrooming (ir a recoger setas) is one of my favorite fall activities. I love being surrounded by nature (rodeado por la naturaleza) and feeling the fresh air of the woods (el aire fresco del bosque).
14. castaña (chestnut)
One of the things I miss the most about fall are those old ladies selling castañas asadas (roasted chestnuts) on the street. It is a tradition that is disappearing, despite being one of the most characteristic scenes of the season.
15. bellota (acorn)
The acorn is another very typical fall nut. I do not really like its taste (no me gusta su sabor), but picking acorns up when I was a kid is one of my fondest autumn memories (uno de mis mejores recuerdos de otoño).
16. piña (pine cone)
Yes, pine cone and pineapple are both called piña in Spanish.
How do we distinguish them? We do not!
I mean, we know what each of them is, we just use context to help us out. Normally, if you are talking about piñas in fall or winter, you probably are talking about pine cones and decorations.
Try to paint your pine cones golden (dorado). You will love them!
17. espantapájaros (scarecrow)
It is curious that the English version scares crows, while Spanish scares all birds (pájaros — birds). Nevertheless, they are one of the kings of fall and Halloween, and nobody can deny them that.
18. cuervo (crow, raven)
Speaking of crows, here you have the Spanish translation. There are a lot of dark stories and legends around them. Could this be the reason we say “a murder of crows” (una bandada de cuervos)?
19. resfriado (cold, sniffles)
Fall brings the rain (la lluvia), the cold mornings (las mañanas frías) and… the colds (los resfriados, also called catarros). The action of getting a cold is called resfriarse in Spanish.
20. manga larga (long sleeve)
Fall does not only change nature, it also changes the way we dress. As a curious fact I can tell you manga larga is a “blocked expression,” because no matter how many long-sleeved items we have, the phrase does not change its form:
una camiseta de manga larga (a long sleeve T-shirt)
cinco camisetas de manga larga (five long sleeve T-shirts)
21. botas (boots)
Can you quickly name five types of footwear (cinco tipos de calzado) in Spanish? Quick, think!
Here you have some: sandalias (sandals), zapatillas de deporte (trainers), chanclas (flip-flops), zuecos (clogs), zapatos de tacón (high heels), bailarinas (ballerina shoes), babuchas (slippers)…
22. bufanda (scarf)
Have you ever had a bufanda tejida a mano (hand-knitted scarf)? There are wonderfully soft and fluffy, especially if your mom or grandma made them!
23. sombrero (hat)
I confess I am not a hat man, but my grandpa used to wear his hat at all times, all year round! Sombrero comes from another Spanish word, sombra (shade), which derived from Latin subumbra (under shade).
24. suéter (sweater)
In case you have not realized, the word suéter is an anglicism (anglicismo): a word directly borrowed from English.
We “tuned it” to reflect Spanish spelling and pronunciation, added an accent mark and voilà! A new Spanish word was born. We actually did the same with the word football (fútbol).
25. chaqueta (jacket)
Both chaqueta and jacket come from Old French jaquet, so they are cognates.
26. abrigo (coat)
Abrigo means coat. Abrigarse means to cover up, to keep warm or to take shelter.
Can you guess what the adjective form is?
The answer is abrigado, which literally means “kept warm.” So el abrigo abriga y te mantiene abrigado (the coat covers and it keeps you warm).
27. hoguera (bonfire)
Do you remember that I mentioned earlier that some Latin words staring with an f start with an h in Spanish? This is another example! Hoguera comes from Latin focaira, which later became foguera and finally hoguera.
Other related words have maintained their original f, the best example being fuego (fire).
28. chimenea (chimney)
If you have a chimney, you probably start getting it ready when fall arrives. The sound of a lit fireplace is so relaxing (el sonido es tan relajante), and the atmosphere is perfect for learning some Spanish vocabulary!
29. tarta de manzana (apple pie)
One of the most traditional fall pies is the apple pie. It gets you in the mood for Halloween, and it is undeniably delicious (indudablemente deliciosa).
30. crema/tarta de calabaza (pumpkin cream/pie)
The other two things that cannot be missing during this time of the year are the pumpkin cream and the super famous pumpkin pie.
¿Tienes hambre ya? (Are you hungry yet?).
31. Víspera del Día de Todos los Santos (All Saints Day Eve)
This long name is the way the Catholic Church calls the day before All Saints Day.
Do you know how everyone calls it instead? That’s right: Halloween!
Halloween has only recently started to be celebrated in Europe in the same way that it is celebrated in America. We hope some day we will be able to achieve that level of awesomeness!
32. Acción de Gracias (Thanksgiving)
Thanksgiving is mainly an American thing, but many people around the world know what it is and how it originated.
The literal translation of Acción de Gracias is “Action of Thanks.”
33. equinoccio de otoño (autumn equinox)
Equinoccio must be one of the most beautiful words in the Spanish language. It comes from Latin æquinoctium (same night), which perfectly describes the fact that the day and the night have almost the same length for those 24 hours.
Describing the Beauty of Fall: Spanish Fall Adjectives
34. rojo (red)
35. amarillo (yellow)
36. marrón (brown)
37. ámbar (amber color)
38. dorado (golden)
39. naranja (orange)
The last six adjectives are actually six colors, and they are, without any doubt, the main colors of fall. From trees to leaves, nuts and fruit, almost everything around us has at least one of these colors during autumn.
Remember that colors are adjectives, so they have to agree in gender and number with the noun they modify. Here are a couple of autumnal examples:
Me encanta el color dorado y amarillo de esas hojas. (I love the golden and yellow color of those leaves.)
Las castañas son marrones y las calabazas, naranjas. (Chestnuts are brown and pumpkins, orange.)
40. ventoso (windy)
Some fall days can get really windy. In Spanish you say está ventoso (it is windy).
41. fresco (cool)
Here is an example sentence for you:
Nos gustan las noches frescas de octubre. (We like October’s cool nights.)
42. lluvioso (rainy)
Lluvioso comes from the noun lluvia (rain), which in turn comes from the verb llover (to rain).
If you want to say the day is rainy, you can say el día está lluvioso.
43. nublado (cloudy, overcast)
Fall tends to be very cloudy (el otoño tiende a ser muy nublado). You can also say el cielo está nublado (the sky is cloudy).
Autumn Activities: Spanish Fall Verbs
44. llevar (to wear)
Llevar is one of those verbs that mean a lot of things but in relation to autumn, it most likely means “to wear.”
There is one thing you should take into account when using this verb in a sentence: In English, “to wear” is normally used in its continuous form (“I am wearing”), while in Spanish it is used in its simple form (“I wear”—present simple or imperfect):
Llevo una camisa roja. (I am wearing a red shirt.)
Ayer llevaba una camisa azul. (Yesterday I was wearing a blue shirt.)
45. preparar(se) (to prepare, to get ready)
In English, you use “to prepare” when talking about things, but you use “to get ready” when talking about yourself. Spanish only has this one verb, but it becomes reflexive when it refers to people:
Prepara la comida. (Prepare the meal.)
Prepárate. Nos vamos. (Ge ready. We are leaving.)
46. cambiar (to change)
There is no better verb to describe the differences between seasons. Everything changes around us (todo cambia a nuestro alrededor) in a matter of days, time flies mercilessly (el tiempo vuela despiadadamente).
47. dar un paseo (to go for a walk)
I really recommend going for a walk and seeing the magnificent fall sunset (el maravilloso atardecer otoñal).
48. caer (to fall, to fall down)
Caer is a very autumnal verb. Leaves fall (las hojas caen), snow falls (la nieve cae), even rain falls (la lluvia cae).
49. sentarse (to sit down)
When coming back from your walk, you can sit by the fireplace (puedes sentarte junto al fuego) with a good book and enjoy the long, silent fall afternoons (las largas y silenciosas tardes de otoño).
50. calentarse (to warm up)
While you are sitting by the fireplace, you can warm yourself up (puedes calentarte) with a good old-fashioned cup of cocoa (una taza de cacao).
51. quedarse en casa (to stay home)
There will be days when you will not feel like going out (no te apetecerá salir), and you will just stay home and relax (simplemente te quedarás en casa y descansarás).
52. volver a la escuela (to go back to school)
Unfortunately (or fortunately if you are like me), fall also means having to go back to school. I genuinely miss those days (verdaderamente echo de menos aquellos días).
53. migrar (to migrate)
Muchas aves migran hacia el sur en otoño/invierno. (A lot of birds migrate south in the fall/winter).
54. encender (to light, to start, to ignite)
You can encender a lot of things, but the two most useful Spanish things to light during autumn are:
encender la chimenea (to start a fire in the fireplace—or, literally, to ignite the chimney!)
encender una hoguera (to light a bonfire)
55. arroparse (to bundle up, to snuggle up)
What do you do when it is cold and rainy outside and you do not want to even think of getting out of bed? You turn on your TV, start watching a movie and snuggle up like there is no tomorrow (te arropas como si no hubiera un mañana).
56. llover (to rain)
Llover is an impersonal verb. It has no subject, and it only exists in the third person singular (llueve — it is raining).
57. lloviznar (to drizzle, to sprinkle)
I find the verb lloviznar a very romantic verb. Have I told you I love fall and winter?
Lloviznar obviously comes from llover, which in turns comes from Latin plovere (to rain).
Whatever the Weather: Fall Weather Expressions
This last section contains nine weather expressions related to fall, and their translations.
Use them in your weather conversations with your friends and let them wonder how you became a master of Spanish weather!
58. Hace frío. (It is cold.)
59. Hace viento. (It is windy.)
60. Hace fresco. (It is cool.)
61. Hace sol. (It is sunny.)
62. Hace buen/mal tiempo. (The weather is nice/bad.)
63. Hay niebla. (There is fog / It is foggy.)
64. Está nublado. (It is cloudy.)
65. Está despejado. (The weather/sky is clear.)
66. Llueve. (It is raining.)
And that’s all, folks! Thanks to these 66 words and expressions you will be able to talk about fall weather like a real Spanish native speaker.
Remember that learning vocabulary is one of the main pillars of language learning. To build your vocabulary, I recommend that you pick a single topic and learn everything possible about it. Take your time, make flashcards and vocabulary lists (you can use FluentU for that).
The sky is the limit (el cielo es el límite)!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. See you guys in the next one.
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