Spring is here, even if the weather is tricky! Love the spring flowers and the green meadows. I think this is the season I love more!
“Spring”, referring to a season rather than the many other meanings of the word, first popped up in the 16th century. Starting in the 14th century, this time of year was called “springing time” and then in the 15th century this got shortened to “spring-time”, and then further shortened in the 16th century to just “spring”. The 14th century “springing time” came about in reference to plants “springing” from the ground and the like. Before the season was called these things, it was called “Lent” in Old English.
From Middle English springen, from Old English springan, from Proto-Germanic *springaną (compare West Frisian springe, Dutch/Low German/German springen, Danish springe, Swedish springa), from Proto-Indo-European *sperǵʰ- (compare Lithuanian spreñgti (“to push in”), Old Church Slavonic прѧсти (pręsti, “to spin, stretch”), Ancient Greek σπέρχω (spérkhō, “I hasten”), Sanskrit स्पृहयति (spṛhayati, “is eager”).
“Spring” was a verb meaning “to move, hasten” going back as far as the Proto-Indo-European language.
On the idea that water “bursts forth” from the ground, the term was applied to places where water comes to the surface – water springs. This eventually leads to the figurative sense “source or origin of something”. With the idea that plants are “bursting forth”, and the figurative sense of “beginning”, the word is applied to the season when plants come back to life.
The verb itself (“to leap, burst forth, fly up; spread, grow,”) applies naturally to a mechanical spring, so it eventually picked up that meaning as well.
It is an inspiring season, isn’t it?