Fallen leaves during autumn (fall)

omidnice

Senior Member
Turkish - Azerbaijani
Hi everybody!:)

I am seeking advice from you to know an English word for the fallen leaves during autumn (fall). What word do you use to call them when they are on the ground?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • omidnice

    Senior Member
    Turkish - Azerbaijani
    Thank you for your replies, but my intention is to know their name a little after they fell down. When they are dry and if anybody puts their foot on them, they will easily be broken!
     
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    omidnice

    Senior Member
    Turkish - Azerbaijani
    Dried fallen leaves?

    English lacks a one-word way to describe this.
    Do you mean there is no word to describe the yellowish leaves which fell off the tree? They are not actually leaves anymore, and they are used as fertilizer. I did my best to explain them, but I am unsure whether it was comprehensible!
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Fallen leaves in a wood or forest are known as "leaf-litter". Despite "litter" usually being negative, "leaf-litter" is not.
    This is either a BE term or, as the linked Wikipedia page implies, a technical term used mainly by botanists and ecologists. (Maybe it's both.) In many years of extensive hiking in forests where leaves fall and avid reading of hiking publications, most of them in English, I have never come across it. If your audience consists of people who want to use them for fertilizer, maybe they know it.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Do you mean there is no word to describe the yellowish leaves which fell off the tree? They are not actually leaves anymore, and they are used as fertilizer. I did my best to explain them, but I am unsure whether it was comprehensible!
    The name for the fertilizer, after the leaves have started to break down is leaf-mould.

    leaf mould n
    • a nitrogen-rich material consisting of decayed leaves, etc, used as a fertilizer
    http://www.wordreference.com/definition/leaf mould

    I presume this is spelled leaf mold in AE.
     
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    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Leaf litter does not just include leaves that have fallen in the autumn, nor are the leaves necessarily brittle. It would also not include random leaves that have fallen to the sidewalk or lawn in an urban/suburban setting.

    It is not, though, a strictly BE term, and I am not a botanist or ecologist but am familiar with it. I didn't mention it in my earlier posts because of the limitations I've noted here.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I remember our local newspaper once produced a fine hanging clause: Leaves in autumn are a hazard for old people when they fall and make a brown sticky mess on the pavement.

    There was a journalist who didn't know a word for fallen leaves.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I am seeking advice from you to know an English word for the fallen leaves during autumn (fall). What word do you use to call them when they are on the ground?
    Such leaves, when found on the street or in your garden are most likely to be referred to simply as "leaves" or, more specifically, "dead leaves".

    "The wind blew the dead leaves so that they formed small piles in the sheltered corners of gardens and buildings."
    "I spent the morning clearing the leaves off the lawn."
     

    omidnice

    Senior Member
    Turkish - Azerbaijani
    Such leaves, when found on the street or in your garden are most likely to be referred to simply as "leaves" or, more specifically, "dead leaves".

    "The wind blew the dead leaves so that they formed small piles in the sheltered corners of gardens and buildings."
    "I spent the morning clearing the leaves off the lawn."
    Thank you PaulQ. You are helpful, as always. :D
     

    Wordeer

    New Member
    English-america
    Was that it? Or were you thinking of detritus? I have another one it might be if it's not that.
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    I have another one it might be if it's not that.
    Please post it here then. The original poster hasn´t been online in some time but others will find this.
    Welcome to the forum. :)
    "dead leaves"
    In ordinary speech, not poetry? It sounds extremely weird and disquieting. At least they've died of natural causes, unlike the dead spinach I ate this week.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I remember our local newspaper once produced a fine hanging clause: Leaves in autumn are a hazard for old people when they fall and make a brown sticky mess on the pavement.
    :D:D:D:D:DPriceless. (Admit it, Mr T ~ you've made this one up. It's still priceless, mind.)
    I agree with Mr Q [#16], leaves that have fallen off trees are simply leaves.

    :cross::rolleyes:
    A: I've spent the whole morning sweeping leaves.
    B: Oh, dusty, were they?
    A: Shocking dusty! and I fell off the ladder seven times!
    :rolleyes::cross:

    On the subject of Mr Manley Hopkins ... no comment.

    I hope the Slovak Police are hot on the heels of that spinach-murderer, Siares:)
     

    MossMountain

    New Member
    American English
    I came here seeking the same word, and, finding that none of you answered my question satisfactorily, I had to ask my dad because, you know, dads know everything. He supplied the word 'duff,' which sounds ridiculous considering it has several other meanings, but I looked it up on dictionary.com, and this is one of the definitions:

    organic matter in various stages of decomposition on the floor of the forest.

    Unfortunately, while this is a fantastic word, I don't think it will really suit my needs for a poem, considering most people are going to automatically think of the slang term for butt. :p Hopefully it helps someone else, though.
     

    MarcB

    Senior Member
    US English
    Most people don't have a specific word for it as seen here. Leaf mold(AE spelling) and it is one element used in compost op. Referred to fertilizer. These terms are used by gardeners.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    To me, 'leaf litter' is the layer of uncompacted leaves that accumulates on the ground in the fall and early winter. Once snow and rain fall in the winter and early spring, they become compacted and damp and start to decay. By June they are the top layer of duff, which is several years' worth of leaves that are less decayed on top and very much decayed on the bottom.
     
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