Indian summerIndian summer
- a period of mild, warm, hazy weather following the first frosts of late autumn
- the final period, as of a person's life, regarded as tranquil, serene, etc.
Origin of Indian summerfrom Indian (adjective): reason for name obscure
- A period of mild weather occurring in late autumn.
- A pleasant, tranquil, or flourishing period occurring near the end of something: the Indian summer of the administration.
(plural Indian summers)
- a stretch of sunny and warm days during late autumn
- (figuratively) the late autumn of life; a late flowering of activity before old age
Used across varied regions and months – worldwide, from as early as September to as late as January in the northern hemisphere. Various prescriptive usage specifies various conditions, particular regions, or times of year, particularly restricting it to several days of warm weather after there has already been a frost. Narrowly speaking, originally late October through November in US Northeast.
Unknown US, attested 1778. Spread and popularized early 19th century. Used figuratively from 1830s. By 20th century globally replaced earlier St. Luke's summer, St. Martin's summer, and All-Hallown summer.
A wide variety of etymologies have been proposed, none convincingly. Most plausible suggest Native Americans called it a form of “summer”, due to harvesting late plants or preparing for winter, or European settlers coined it due to various Native American activity in this season, or due to the weather phenomenon being associated with regions inhabited by Native Americans. No evidence of connection with Indian giver (some folk etymologies suggest that the term is due to the warm weather being given but then taken away).