Why do we call the first season of the calendar year — when plants first begin to bud and bloom — spring?
Beginning in the late 14th century, spring was referred to as “springing time.”
“Springing time,” later shortened to the season name “spring,” refers to the “spring of the year” when plants begin to rise from the ground.
The term refers to the noun in its older meaning: “action or time of rising or springing into existence” used in relation to the sunrise, the waxing of the moon, rising tides and more.
Other Germanic languages tend to take words for “fore” or “early” as their roots for the season’s name.
Previously, the season had been called “Lent,” an Old English word referring to the period between Ash Wednesday and Easter, short for “Lenten” or the forty days of fasting before Easter in the Christian calendar.