What the Hell is a Foliage

As a foreigner I often miss or have no knowledge of common words and sayings. For example, I say salmon with an exaggerated “L” and “are you kidding with me” rather than “are you kidding me.” Vocabulary most people learn at a young age or simply through living in an English-speaking house has always (and probably will always) be a great weakness of mine.

The other day, as I was walking along Commonwealth Avenue, I expressed how much I enjoyed the trees turning into different colors. My friend, with a weird expression in her face said, “oh the foliage.” I looked at her with pure confusion as I internally debated if I should pretend I knew perfectly what a foliage was. But instead I succumbed, swallowed my embarrassment and asked. Turns out firstly that it’s not a foliage, but just foliage and that people use that word to signify the changing colors of the leaves. However, with some primary research I discovered that the literal definition of foliage is “plant leaves, collectively.” Now I see that word everywhere—which is a good thing, I just love the foliage.

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