Home   Time Zones   Daylight Saving Time   Remember Which Way?

Spring Forward or Fall Back?

The term “spring forward – fall back” is meant to trigger your memory to set your clocks forward one hour in the spring at the start of DST, and one hour back in the fall when DST ends.

Illustration image

One hour ahead or back in the fall?

Many forget which way to set their clocks at the start and end of DST.


DST Changes — Dates and Local Times

“Spring Ahead” and “Spring Up”

A different way to remember which direction to set your clock for Daylight Saving Time (DST) is that in the spring, you bring out (or forward) the garden furniture (clocks are set 1 hour ahead), and in the fall you put them back (clocks are set 1 hour back).

The expressions “spring ahead” and “spring up” are also used to describe the action of setting clocks one hour ahead for the start of DST in the spring. These terms are mainly used in the USA and Canada.

Daylight Savings or Saving?

“March Forward”

“March forward” is another term used to remind people about the DST start dates in the Northern hemisphere, like the USA, Canada and Europe, where it starts in March.

In French the letters of the month can help remind one which way the clocks are set. In April – Avril – the clocks are advanced: Avance. In October – Octobre (or Novembre in Canada) – the clocks are set back, or reduced: Recule.

“Gain 1 Hour, Lose 1 Hour”

Other phrases associated with the DST start date include “push the clocks forward”, “turn the clocks ahead”, and “shift the clocks forward”. There is also the expression, “lose an hour here, gain an hour there”, which describes the start and end of DST.

“Daylight Time”

“Daylight Time”, refers to the DST schedule itself. Other variations are “Daylight Savings” or “Daylight Saving”.

Records have shown that the phrase “spring forward, fall back” has been in use at least as far back as the early 20th century. For example, the Heppner Gazette-Times on (October 28, 1928, printed a notice stating “Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, October 31. Remember to set your clocks back one hour, ‘Spring forward – Fall Back!’”.

Topics: Daylight Saving Time, Sun, Timekeeping

In This Article


Daylight Saving Time Changes:

You might also like

London, United Kingdom - March 6, 2015: Commuters and tourists in Canary Wharf, modern financial district of the city.

Daylight Saving Time – DST

Daylight Saving Time aka Daylight Savings Time, DST or Summer Time. Clocks go forward 1 hour in the spring and back in the fall to make better use of natural daylight. more

GMT or BST in the UK?

The UK is not on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year. During Daylight Saving Time the correct time zone is British Summer Time (BST). more

Business watch and one hundred dollar bill

History of DST

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is used to save energy and make better use of daylight. Today, daylight saving time (DST) is used in many countries. more