donder and blitzen

HSchinske at HSchinske at
Fri Jul 21 13:19:44 EDT 2000

I looked up "donner" and "blitz" in a German-Dutch dictionary, , and got "donder" and 
"bliksem." I think Clement C. Moore, who was after all living in New York, an 
exceedingly Dutch-American community at that time, was *trying* to write 
Dutch and getting confused by German spelling. Changing "Sinterklaas" to 
"Santa Claus" is also just his phonetic spelling, I'm sure.

Bonfire is definitely associated with burning at the stake, no matter how you 
spell it. Not that it isn't also associated with celebrations, of course.

Helen Schinske
HSchinske at
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