Santa Claus and Sinter Klass

lpuszcz at lpuszcz at
Mon Jul 24 12:44:18 EDT 2000

Ven wrote:
> and Philip said
> Given, iirc, a large number of German settlers in the US, I can see how
> became Claus.  And I suppose a Spanish influence could turn Sinter into
> So the conclusion in that case is that it _is_ a mixed language name.
> German and Spanish.  Oh well.

And Ven said:
I suspect the link with Spain would come from the period when the
Netherlands were occupied by the Spanish around the 1500s so
Santa becane Sinter. '

I like this theory a lot, but the grammar-obsessed, proof-reading Spanish
teacher in me is bothered slightly by the fact that since Saint Nicholas
and Santa Claus are male figures, the female "santa" wouldn't be used by a
Spanish speaker, it would be "santo," and that in most cases is shortened
to "San" (San Miguel, San Patricio, but Santo Tome), so it would be "San
Nicolas," I believe.  Not that languages follow rules when they meet and
combine :) Great linguistic detective work, guys!

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