4 Christmas Words and their origins

Published 8th December 2017
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This time of the year, every year, we all hear the same words flying around, whether displayed on a Christmas jumper, a Christmas card or sung through Christmas carols, we are faced with the same vocabulary. But where has the language of Christmas originated from..? We explain 4 Christmas words and their origins.

1: Advent/advenimiento/avènement/来临/avvento/مجيء

comes from the Latin word ‘adventus’ which means ‘coming’. It is a time of preparation before Christmas, which for Christians means marking the lead up to Christmas in some form or other, whether it be lighting a candle, or hanging something on the door. In the modern day, Children might buy an ‘Advent calendar’ and open each door of the calendar to a small gift each day.

2: Bauble/Bola/Babiole/玩具/gingillo/دمية للأطفال

is a shiny ornament that is used to decorate the Christmas tree. It was first produced in 1847 and it is also commonly used as a funny gift to large groups.

3: Santa Claus/Papá Noel/Babbo Natale/سانتا كلوز/le père noël /圣诞老人

comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas or Saint Nicholas. Santa Claus is actually different to Father Christmas, but over the years the two have merged.

4: The ‘X’ in Xmas/Navidad/Noël/عيد الميلاد/ Natale/圣诞

is an abbreviation for Christmas, and is derived from the Greek word ‘Xristos’, which means ‘Christ’. The use of Xmas was actually seen as a sign of disrespect by Christians for quite some time, until there was the realisation of the origin.

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