Why Santa Claus is nicknamed "Kris Kringle" in America?

Im from France where we has Pere Noel and, I know Santa Claus is shorté for Saint Nicholas but, where does he get the name Kris Kringle? Je ne pas comprende.

Actually, Kriss Kringle isn’t Santa Claus. The name actually means “Christ child” in, I believe, Dutch (Coldfire, could you lend a hand here?). According to some legends, Jesus doesn’t relegate the gift-giving to Santa, but does it himself. Once the legend got to America, though, it got a bit mangled, and folks figured that Kriss Kringle was just another name for St. Nick.

By the way, welcome to the Straight Dope!

Soyez le bienvenu, Uniball! We need more French people here.

“Kristkindlein” or “Christkindlein” means “little Christ child” in German. The Lutheran church may have invented the idea of the Christ Child delivering presents, because they wanted to downplay the importance of saints like St. Nicholas (Sinter Klaas in Dutch).

Christkindl (and many variations of the name) is known in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

There are a lot of sources on the web to help you. The explanation I have heard for Kris Kringle is found at the following websight:[ul]ALL ABOUT SANTA CLAUS.[/ul]

Hope that answers your question.


Je ne comprende pas. Especially about the shorte bit. (Don’t know how to do the accent aigu - sorry.) How sad, I don’t know the Kris Kringle thing (except that I think it is something that was only invented for a film/movie - one of those nice feel-good films, and I also find that I don’t know even a basic bit of French, so I am quite ignorant on both counts. All the same, I do wonder about the French language phrase in the O.P.

The é is made by using ALT 0233.

I think the name Kriss Kringle was used in the film Miracle on 34th Street and that’s where whoever is two messges above me is thinking of…

I remember hearing Kris Kringle’s mention in two times. During a Master Thespian bit in Saturday Night Live with Jon Lovitz, and during a part of Weird Al song The Night Santa Went Crazy.