Ok, is the reindeer named Donner or Donder?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by painterZ, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. painterZ

    painterZ New Member

    I hear Donner a lot but found Donder in an old children's book of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. I have some German blood coursing through my veins and I think Donder means thunder (or something) in German. I could have a memory of my Granddad reading it to me. Anyway it drives me nuts every year...any input?

  2. Busyknitter2

    Busyknitter2 New Member

    You got my curiosity up so I googled Santa's reindeer names. Some had one or the other and some had both. It did say that the reindeer names originated with the Night before Christmas. I read this book to my sons every year and now my son reads it to my grandbabies. Some sights said that Donner is thunder in German and Donder is thunder in Dutch. They where not sure which was the right name.

    God bless; Pam
  3. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Here is the authentic list:

    On Dasher, on Donner,
    On Jethro and Blitzen,

    On Sleepy and Dopey
    And Huey and Dewey and Louie.

    On Moe and Curly and Tinker and Evers and Chance!

    On Patty and LaVerne and Groucho and Chico!

    Home again, Home again, Jiggety-jig!

  4. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    In the initial publication of the poem, Santa's last two reindeer were called "Dunder and Blixem". Later publications show the names "Donder and Blitzen". Martin Gardner, editor of The Annotated Night Before Christmas, points to a handwritten copy of the poem, written by Moore in the year before he died, in which he calls the reindeer "Donder and Blitzen". It is clear that Moore himself wanted the reindeer named Donder and Blitzen.

    One hundred and sixteen years after Clement Clark Moore first named the reindeer, the name "Donner" replaced "Donder" in the publication of the 1939 story book Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, written by Robert L. May(4). A decade after the book was published "Donner" was further cemented into American consciousness when Gene Autry recorded Johnny Mark's song Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

    "Donner" is Thunder and "Blitzen" is Lightning in German. So, I understand how the mistake occurred. Nevertheless, the poem was readily available to refer to in libraries across the country. Shame on Mr. May and Mr. Marks for not doing their research properly before publishing their work. What right had they to change an American classic?

    And on another site I read that "Donder" is the Dutch, not German, writing and pronunciation of the word 'thunder.'
  5. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Du bist sehr klug! Danke!

    Now we all know.

  6. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    Thanks Rock. (You make me have to work for my undeserved compliments.) I can't take credit for the info...I just copied and pasted.

    Ich mag ihre liste des rentiers am besten!

    (I copied and pasted that too.)
  7. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    Because I've wondered this myself over the years.

    And...once you've lived overseas for enough years, you'll notice that Americans have a tendency to butcher the languages of others...often.

    So.... Donder it was, Donner it is now....but I do like Rock's list as well!!


    Nancy B
  8. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    I always thought that it was(in Red Neck Dictionary):

    Dasisher and

    [This Message was Edited on 12/11/2007]
  9. painterZ

    painterZ New Member

    its nice to have an answer! Thanks too to all for the humor! It is sad that we botched the names to a beautiful story, but my daughter will be informed about the REAL reindeer's names.