How to say ‘Father Christmas’ in over 100 languages

Ever wondered how to say ‘Father Christmas’ in Cebuano? Zulu? Maybe in Māori? Well, wonder no more! We’ve collected together different ways of saying Father Christmas in over 100 languages – take a look and see if you can find the one you’re after.

The festive season is upon us once again! And next to Superman, all around the world jolly, white-haired Father Christmas is probably one of the most recognised figures of all time!

Yet with so many cultures and languages, Father Christmas has a huge variety of names, some of them absolutely unique. Welsh speakers, for example, call Father Christmas ‘John of the Chimney,’ while Russians say ‘Grandfather Frost!’ Meanwhile, in many German-speaking regions it is the ‘Christkind’ or Baby Jesus who brings Christmas presents.

Come join us at uTalk to learn how to say “Father Christmas” in over 100 languages!

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1. English

Father Christmas / Santa Claus.

Father Christmas first began as a humble Greek bishop who was born in the 3rd Century in what is now modern Turkey. Saint Nicholas, as he would later come to be known, was admired for his generosity and humility. He gave away all his wealth to the sick and the poor. He was even famous for performing all sorts of miracles, becoming known as Nicholas the Wonderworker. Over time, the Church would come to recognise him as the patron saint of children (as well as sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves and prostitutes, brewers, the unmarried and pawnbrokers – yes, he had a huge portfolio!). During the Middle Ages, Saint Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe.

The name ‘Santa Claus,’ as he is universally known in the United States today, was brought there by Dutch immigrants who knew him as Sinterklaas (from Saint Nicholas).

2. Afrikaans

Kersvader (literally, ‘Christmas Father’).

3. Albanian

Babagjyshi i Krishtlindjeve (Grandfather Christmas), Babagjyshi i Vitit të Ri (Grandfather New Year), or Babadimri (Father Winter).

4. Amharic

የገና አባት (Yegena Abat or ‘Christmas Father’).

5. Arabic

بابا نويل (Baba Noel).

6. Armenian

Ձմեռ Պապ (Dzmer Pap or ‘Grandfather Winter’).

7. Assamese

সান্তা ক্লজ (from English ‘Santa Claus’).

8. Azerbaijani

Şaxta Baba (‘Frost Father’).

9. Basque

Bizarzuri (‘White Beard’).

10. Belarusian

Дзед Мароз (‘Dzied Maroz’ or ‘Grandfather Frost’).

11. Bengali

সান্তা ক্লজ (from English ‘Santa Claus’).

12. Bosnian

Djed Mraz (‘Grandfather Frost’).

13. Bulgarian

Дядо мраз (‘Dyado Mraz,’ ‘Grandfather Frost’).

14. Burmese

ဆန်တာကလော့စ် (from English ‘Santa Claus’).

15. Cantonese

聖誕老人 (‘sing3 daan3 lou5 jan4’ or ‘Christmas Old Man’).

16. Catalan

Pare Noel (‘Father Christmas’).

17. Cebuano

Santa Claus (Most Philippine languages have borrowed the American English ‘Santa Claus’).

18. ChiBemba

Santa Claus.

19. ChiChewa

Santa Claus

20. Chinese (Mandarin)

圣诞老人 (‘shèngdàn lǎorén’ or ‘Christmas Old Man’).

Want to know how to pronounce this one? Check out our Guide to Mandarin Pronunciation for some tips!

21. Croatian

Djed Mraz (‘Grandfather Frost’).

22. Czech

Svatý Mikuláš (‘Saint Nicholas’ – according to Czech tradition it is actually Ježíšek or ‘Baby Jesus’ who brings presents on Christmas Eve).

23. Danish

Julemanden (‘Yule-Man’).

24. Dari

بابا نوئل (“Baba Noel”)

25. Dutch

Kerstman. (The Dutch have two “Father Christmas” figures! On December 5th, the eve of Saint Nicholas’ Day, Sinterklaas sails into the Netherlands from his home in Madrid accompanied by servants called Zwarte Pieten. They give gifts to good children and punish naughty ones. And then on Christmas Eve, it is Kerstman who comes to deliver more presents!)

26. Dzongkha

No equivalent.

27. Esperanto

Patro Kristnasko (‘Father Christmas’).

28. Estonian

Jõuluvana (‘Father Christmas’).

29. Fijian

Santa Claus.

30. Filipino (Tagalog)

Santa Claus.

31. Finnish

Joulupukki (literally, ‘Yule Goat’) – from a pre-Christian custom where men dress up as goats to perform specific rituals link to harvests and fertility.

32. Flemish

Kerstman (Christmas Man) and Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas).

33. French

Père Noël (Father Christmas) or Papa Noël (Papa Christmas).

34. Galician

Pai Nadal (Father Christmas).

35. Georgian

თოვლის ბაბუა (‘Tovlis Babua,’ meaning ‘Grandfather Snow’).

36. German

Weihnachtsmann (Christmas Man) – In many parts of Germany, Father Christmas or Weihnachtsmann is perceived to be an Anglo-Saxon import (and an obvious symptom of globalisation). Children in many German-speaking regions traditionally believe that it is the Christkind (Baby Jesus) that brings them Christmas presents.

37. Greek

Αγιος Βασίλης (Ayios Vasilis or ‘Saint Basil’) – Greeks believe that Saint Basil brings gifts on New Year’s Eve.

38. Ancient Greek

Ἅγιος Βασίλειος (Ágios Basíleios).

39. Greenlandic

Juulimaaq (from Danish ‘Julemand’) or Juullip Inua (‘Christmas Man’).

40. Gujarati

સાન્તા ક્લોસ (from ‘Santa Claus’).

41. Haitian Creole

Tonton Nwèl (Uncle Christmas) or Papa Nwèl (Papa Christmas).

42. Hausa

Santa Claus.

43. Hebrew

סנטה קלאוס (from ‘Santa Claus’).

44. Hindi

सांता क्लॉज़ (from ‘Santa Claus’).

45. Hungarian

Mikulás or Szent Miklós (from ‘Saint Nicholas’).

46. Icelandic

Jólasveinar (Yule Lads) – In Iceland, 13 mischievous trolls called the Yule Lads visit towns and villages each of the 13 nights leading up to Christmas Eve. Children leave a shoe on the windowsill of their rooms expecting to receive a little present from the trolls. Naughty children will find a potato instead!

47. Igbo

Fada Ekeresimesi (from ‘Father Christmas’).

48. Ilocano

Santa Claus.

49. Indonesian

Sinterklas (from Dutch ‘Sinterklaas’).

50. Irish

Daidí na Nollag (‘Daddy December’).

51. Italian

Babbo Natale (‘Daddy Christmas’) – Traditionally, it was La Befana, the ‘Good Witch of Christmas’ who would ride her broomstick on January 5th to people’s homes, climb down their chimneys and deliver presents to good children inside.

52. Japanese

サンタクロース (from ‘Santa Claus’).

53. Javanese

Sinterklas (from Dutch ‘Sinterklaas’).

54. Kachchi

સાન્તા ક્લોસ (from ‘Santa Claus’).

55. Kannada

ಸಾಂಟಾ ಕ್ಲಾಸ್ (from ‘Santa Claus’).

56. Kazakh

Аяз Ата (‘Ayaz Ata’ or ‘Grandfather Frost’).

57. Korean

산타 클로스 (from ‘Santa Claus’).

58. Kyrgyz

Аяз Ата (‘Ayaz Ata’ or ‘Grandfather Frost’).

59. Ladino

Noel Baba.

60. Latin

Sanctus Nicolaus.

61. Latvian

Ziemassvētku vecītis (‘Christmas Old Man’).

62. Lithuanian

Kalėdų senelis (‘Christmas Grandfather’).

63. Luxembourgish

Kleeschen (diminutive of ‘Saint Nicholas’).

64. Macedonian

Дедо Мраз (‘Dedo Mraz’ or ‘Grandfather Frost’).

65. Malagasy

Dadabe Noely (‘Grandfather Christmas’).

66. Malay

Santa Claus.

67. Malayalam

ക്രിസ്മസ് പാപ്പാ (‘Christmas Father’).

68. Maltese

San Niklaw.

69. Manx

Jishag y Nollick (‘Father Christmas’).

70. Māori

Matua Kirihimete (‘Father Christmas’).

71. Marathi

सांता क्लॉज (from ‘Santa Claus’).

72. Mongolian

Санта клаус (from ‘Santa Claus’).

73. Neapolitan

Babbo Natale (‘Daddy Christmas’).

74. Nepali

सान्टा क्लाउज (from ‘Santa Claus’).

75. Norwegian

Julenissen (‘Yule Gnome’) – In Norway, a friendly little gnome called Julenissen brings presents on Christmas.

76. Pashto

سانته کلاوز (from ‘Santa Claus’).

77. Persian

بابا نوئل (‘Baba Noel’).

78. Polish

Święty Mikołaj (‘Saint Nicholas’).

79. Portuguese

Pai Natal (‘Father Christmas’).

80. Portuguese (Brazilian)

Papai Noel (‘Father Christmas’).

81. Punjabi (Indian)

ਸੈਂਟਾ ਕਲੌਸ (from ‘Santa Claus’).

82. Punjabi (Pakistani)

سانتا کلاز (from ‘Santa Claus’).

83. Romanian

Moş Crăciun (‘Old Father Christmas’).

84. Russian

Дед Мороз (‘Ded Moroz’ or ‘Grandfather Frost’).

85. Samoan

Tama Kerisimasi (‘Father Christmas’).

86. Sardinian

Babbo Natale (‘Daddy Christmas’).

87. Scots

Santa Claus.

88. Scottish Gaelic

Bodach na Nollaig (‘Old Man of Christmas’).

89. Serbian

Деда Мраз (‘Deda Mraz’ or ‘Grandfather Frost’).

90. Shona

Baba Kisimusi (‘Father Christmas’).

91. Sicilian

Babbo Natale.

92. Sindhi

سانتا کلاز (from ‘Santa Claus’).

93. Sinhala

නත්තල් සීය (‘Nattal Siya’ meaning ‘Grandfather Christmas’).

94. Slovak

Svätý Mikuláš (‘Saint Nicholas’).

95. Slovenian

Sveti Miklavž (‘Saint Nicholas’).

96. Somali

Santa Claus.

97. Spanish

Papá Noel (‘Papa Christmas’).

98. Spanish (Latin American)

Latin Americans have a wide variety of names for Father Christmas. Argentinians, Paraguayans and Uruguayans call him ‘Papá Noel’; Bolivians, Colombians and Ecuadorians welcome ‘Papá Noel’ or sometimes, ‘Santa Claus’; Chileans say, ‘Viejito Pascuero’; Costa Ricans call him ‘Colacho’; Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans happily refer to their Father Christmas as ‘Santa Clós’ or simply, ‘Santa’. ‘Santa Clós’ or ‘Santa’ is also common in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama. Meanwhile, ‘San Nicolás’ is common in Honduras and Venezuela. Finally, Mexicans and Peruvians say ‘Papá Noel’, ‘Santa Clós’ or just plain ‘Santa’.

99. Swahili

Baba Krismasi (‘Father Christmas’).

100. Swedish

Jultomten (‘Yule Gnome’) – ‘Jultomten’ is a friendly gnome-like spirit that brings presents on Christmas Eve. However, he does not come down the chimney, instead preferring to walk through the front door.

101. Tajik

Бобои Барфӣ (‘Boboi Barfi,’ meaning ‘Grandfather Snow’).

102. Tamil

சாண்டா கிளாஸ் (from ‘Santa Claus’).

103. Telugu

శాంతా క్లాజు (from ‘Santa Claus’).

104. Thai

ซานตาคลอส (from ‘Santa Claus’).

105. Tok Pisin

Santa Klaus.

106. Turkish

Noel Baba (‘Christmas Father’).

107. Turkmen

Aýaz Baba (‘Frost Father’).

108. Ukrainian

Дід Мороз (‘Did Moroz’ meaning ‘Grandfather Frost’) or Святий Миколай, (‘Sviatyi Mykolai’ or ‘Saint Nicholas’).

109. Urdu

سانتا کلاز (from ‘Santa Claus’).

110. Uzbek

Ayoz Bobo (‘Frost Father’).

111. Vietnamese

Ông Già Noel (‘Christmas Old Man’).

112. Welsh

Siôn Corn (‘John of the Chimney’).

113. Wu Chinese (Shanghainese)

圣诞老人 (‘sen te lau nyin’ meaning ‘Christmas Old Man’).

114. Xhosa

uSanta Claus (‘u-‘ is a prefix occurring with names).

115. Yoruba

Baba Keresimesi (‘Father Christmas’).

116. Zulu

uSanta Claus (‘u-‘ is a prefix occurring with names).

Did you learn how to say Father Christmas in a new language today? We the language lovers at uTalk wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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