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Santa Claus is a man, right? In this case, he may not be fine with the fact that people call him Santa, which is the Spanish and Portuguese word for female saint names. For example, Santa Barbara and Santa Monica (Barbara and Monica are both female names). Saint Nicholas is by the way translated as San Nicolas and São Nicolas, respectively, in these languages, as San and São are the words for male saint names.

Where does Santa in Santa Claus come from?

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I think that it might also be pointed out, for completeness, that "Klaas" as well as its cognate in German "Claus" are variants of the name "Nicholas" in those languages: Niklaas and Niklaus, respectively. – Cyberherbalist Dec 13 '13 at 1:11
up vote 24 down vote accepted

The name "Santa Claus" comes from a dialect of Dutch, where the word was "Sante Klaas".

In this case, it was not a feminine suffix; the word evolved into Santa, which only coincidentally looks like the feminine form of saint in some languages.

(The Dutch word does come from the same origins as the Spanish and Portuguese, incidentally; most Germanic languages borrowed this Romance word and made it their own.)

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Sanctus Nicolaus:

The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, whose name is a dialectal pronunciation of Saint Nicholas, the historical Greek bishop.

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protected by RegDwigнt Dec 24 '12 at 13:05

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