What’s In a Name?

“When [the girl] had done her work,” Perrault tells us, “she used to go to the chimney corner, and sit down there in the cinders and ashes, which caused her to be called Cinderwench. Only the younger sister, who was not so rude and uncivil as the older one, called her Cinderella.”


From what I understand, “Cinderwench” is actually a rather polite translation. The French says “Culcendron”, which apparently translates to something like “ash arse”. Yup.

So then I put on the Disney Cinderella, the opening credits roll, the violins start up, and the ethereal voices of the choir flute: “Cinderella / You’re as lovely as your name / Cinderella…” Oh yes. It cracks me up every time.


2 thoughts on “What’s In a Name?

  1. And don’t the Greeks have a “Cinderella” story where the girl’s name is actually translated as “Little Saddle-slut”? Oh dear. Just dreadful. La-la-la, cue the violins…


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