Sunday, December 11, 2011

Santa's Reindeer

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen
Where did the names come from and what do they mean?!

"While the names don't really "mean" anything, Moore did name them poetically to imply how special they were. In general, you can look at the names like this:
Dasher, Comet, Cupid: Names that imply speed, quickness, and flight ["Cupid" has wings].
Dancer, Prancer, Vixen: Names that imply grace and nimbleness [a "vixen" in this sense is a female fox].
Donner and Blitzen: Originally "Dunder and Blixem," the Dutch words for "Thunder & Lightning," names that imply power and strength.

So when Clement C. Moore named the reindeer, he named them to poetically imply what the reindeer were like, flying through the night: powerful, quick, and nimble."
Read more here: and

I also found out that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was "invented" in 1939 by a Montgomery Ward copywriter (Robert L. May) merely for commercial purposes.

Read the article in its entirety here:


  1. I always found it funny that in the Rudolph song it starts out "You know..." and most people *don't* know all the other names!

  2. Didn't realize that Rudolph was a relatively new idea, as traditional Christmas characters go, interesting.