Veritas translation and interpreting servicesThis time of the year, every year, we all hear the same words flying around, whether it is on a Christmas jumper, a Christmas card or sung through Christmas carols, we are faced with the same vocabulary. But where has the language of Christmas originated from..?


comes from the Latin word ‘adventus’ which means ‘coming’. It is a time of preparation before Christmas, which for Christians means marking the lead up to Christmas in some form or other, whether it be lighting a candle, or hanging something on the door. In the modern day, Children might buy an ‘Advent calendar’ and open each door of the calendar to a small gift each day.

Bauble/Bola/Babiole/玩具/gingillo/دمية للأطفال

is a shiny ornament that is used to decorate the Christmas tree. It was first produced in 1847 and it is also commonly used as a funny gift to large groups.

Santa Claus/Papá Noel/Babbo Natale/سانتا كلوز/le père noël /圣诞老人

comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas or Saint Nicholas. Santa Claus is actually different to Father Christmas, but over the years the two have merged.

The ‘X’ in Xmas/Navidad/Noël/عيد الميلاد/ Natale/圣诞 is an abbreviation for Christmas, and is derived from the Greek word ‘Xristos’, which means ‘Christ’. The use of Xmas was actually seen as a sign of disrespect by Christians for quite some time, until there was the realisation of the origin.