Tricky Words in this week's OVI

Tricky Words in this week's OVI

I can't help it - it's so good that I have to reprise my brilliantly-researched piece from two years ago: Mikuláš/St.Nicholas - in real life (around 300 AD) he was a bishop in the Lycia region (south of present-day Turkey) who provided dowries (vená) as gifts for young women from poor families to get married instead of going into slavery. His name in German and Dutch (Sankt Niklaus) has become distorted into the modern, commercialized Santa Claus.

This is where confusion can begin, because Santa Claus (Father Christmas in Britain) wears similar red/gold and white clothes and big white beard as Mikuláš, but he visits children's homes on a different day, in the night from December 24th-25th (fulfilling the role of "Ježiško" at the same time) - and Santa is never accompanied by a devil figure either. Generally speaking, nothing special happens on Dec. 6th in the UK and the USA, which is why I use St.Nicholas rather than "Santa Claus" to translate "Mikuláš", even though they might look similar.

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