When I was a child I believed all those fairy tales were German
and I also believed that the Grimm brothers had actually written them. Later I learned that they had only collected them.
I still don't know where those tales actually originate from and I'm afraid with most of them nobody really knows. They must be very old and they obviously have undergone a lot of changes through the centuries as many of them were not written down until very late. So the names of the characters are very likely to have changed as well. This applies especially when a fairy tale wandered from one country to another. And there must have been quite a bit of traffic!
So it would sure be interesting to list the names of well known characters in different languages. To make a start: Cinderella
is "Aschenputtel". This again means "ashes" + "little chicken". "Puttel" is not used in modern German
, so I had to look it up in Grimms Wörterbuch and it says that a chicken or a dove "puttels" in the dust or the ashes in the yard.
Snow White is Schneewittchen in German
and her sister is called Rosenrot.
Rumpelstilzchen is the name of the awkward creature that wouldn't tell his name and finally went down into the earth. What is his name in other languages? (Rumpelstilzchen means "noisy goblin")
None on the names I mentioned are used as given names in Germany.Andy