Saint Nicholas

(redirected from St. Nick)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to St. Nick: St. Nicholas of Myra

Nicholas, Saint,

patron of children and sailors, of Greece, Sicily, and Russia, and of many other places and persons. Little is known of him, but he is traditionally identified as a 4th-century bishop of Myra in Asia Minor. His relics were stolen from Myra in the Middle Ages and taken to Bari, Italy. St. Nicholas is the subject of many legends. He is credited with restoring to life three boys who had been chopped up and pickled in salt by a butcher. Another famous story concerns his giving three bags of gold to the daughters of a poor man and thus saving them from lives of prostitution. Later tradition transformed the bags into three gold balls, which became the symbol of pawnbrokers. In the Netherlands and elsewhere St. Nicholas's feast (Dec. 6) is a children's holiday, appropriate for gifts. The English in colonial New York adopted from the Dutch the now unrecognizable saint, calling him Santa Claus (a contraction of the Dutch Sint Nikolaas). They moved his feast day to the English gift holiday, Christmas. The career and qualities attributed to Santa Claus are all recently acquired.

Bibliography

See biography by C. W. Jones (1978, repr. 1988).

References in periodicals archive ?
Enterprise's involvement in Union Court is part of our Billion Dollar promise to create and preserve more than 15,000 affordable homes for 45,000 New Yorkers, and we are proud to work with partners like St.
Wednesday morning, amid a flurry of blinking emergency lights, St.
And early next week, a special crane is scheduled to hoist the statue and start St.
Of course, it's a stretch to incorporate jolly old St.
Cornerstone Theater Company is reimagining the birth of St.
SINCE THE SAD TRUTH is that the fine but limited comedian Tim Allen can only score in a movie if he's St.
The Newhall man who wants to help retire Santa may not get the chance to bring home the 22-foot-tall chicken wire-and-plaster St.
On Christmas Eve, the site will feature 25 key stops that Jolly Old St.