Saturday, December 19, 2009

Google Insights: Santa Claus

The man of many names, the man in the Coca-Cola red suit... he who brings gifts down the chimney; that's right, it's the effeminately-named Santa Claus! Or, before the distortion, St. Nicholas. Or Father Christmas. Or Kris Kringle. Or...

There are definitely historical reasons why the big guy parades around with so many different names. At 12 to 1 to 1 to 0 respectively, on the worldwide count "Santa Claus" definitely wins as most-searched, as this chart shows:

No surprises that people search for Santa more in December than, say, April, right?

Anyway, let's see what that domination looks like from country to country. As global internet-leader, it's no surprise that the American search trends resemble the global ones, at 13 to 2 to 0 to 0. Note that "Father Christmas" and "Kris Kringle" are all but unknown in the States.

What about across the pond in the UK? Well, definitely a different story there. Santa Claus still leads the pack, but it's 11 to 1 to 10 to 0, so Father Christmas is an alias almost as popular.

Australia? At 14 to 0 to 2 to 3, Santa wins but Kris Kringle gets an unexpected second-place ranking. Neighbour New Zealand does not share Kringlophilia, though: 11 to 0 to 2 to 0.

Canada takes Santaphilia to new heights, at 16 to 1 to 0 to 0, although being bilingual, if we add 'Pere Noel' to the list, it gets a count of 7 (by the way, I'm tossing these numbers around, but I'm not quite sure what, if anything, they represent).

Other English-speaking countries? Ireland: 10 to 0 to 1 to 0. Jamaica: 4 to 0 to 0 to 0. Nigeria: 5 to 0 to 0 to 0. South Africa: 9 to 0 to 11 to 0 (the first time Santa Claus doesn't top the list. I tried adding an Afrikaner term, but "Kersvader", "Kerstman" and "Sinterklaas" didn't get me far).

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