Paperino, Guus Geluk & Co.

Do you, dear Reader, know Paperino or Guus Geluk? They belong to the Mickey Mouse universe. More specifically, to the McDuck Clan.

Any idea? No?

Paperino is Donald Duck in Italian, while Guus Geluk is Dutch for Gladstone Gander.

Now, who is Gladstone Gander? He is Donald's cousin and rival. Not only does he try to steal Donald's fiance, Daisy Duck; but in contrast to Donald, who is haunted by bad luck, he never has to work either as he permanently wins expensive meals, fancy cars and furniture, and luxurious vacation trips.

In Dutch, his luck is actually represented by his last name, Geluk, meaning luck. In French, too, where he appears as Gontran Bonheur, his last name, Bonheur, means luck.

His English name, Gander, in contrast, refers to an adult male goose, and so does his Italian name, Gastone Paperone. Paperone comes from papero, meaning gander, and includes the ending one, which makes objects bigger, thus turning him into a big gander.

Paperino, Donald's Italian name, is also based on papero, this time meaning duck. The ending -ino makes him a small duck.

Following this logic, Daisy is called Paperina, ending in female ina, thus making her a small female duck.

Mickey Mouse, too, has different names. In German, he is spelled Micky without e, and his last name is reflected in the German word Maus. In Finnish, his first name has been adjusted to Mikki, while his last name, Hiiri, is the Finnish word for mouse.

Italians, instead, call him Topolino: topo meaning mouse, -ino turning him into a small mouse.

Now that we know their names, how about visiting them during our next vacation?

The city of Duckburg (English), Duckstad (Dutch), Ankkalinna (Finnish), Entenhausen (German), or Paperopoli (Italian) are claimed to be really worth a visit!

Dr. Daniela Ribitsch originally comes from Graz, Austria. She has lived in the United States since 2009 and teaches German at Lycoming College in Williamsport. She can be reached at ribitsch@lycoming.edu.