ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Sociology & Anthropology»
  • Folklore & Mythology

The Origins of Jack Frost

Updated on December 17, 2015

Jack Frost the Personification of Winter

Jack Frost is a figure that parents, for countless generations, have loved to tell their children about. Jack Frost is the impish character who personifies winter; and is the wintry figure who decorates surfaces with intricate patterns of ice, and is the person who makes noses tingle in the cold weather.

Despite his continued popularity, Jack Frost is not a modern character, and the origins of Jack Frost can be traced back hundreds of years to Scandinavian mythology.

The Origins of Jack Frost

The roots of Jack Frost, as a mythological figure, are generally thought to be in Norse or Viking mythology; with the name Jack Frost an anglicised version of Jokil Frosti, Jokil meaning Icicle, and Frosti, obviously being Frost.

In Norse and Viking mythology, Jack Frost is thought of as the son of Kari, the god of wind. The appearances of Jack Frost in Scandinavian mythology though, are brief and not very specific about the characteristics of the figure.

Similarly, tales of Jack Frost in Anglo-Saxon and Germanic mythology, are likewise short on details, although the closeness of Germanic mythology to Norse mythology, makes this unsurprising.

Other Personifications of Winter

Jack Frost is not the only personification of winter; and Old Man Winter or Father Winter, are terms used historically in the English language, although their use is rarer than that of Jack Frost. Old Man Winter, in particular, is not thought of as a fun or mischievous figure, but rather a stubborn one, where winter refuses to give way to spring.

Further a field in Russia, there is also a personification of winter that comes in the form of Father or Grandfather Frost, a figure who works with ice and water to sculpt the earth.

Many civilisations have had a figure that is associated with cold weather, but into the modern day, most of these figures are now linked together as Jack Frost, and characters who existed before are all but forgotten.

Jack and Jack Frost

Breetroad CC-BY-SA-3.0 Deviantart
Breetroad CC-BY-SA-3.0 Deviantart | Source

Modern Day Interpretations of Jack Frost

The lack of specifics about the characteristics of Jack Frost in European mythology has ensured a more modern take on the figure.

Jack Frost is now, almost universally, depicted as youthful boy of elfish origins, who is definitely mischievous in nature. This modern depiction can be traced back to a starting point of 1864, when the artist, Thomas Nast, painted Jack Frost as an icicle clad figure for Harper’s Weekly.

In modern stories, Jack Frost can be simply portrayed as the bringer of ice, with his character being anything from an impish joker, through to a vicious sprite.

Jack Frost has famously appeared alongside Rupert the Bear, where he is a relatively friendly character; and the British comic strip even deigned to provide Jack with a sister, Jenny Frost.

More recently, Jack Frost has also appeared on the big screen, and is the central character in the Rise of the Guardians, where Jack Frost is the “Guardian of Fun”. In this version of the origin of Jack Frost, Jack is a boy made immortal after his selfless sacrifice, and can now manipulate ice and snow.

For parents though, the actual origin of Jack Frost does not matter, as the idea of Jack Frost allows for much fun to be had when winter arrives.

Jack Frost and Polar Bear

Breetroad CC-BY-SA-3.0
Breetroad CC-BY-SA-3.0 | Source

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Colin Quartermain profile image
    Author

    Colin Quartermain 3 years ago

    Thanks Kim for taking the time to read and comment. Colin.

  • klidstone1970 profile image

    இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 3 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

    I didn't realize the origins of Jack Frost went that far back. How interesting. Of course with kids, I saw the movie about ten times :) Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed this. Best wishes, Kim

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)