Thomas, Richard, and Dumbella

Stefan Diös pyas at
Mon Nov 5 18:19:39 CET 2001

Regarding Dumbella/Della as HDL's mother:

>         I don't think the names exclude each other. Her name is Della, and
>as a boy, Donald- never known for his subtlety- could jokingly have called
>her Dumbella.

As David (quoted above) and Don have pointed out, this seems indeed a very 
viable solution. But it could also be the other way round. Her real name 
might be Dumbella, but she might prefer to use Della as a shortened form. 
Not unlike any other Tom, Dick, or... well, maybe not the Harry we know.

Such an interpretation is hinted in the Swedish version of Don's "Duck 
Family Tree", where her name (at my suggestion) is given as

    Dumbella "Della" Anka

where "Anka" of course is the equivalent to "Duck".

Although not exactly pretty or flattering, the name "Dumbella" isn't quite 
so insulting in Swedish as in English. We know what "dum/b" is, but the 
dumbbells we might have around us aren't called anything like that. To me, 
the suffix "-bella" actually sounds nice. Almost like it would in Italian, 

Picky researchers might want to use the first-appearing name as the most 
"original" and therefore most "correct". That would be Della; since, again 
to quote David:

>>In their
>first comic strip appearance (1937), it's Donald's sister "Della" who is
>mentioned as being the boys' mother.
>         When a cartoon came out in 1938 with the same idea, now the mother
>was named Dumbella,

But I think it's presumed that the comic and the cartoon were conceived and 
produced more or less simultaneously, the cartoon just taking longer to 
finish. Also, to blindly use the first appearance as evidence might mess up 
the relations even further. I seem to recall that in the Sunday comic page 
of 1937, it was "cousin" Della who sent the kids to Donald. Not the sister, 
as in the cartoon of 1938 ("sister Dumbella").

Or maybe my memory, or some other part of my feather-brain, is on the wrong 
track somewhere here?

Stefan Dios
Malmo, Sweden

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