Nugget of Knowledge: Cinderella and her glass slipper

Over 500 versions of this story told throughout Europe

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – We all know THIS Cinderella story:

Poor Cinderella had to stay at home while her stepsisters attended the Prince’s ball. But, Cinderella’s fairy godmother transformed Cinderella’s ragged clothes into a beautiful gown, and Cinderella was off to the ball. In her hurry to leave at midnight, she lost one of her glass slippers. The prince searched for the woman who could wear the slipper, found Cinderella, and they lived happily ever after.

Truth is, there are some 500 versions of this story told all across Europe. It comes to us from Charles Perrault’s book, “Mother Goose’s Tales” from 1697.

That’s where the mistake begins.

A glass slipper? Seriously? How comfortable is that?

In earlier versions, Cinderella’s slippers really were comfortable. They were made of fur. It’s a slipper, remember, not fragile glass.

Vair is an old French word that means a type of fur. It’s pronounced the same as verre, which means glass.

Historians believe that when Perrault wrote the version of Cinderella that stuck with us, someone told him the tale in French and he confused vair for verre, substituting glass for fur. Cinderella has had to wear a glass shoe for the last 300 years.

Did you miss an episode of Daybreak or want to re-visit a previous ‘Nugget’? View previous ‘Nugget of Knowledge’ entries on