pseudo-translation of French Cendrillon, from cendre "ashes" (see cinder). Used figuratively for something unappreciated or something that ends at midnight. A widespread Eurasian folk tale, the oldest known version is Chinese (c. 850 C.E.); the English version is based on Perrault's "Cendrillon" (1697), translated from French 1729 by Robert Sambler, but native versions probably existed (such as Scottish "Rashin Coatie").
The German form is Aschenbrödel, literally "scullion," from asche "ash" (see ash (n.1)) + brodeln "bubble up, to brew." Native words, wisely passed over by Sambler, for "woman whose occupation is to rake ciders into heaps" were cinder-woman (17c.); cinder-wench (1712). Used figuratively for "neglected family member" or in reference to something that ends at midnight.
updated on December 08, 2017