How The 7 Dwarfs Got Their Names

Prince charming, treacherous witches, gorgeous princesses, and evil queens – it’s the makings of a good fairy tale. But there are those Disney characters that stay with you long after the story’s credits roll.

By far, one of the most famous gangs of supporting characters has got to be Snow White’s seven dwarfs.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

This was one of Walt Disney’s very first feature-length animated flicks. Not only did it smash it at the box office, but it also created a whole new type of entertainment.

Interestingly, it’s based on the Brothers Grimm German fairy tale. Snow White herself premiered in December 1937 in Los Angeles. In the audience where none other than Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland, who gave the movie a standing ovation as other Hollywood A-listers of the time dubbed the film a “folly,” certain that the cartoon type movie would flop. Boy, were they wrong!

Four years earlier, Disney got to work developing Snow White. Originally, the story was meant to focus on the seven dwarfs and their dealings with Snow White. Hilariously, their original names were meant to be Burpy, Deafy, Jumpy, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, and Wheezy!

So, how did they end up with the names we know and love today?

Let’s take a look.

It’s All In the Name

The dwarf’s names have changed a few times over the years as different versions of the stories were created, but eventually then names we know today stuck.


Bashful is shy. He’s not afraid to blush and bat his eyelids. He nervously knots his beard whenever the princess, who he calls “beautiful, like an angel” is around. Bashful is sentimental and pensive, even while looking at a washed teacup and declaring, “the sugar is gone.”

While he looks very similar to Sleepy and Sneezy, Bashful has a magenta cap and purple tunic.


Doc is bossy. He’s a born leader and he’s Grumpy’s rival. If something needs doing, Doc’s the one coming up with a plan. That’s because he has a fast mind. Doc’s easy to identify with his long white hair and beard. He’s the excited one whose words come out quicker than he forms sentences and he is always convincing the others that the princess should stay with them.

Doc sports glasses and an orange-brown tunic.

Walt Disney and Snow WhiteDopey

Dopey is bare-faced and bald. He is the youngest of the gang and sometimes behaves rather childlike. He’s also a really sweet dope, always insisting on stealing extra kisses from the princess. Dopey doesn’t speak, and he never really tries to.

You’ll recognize him by his purple cap and over-sized lime green tunic.


Oh, Grumpy. In a scene where the dwarfs find Snow White fast asleep across their beds, he declares, grumpily, “she’s female, an’ all females is poison!” Grumpy is a know-it-all. He says no to everything. And he’s just plain miserable!

His stubbornness and resistance, though, is what helps the dwarfs come to the princess’s rescue to get her away from the wicked queen.

This dwarf sports a tough beard, white hair, and red tunic.


Don’t we all love Happy? He’s so jovial about everything. Even when the dwarfs discover Snow White asleep in their house and think she is The Cleaning Monster, Happy stays happy. In fact, the only time he loses composure is when the princess takes a bite of the Witch’s apple and quickly falls into a sleeping death.


Sleepy is well named, really. He’s just as hardworking as the rest of the clan in the mine, but he never falters to keep that relaxed, laid-back working style. More than often, he needs a nap or two, and he’s happy to catch a few winks pretty much anywhere.

Even though Sleepy is forever yawning and exhausted, he always seems to have his wits about him. You’ll recognize Sleepy by his yellow-brown tunic.


You cannot miss Sneezy. You also cannot have any doubt about where his name comes from. He just can’t control those sneezes and they seem to have terrible timing, too! Of course, the other 6 dwarfs help their buddy out whenever they can, even going so far as to tie his nose in a knot!

Looking at the loveable characters and their traits, it’s easy to see where their names come from. They’re also pretty easy to identify and remember, don’t you think?

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