rudolph & the rest of the reindeer

the christmas carol rudolph the red-nosed reindeer tells the story of a transformation from outcast (rejected by society) to hero by the title character. but why was rudolph an outcast in the first place?  the answer is an embarrassment for the reindeer community–it was his red nose!

reindeer pulling santa's sleigh
santa’s sleigh making a landing. that’s rudolph out front.

according to legend, reindeer are responsible for pulling santa’s sleigh (vehicle used to travel over snow) as he travels around the world delivering toys to children on christmas eve; and according to this eponymous (named after) christmas cut (song), nowadays rudolph is the most famous reindeer of all.

but it wasn’t always that way. at :40 in the video, it’s explained that, because of his red nose

all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him [rudolph] names.

at 1:40 in the song we hear that one of the names they used to call rudolph was pinocchio. kind of a stupid insult really; pinocchio’s nose isn’t red. rudolph didn’t like it though.

pinocchio reindeer
pinocchio’s nose problem is bigger than rudolph’s

at 1:15, the video below from the richyrocks youtube channel explains

they used to laugh and call him names. used to laugh. that does indicate those days are over.

a couple of other interesting points in this vid.

at :20, listen for this line…

he’s made fun of by the community of reindeer

make fun of means criticize or mock. the other reindeer made fun of rudolph’s shiny (bright, glowing) red nose.

rudolph & santa reindeer
a photo from the beloved 1964 american tv special. santa sees the benefit of rudolph’s magnificent shiny nose.

but that all changed, as the song says  at :52

one foggy christmas eve

foggy is a weather word. a cloud that is at ground-level is fog. foggy is the equivalent adjective.

foggy reindeer
visibility is limited when it’s foggy (

after rudolph’s red nose ends up being precisely what santa needed to guide him through the fog, the other reindeer completely adjust their opinion. richy as reindeer, also from the richyrocks youtube channel, uses many negative words to highlight (emphasize) this fickle (variable, inconsistent) behavior.

shifty (:20-30) describes a person who can’t be trusted or is always looking to deceive and won’t look u in the eye. waffling (1:10) means shifting your position on an issue or not making a firm decision. douchebag (1:19) is an arrogant, irritating or fake person. fake (1:44) is not authentic. poser (1:20) is someone who pretends to be something they are not.

fun english practicerichyrocks english on youtube

some more vocab from this vid…

gossip (:35) is talking about other people.  

epic (1:20) is a fashionable way to say something is cool or really important. there is a tendency to overuse it and sound like a douchebag.

jolly santa reindeer
santa claus looking jolly (

jolly (:35) is happy.  glee (1:25) is happiness.  u can also hear the word glee in the final verse of rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

then all the reindeer loved him, as they shouted out with glee,
rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, you’ll go down in history!

go down in history is an expression that means rudolph will be remembered by future generations (watch for it in the richy as reindeer video at 1:30 and in the song at 1:10).

this is a good opportunity to mark the difference between story and history. there is a lot of confusion about this for spanish speakers because the spanish word historia covers both english words. story is an anecdote. history is the study of past events. rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is the story of a christmas hero. the lyrics conclude that because of rudolph’s heroics, he made history.

reindeer threesome
3 reindeer celebrating (NOT 3 reindeers)

finally, note that despite the use of reindeers at :05 in richy as reindeer, the plural is irregular: reindeer (like fish, sheep and shrimp).

what do u think about rudolph’s transformation from outcast to hero? do rudolph’s song and the other two vidoes make u think reindeer are douchebags? share your answers under leave a reply

~merry christmas~ 





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