rudolph the red-nosed reindeer: what his epic transformation from outcast to hero reveals about the other 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 a cause for 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 (the current era) rudolph is the most famous reindeer of all.

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

all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names

used to means it happened in the past but not now.  to call someone names means to insult or make fun of.

a promo for the rudolph the red-nosed reindeer tv special--vocabulario en inglés

much of what the world knows about rudolph the red-nosed reindeer’s story is from this beloved tv special

as the song explains at :52, that all changed….

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 change their tune (changed how they talked about rudolph). the lyrcis say…

then how the reindeer loved him and they shouted out with glee,“rudolph the red-nosed reindeer you’ll go down in history

glee means great happiness.  go down in history means rudolph will be remembered by future generations.

cover of a very glee christmas dvd--vocabulario en inglés

the cast of glee singing with glee

u are probably aware that john denver‘s version of rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is one of many. there are other notable renditions by frank sinatra‘s pal (friend) dean martin, george clooney‘s aunt rosemary clooney; and burl ives, the voice of the snowman/narrator in the famous rudolph the red-nosed reindeer tv special,

burl ives sam the snowman and rudolph the red nosed reindeer --vocabulario en inglés

burl ives with the snowman he created the voice for and the most famous reindeer of all

additionally, there are popular versions by the doo-wop group  the cadillacs and beyonce‘s old group destiny’s child just to name a few. but the vocabulary in the additional lyrics provided by the accompanying kids choir (backup singers–pronounced KWYRE) in john denver’s version make it the best option for this post.

for example 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 grows when he lies, it isn’t red. rudolph didn’t like it though.

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

other observations that the kids choir makes include:

  • rudoph the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny (bright) nose like a lightbulb, and like a glow worm
  • they never let poor rudolph play in any reindeer games like monopoly
  • rudolph the red-nosed reindeer you’ll go down in history like columbus.

christopher columbus statue buenavista mexico city--vocabulario en inglés

christopher columbus went down in history, but nowadays people call him names like invader, oppressor and  slaver (wikipedia)

so the lyrics emphasize rudolph the red-nosed reindeer overcoming (triumphing over) the prejudice of the other reindeer and becoming a hero. these two tiktoks focus more on the bad behavior of the reindeer community.

@richyrocksenglish visit & search #rudolph for electrifying #english #vocabulary related to the song/story of rudolph the red nosed reindeer #englishcoach #englishteacher #englishpractice #englishclass #englishlesson #fypシ ♬ Flashing Lights – Kanye West

in the above tiktok recall appears at :02 and means remember. indisputably, at :07 means everybody agrees. however is used at :11 to shift the perspective to the time when rudolph was an outcast in his community because of his red nose. prior to (:12) means before. clutch (:15) means rudolph’s brilliant performance was at a crucial moment, under pressure. delivery (:16) refers to what santa does every year on christmas eve with toys for kids.

santa claus talking to a very young rudolph the red-nosed reindeer--vocabulario en inglés

santa saw rudolph’s potential from an early age. however, he never stopped the other reindeer from ostracizing him.

peers are equals, other members of your community. shithead is an insult used to call someone stupid, awkward or unpopular. ostracize (:38) is exclude. for being different (:39) is a perfect example of how verbs that directly follow prepositions should be in the -ing form.  and at :40  even santa claus emphasizes that santa claus agreed with the reindeer that rudolph’s shiny red nose was shameful (a disgrace)

this tiktok features (presents, spotlights) me as a reindeer to highlight how fickle (variable, inconsistent) reindeer behavior is in the rudolph story

@richyrocksenglish the other reindeer in the rudolph the red nosed reindeer song/story were not cool. for awesome related #english #vocabulary visit #englishcoach #englishteacher #englishpractice #englishclass #englishlesson #fyp #xmas #rudolph ♬ You Don’t Know Me (feat. Duane Harden) – Armand Van Helden

the text at :07 in the video says that the reindeer ridiculed rudloph relentlessly. ridicule means make fun of.   the first line that the reindeer in the video speaks is a question that uses present perfect 👉🏼 have u seen the glowing red nose that rudolph has?

present perfect is a better option than past tense in this situation because rudolph’s red nose is a circumstance that has existed for many years.

photo of richyrocks with a shifty look the text in the photo says shifty--vocabulario en inglés--rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

shifty reindeer spread rumors about rudolph’s anatomy

shifty appears in graphics at :17 and again at :21. it describes a person who can’t be trusted or is always looking to deceive and won’t look u in the eyetiny (:22) means smallcock (:24) is another word for penis.  the modal auxiliary verb would represents a hypothetical invitation at :27.

santa shielding his eyes from rudolph the red-nosed reindeer's shiny nose--vocabulario en inglés
even santa was an asshole about rudolph’s glowing nose. until it saved him one foggy christmas eve

at  :45 should, another modal auxiliary verb, implies that black reindeer noses are correctepic (1:12) is a fashionable way to say something is cool or really important. be careful, there is a tendency to overuse it. and a poser (1:20) is someone who pretends to be something they are not.

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 <em><span story of a christmas hero. as mentioned above, the lyrics conclude that because of rudolph’s heroics, he made history.

reindeer threesome
the glee of 3 reindeer (NOT 3 reindeers)

finally, u may have noticed that reindeer is almost always an irregular plural (like fish, sheep and shrimp). in other words, reindeer is both singular and plural

what do u think about rudolph’s transformation from outcast to hero and the reaction of the other reindeer?  share your thoughts under leave a reply

~merry christmas~ 


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