Many kind of of us sing Christmas songs without offering a 2nd thought to the lyrics. But for those that are paying attention, tright here are some pretty primitive terms combined in with all of the Fa-La-La-La-La-ing. Here are the definitions of 10 of them, perfect for impressing your friends and also family as you gather ’round the piano—assuming anyone actually does that.

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1. “Bells on Bobtail,” From “Jingle Bells.”

This is sometimes misheard as “Bells on Bob’s tail” or “Bells on Bobtail,” as if Bob or Bobtail is the name of the steed. But bobtail actually describes the style of the horse’s tail—a tail reduced brief, or a tail gathered up and also tied in a knot, which you periodically watch in dressage occasions these days.

2. “Tright here We Got Upsot,” Also From “Jingle Bells.”

This is in among the often-ignored verses, yet the complete lyric goes, “The steed was lean and also lank, misfortune seemed his lot, we ran right into a drifted financial institution, and there we got upsot." According to Minnesota Public Radio, it implies upset or overturned, as you have the right to more than likely guess from the lyrics. Judging by its use in other poems and also songs of the era, it have the right to also suppose upset in the emotional sense.

3. “Troll the Ancient Yuletide Carol,” From “Deck the Halls.”

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In today’s lingo, this phrase provides us visions of intend people on the internet, all set to launch anonymous assaults on beloved Christmas songs. But in the 1800s, the word was frequently provided with one of its now-little-recognized meanings: to sing loudly and also plainly.

4. “Pray You, Dutitotally Prime Your Matin Chime, Ye Ringers; May You Beautitotally Rime Your Evetime Tune, Ye Singers,” From “Ding Dong Merrily On High.”

Matin refers to the morning prayers of the Anglihave the right to church. Although the interpretation of rime is actually a thin coating of ice, it may just be an old, different spelling of rhyme.

5. “Still Thturbulent the Clstove Skies They Come,” From “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.”

If you’re choose me, your initially believed goes to “cloven hooves” and you wonder what that has to perform via the birth of Jesus. The reason they’re referred to as clstove hooves is bereason cloven indicates split or parted—the song is referring to the parting of the clouds in the skies for angels to come dvery own and also sing.

6. "The Holly Bears a Bark as Bitter as Any Gall," From "The Holly and The Ivy."

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Gall implies rancor or bitterness of heart, yet it likewise suggests bile. I suppose bile does not often taste great.

7. “How Are Thy Leaves So Verdant!” From “O Christmas Tree.”

Verdant sindicate indicates green.

8. “Then Pretfinish That He Is Parkid Brown” From “Winter Wonderland.”

Parson have the right to be a word for a member of the clergy, specifically a Protestant pastor.

9. “The Cattle Are Lowing, the Poor Baby Wakes,” From “Away In A Manger.”

This is frequently misheard as “the cattle are lonely.” If you haven’t grvery own up in cattle nation, you could not know this, but lowing is the deep, low sounds made by livestock. When a cow goes “moo,” it’s lowing.

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10. “More Rapid Than Eagles His Coursers They Came” and “So Up to the House-Top The Coursers They Flew,” From “A Visit From St. Nicholas.”


Courser is an additional word for a rapid horse, and also the author of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (which has been much-discussed over the years) supplies it to refer to reindeer too.