Christmas Carol Vocabulary List


Some of them are outdated words from days of yore, others are simply song lyrics your kids may sing along to, but silently wonder what the words mean – or maybe not so silently – like my daughter who recently asked me what the heck a bobtail is.

A bobtail, I’ll have you know, is an animal, such as a horse, having a short or shortened tail. And I suppose in those days when figgy pudding and fa-la-la-ing was all the rage, so was putting bells on the tails of your sleigh-drawing horses.

If you’re interested in learning more about the meanings of words heard in Christmas carols, here is a list of some, along with the songs in which they appear. You can gather with the kids around the fire, look up the words, discuss the meanings and then have a sing-along of the songs, or even go door-to-door caroling and share your new-found knowledge with the neighbors.

Or maybe you’re just elbow-deep in cookie batter and need a quick holiday-season vocab lesson for the kids. So go ahead, print it out, have them look up the meanings and call it a homeschool day. Happy baking!

Christmas Songs Vocabulary List:

  1. Wassailing (Here we Come a Wassailing)
  2. Mire (Here we Come a Wassailing)
  3. Ratching (Here we Come a Wassailing)
  4. Tidings (We Wish you a Merry Christmas)
  5. Kin (We Wish you a Merry Christmas)
  6. Yuletide (The Christmas Song)
  7. Aglow (The Christmas Song)
  8. Boughs (Deck the Halls)
  9. Holly (Deck the Halls)
  10. Manger (Away in a Manger)
  11. Lowing (Away in a Manger)
  12. Hark (Hark the Herald Angels Sing)
  13. Herald (Hark the Herald Angels Sing)
  14. Reconciled (Hark the Herald Angels Sing)
  15. Proclaim (Hark the Herald Angels Sing)
  16. Triumph (Hark the Herald Angels Sing)
  17. Incarnate (Hark the Herald Angels Sing)
  18. Deity (Hark the Herald Angels Sing)
  19. Yore (Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas)
  20. Mistletoe (I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus)
  21. Gleams (I’ll be Home for Christmas)
  22. Solemn (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear)
  23. Cloven (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear)
  24. Strife (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear)
  25. Prophet (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear)
  26. Bard (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear)
  27. Foretold (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear)
  28. Splendors (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear)
  29. Bobtail (Jingle Bells)
  30. Lank (Jingle Bells)
  31. Misfortune (Jingle Bells)
  32. Upsot (Jingle Bells)
  33. Savior (Joy to the World)
  34. Reigns (Joy to the World)
  35. Pining (Oh Holy Night)
  36. Yonder (Oh Holy Night)
  37. Virgin (Silent Night)
  38. Quake (Silent Night)
  39. Radiant (Silent Night)
  40. Bustle (Silver Bells)
  41. Glisten (White Christmas)
  42. Parson (Winter Wonderland)
  43. Conspire (Winter Wonderland)

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