Italian Word of the Day: Renna (reindeer)

Today’s word of the day is part of our Italian Christmas Word Advent Calendar series. Each day throughout December, we’ll post a word that is related to the holiday season. Enjoy!

The word for reindeer in Italian is renna (feminine, plural: renne).

IPA: /rˈɛn.na/

Reindeer are one of the most recognised modern Christmas symbols across the world because they are depicted as pulling Santa Claus‘ sleigh across the night sky. In Italian, these eight reindeer are called:

Cometa, Ballerina, Fulmine, Donnola,
Freccia, Saltarello, Donato, Cupido

Tu conosci tutti i nomi delle otto renne di Babbo Natale?

Do you know all the names of Santa Claus’ eight reindeer?


The reindeer’s most obvious characteristic is their antlers (corna), which unlike any other species of deer, both males and females grow.

The word for a generic deer on the other hand is cervo (plural: cervi).

Wild Fallow male deer standing in snow
Un daino maschio = A male fallow deer

Rudolph dal Naso Rosso (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer)

Here are the Italian lyrics to the song about the most famous reindeer on the planet, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!

Rudolph dal naso rosso
è lucente più che mai
Se poi lo guardi bene
Tu puoi dire splende assai.

Tutte gli danno addosso
sfottono quel naso insù.
Ai giochi delle renne
non parteciperà più.

Ma una notte di foschia
Babbo Natale fa:
“Ehi, con il tuo naso luce, dai,
La mia slitta guiderai?”

E tutti lo ameranno
e l’allegria riporterà,
Rudolph dal naso rosso
alla storia passerà!

Rudolph with the red nose
It is brighter than ever
If you look at it well then
You could say it shines a lot.

All the others are hard on him
They tease that nose
He will no longer take part in the other reindeers’ games.

But one foggy night
Santa Claus says:
“Hey, with your bright nose,
Will you guide my sleigh?”

And everyone loved him
And the joy will come back,
Rudolph with the red nose
Will go down in history!

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