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Friday, November 25, 2011

The Seven Dwarves


Have you seen the Disney movie called Snow White and the Seven Dwarves? In it, a beautiful young girl runs away from her wicked step-mother and lives with seven little men in the woods. Little people like these men are called dwarves (single dwarf). In this movie, each dwarf has a name that shows his personality. They are: Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey. Can you guess what each dwarf's personality is like?


Doc is the leader of the Seven Dwarves, and seems to be the oldest and wisest. "Doc" is short for "doctor," and he behaves a little like an old doctor. He mixes up words but is still smarter than the others.

"Grumpy" means grouchy, irritable, or bad-tempered. (My wife often calls me a "grumpy old man." She's kidding, of course--I think.) And Grumpy the dwarf is always complaining about something. He often gives angry answers to questions. For example, when they first meet, Snow White says, "How do you do?" and Grumpy snaps back, "How do you do WHAT?!"

Happy is the fattest of the Seven Dwarves, and always laughing, like Santa Claus.

Sleepy is always tired. It seems he can barely keep his eyes open. Even when there's trouble he can barely stay awake. His beard is extremely long, like the beard of Rip Van Winkle, a character in a story who slept for twenty years and woke with his beard one foot (30 centimeters) long.

"Bashful" means shy, and this dwarf truly is. He blushes quite easily. When people are trying to name the dwarves, this is the one they often forget. Can you see why? Bashful has the only "adjective" name that doesn't end in "-y."

Sneezy has terrible allergies. He sneezes so hard sometimes that he blows things--and even the other dwarves--across a room!

Dopey is the youngest; he doesn't even have a beard. He the most foolish and never speaks in the film. "Dope" is a slang word describing a stupid person, so he is called "Dopey." (The word "dope" may come from another slang word referring to drugs. Using drugs might cause a person to act in a stupid way.)


Most of the dwarves (except for Doc) have names that are adjectives. ("Sneezy" is not a word in the dictionary, but it's easy to imagine the meaning.) An adjective is a word that is used to describe a noun (person, place, thing, idea) or pronoun (me, you, him, her, etc.)


Here are five famous people, and five "adjective nicknames" to describe them. Match the person to the nickname. (Look up the words or the people if you don't know them.)

1. Napoleon
2. Bill Gates
3. Einstein
4. Madonna
5. Oprah Winfrey

a. Sexy
b. Sassy
c. Shorty
d. Richy
e. Smarty


1. Do you know anyone like the dwarves? Is there a smart friend you could call "Doc," or a friend with allergies you could call "Sneezy"?
2. Who's your best friend? Could you make a nickname for him or her that's based on an adjective?
3. Think of some other famous people and make "adjective nicknames" for them.


1c 2d 3e 4a 5b

This lesson is ©2011 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use."

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