The American English Teacher Who Failed To Understand The Word “Vixen”

smarter_5thTo tell the truth, I like quiz programmes like this “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?” which is aired by StarWorld every Wednesday night. Yet it was the first time last Wednesday night I watched this quiz show. How come I missed all the tensions on each episode previously? Simple! Movie channels, National Geographic or even Animal Planet used to tarnish the lustre of this show! 😛 And it happened when those fave channels of mine altogether failed to show the best programmes so I had to switch the channels around before eventually I stumbled upon this show.

The night’s episode was on wedding. A female high school English teacher arrived at the show wearing a wedding gown and she claimed she just got married only three hours earlier! She wanted to go on with her wedding party as soon as she’s finished the game. She brought her new husband too into the show though her husband could only sit back as a spectator. The game eventually rolled and she selected the subjects one after another.

When she arrived at the 1st grade Animal Science, this was the part that astounded me! The question was actually of no bother and she breezed it through with a few thousand dollars already in her pocket by correctly answering the question. It went like this:

“Which one below is the female pig?”

a) Vixen.
b) Mare.
c) Sow.

She answered correctly by singling out “sow”. But the odd part came afterwards when the host unwittingly asked a question to the English teacher if she knew what is a vixen. Astonishingly she failed to answer one! Of course she had a good excuse implying that the question was labelled as “Animal Science” instead  of “English” but to me, the word ‘vixen’ is a word of basic English vocabulary!! And I think lots of 5th grader or even lower (especially in countries where English is a primary or official language) have recognised the word ‘vixen’ (a female fox) . I bet lots of you who are reading this article have been familiar with the word ‘vixen’ too.

As the conclusion of this article…. to all of you, my fellow non-English speakers, is it relieving to find that an English teacher from an English speaking country is not necessarily smarter than us the non-English native speakers a fifth grader (at English)?? :mrgreen:


The English teacher managed to answer correctly only two questions without the aid of the 5th graders. One of them is the question above while the other is the 1st grade English! The World Geography question on which continent is Danube river located was the one which delivered the coup de grâce to her!


17 responses to “The American English Teacher Who Failed To Understand The Word “Vixen”

  1. wah kok englis mulu sih? kan mo komeng jd susah neh. Tapi kalo saya ga tahu vixen berarti ga pa2 dong ya? hehe..

  2. Salam Cinta Damai dan Kasih Sayang ‘tuk Sahabatku tersayang

  3. Hadoooooooooooh kalau dah dikasih bahasa inggeris mampus daaaah

  4. Vixen?

    Parah juga kalau guru bahasainggrisdari Amerika tdk th itu.

  5. these foreigners, some of them are astonishingly smart, but they are likely to be outnumbered by the otherwise. seems we don’t have to be ashamed so much about ourselves, do we? *denial, padahal saya nggak kalah begonya compared to the fifth graders on certain things* :mrgreen:

  6. Kalo nonton yang versi Indonesianya aneh, ga seseru versi aslinya. Trus, rasanya dulu pas SD ga pernah belajar kaya’ yang ditanyain di kuis itu. Anak-anak sekarang makin diforsir ya? Kasihan deh. Anak TK aja udah belajar baca-tulis, bahkan didikte. Back to the topic, saya ga tau ‘vixen’ itu apa. Itu karena Om yang sering nonton Animal Planet sama NatGeo kali. 😛

  7. untung gw ngerti postingan yang ini…

    btw, gw gak tau tuh Vixen, Sow, dan Mare. jadi vocab baru nih bagi gw 😀

  8. @Ag bint

    Huahahaha…. **ketawa model mbah Surip**

    Mangkannya belajar dong. Nanti abis 5 postingan bahasa Inggris, bakalan balik lagi ke bahasa Indonesia. Ini baru 4 kan? :mrgreen:


    Jangan mampus dulu kangBoed, nanti kalo kumisnya udah tumbuh ngejreng baru boleh deh mampusnya… huehuehue… :mrgreen:


    Ya… sebenarnya yang saya mau tunjukan bukan parah nggaknya, tetapi mau menunjukkan bahwa tidak selamanya bule atau native speaker itu tahu bahkan kata2 basic sekalipun… 😀


    Sure thing. We don’t have to be ashamed of ourselves. What will become of us if we are ashamed of ourselves?? 😦 For information, this English teacher was graduated magna summa cum laude from Pepperdine University (heck I don’t know the whereabouts of it… :mrgreen: ).


    Lah… kalau sampeyan nggak tahu ‘vixen’ ya lumrah toh, sampeyan bukan orang Amerika atau orang Inggris. Kalau sampeyan nggak tahu rubah nah itu namanya baru keterlaluan. Nah…. vixen itu juga sebenarnya kata2 dasar, mangkannya ditanyakan sebagai “Animal Science” kelas 1.

    Saya mengetahui ‘vixen’ karena saya sering menonton Animal Planet?? Hmmm… perasaan saya sudah mengenal jauh kata ‘vixen’ sebelum ada Animal Planet deh… :mrgreen:


    Iya dong…. vocab-nya ditambah dong, moso tahunya cuma ‘handsome’ aja… huehehehe…. :mrgreen:

  9. emm… maaf kalau bahas inggris saya jelek ya…
    a) Vixen = rubah betina.
    b) Mare = kuda betina.
    c) Sow = ,,,,????.

  10. Is this the show immitated by a similar show on Global TV? Well, since I don’t subscribe to any cable tv, I just keep wondering how the show is. I also wondering why the Indonesian show do not tagged as “Apakah Kamu Lebih Cerdas Dari Anak Kelas 5 SD?”

    Btw, I recognized Vixen as a female american rock band existed in early 80’s. Did you recognized them, as well, Pak Yari?? So sexy.. by my childhood perspective 😀

  11. aseemm… gini-gini nilai B. Inggris gw gak ancur-ancur banget…

    handsome mah udah jadi kata penting kedua setelah ‘very handsome’. wakaakkaak 😀

  12. @alfaroby

    Buehehe… hmmm ya gampang toh, antara tahu dan nggak kan hanya tinggal melihat kamus. Rebes! :mrgreen:


    I observed a duplicate show aired by Global TV, though it is aired under the authorised licence. The host is Tantowi Yahya if I’m not mistaken. I wonder too why don’t they convert the title so it would be more Indonesian…

    No I don’t recognise them. The only all-female rock band I know is The Belle Stars from the 80s.. 😀


    Huehehe…. sorry deh… lah kok kata terpentingnya cuma ‘very handsome’ bukannya ‘the most handsome’?? :mrgreen:

  13. Ahahaha.. Shame of me. I dunno the meaning of those three words 😀 I guess it’s just because I never have to use those words in my daily life? (ngeles mode on)

    • Huehehe… you should not be. You are not an American nor a Brit. It’s always been a good excuse and it works! :mrgreen: I believe you have a good vocabulary though it is not necessary to include any female words for animal… :mrgreen:

  14. Dear Sir

    I wondered if you might like a link to both my Foreign word site and my English word website or press release details of my ensuing book with Penguin Press on amusing and interesting English vocabulary?

    with best wishes

    Adam Jacot de Boinod

    (author of The Meaning of Tingo)


    or wish to include:

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    The Wonder of Whiffling is a tour of English around the globe (with fine
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    with best wishes


    • Your comment hit my Pending box, so I saved your comment and make it appear on this article considering that this comment is not a spam since it did not hit the Spam box. I believe that your sites will be very interesting and If I have slack time I will visit your sites and possibly leave a comment if it need be..

      Best wishes…

  15. Thank you Yari

    that would be MOST kind

    with best wishes


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