a burglar disguised as/dressed as Santa Claus

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wolfbm1

Senior Member
Polish
Hello.
"One night, a burglar dressed in a Santa Claus costume is spotted by a little boy who mistakes him for the real Santa Claus."

Source: Website: rottentomatoes.com. MOVIE INFO: Le Père Noël (2014).

I would like to rewrite that sentence using the phrases "disguised as" or "dressed as."
Do they mean the same thing?
Is the phrase "dressed as" used only whan talking about a fancy dress party?

Thank you.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    You could use "disguised as/dressed as Santa Claus", but you don't need to use "dressed as":

    One night, a burglar in a Santa Claus costume...
     

    Szkot

    Senior Member
    UK English
    In this case it is a false beard obscuring the face which forms the disguise. Without it the imposter pretending to be the real Santa would still be recognisable.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    We also have 'dressed up as', if you feel like going phrasal. I have a slight problem with 'disguise' in this instance, something about a person trying to conceal their identity by dressing up as a non-existent being. But I realise it's a film and suspension of disbelief is essential these days not only in movies.
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    The burglar was disguised as Santa Claus because he wanted to camouflage his true intentions and mislead people.
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    When I was a little boy our neighbour would dress up as Santa Claus and ask us to say a prayer or sing a carol before giving us presents. I believed Father Christmas existed until my twelfth birthday, I guess.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    The burglar was disguised as Santa Claus because he wanted to camouflage his true intentions and mislead people.
    I would say "disguised as" if he meant other people to think that he really was Santa Claus, and "dressed as" if he was just wearing a Santa costume for whatever reason.
     
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