Shakespeare Celeb: William’s Words
Words Shakespeare Invented
(under the guise of April’s Word Nerd Confessions)
While Shakespeare was a creative wordsmith–no doubt there, it should be noted that he tended to borrow from other sources and polish them so well that they became associated more with him than the original. I cite the sonnet form, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar as starter examples.
Another aspect of polishing came to words. It’s thought Shakespeare contributed at least 1,500 words to the common language, some sources say it’s closer to 1,700. He achieved this by changing nouns into verbs or verbs into adjectives or splicing together words. Shakespeare Online.com, a marvelous source of all matter Shakespeare, has compiled a short list of some of his contributions. For further elaboration on his wordly inventions please click here.
Note: clicking on the word will take you to the play where it was used.
Ready for a challenge? Create a sensible sentence with as many of the above words as possible. Here’s a starter…
So–next time you reach for the skim milk, hoping you won’t be disheartened to discover it’s worthless and sour, initiating a rant of discontent, consider a generous thanks to the Bard for providing a varied list to select from so as not to impede your outbreak towards those accused of leaving milk past its prime in the refrigerator, because a tranquil kitchen produces radiance. I know, this sentence is laughable, if not zany.
I haven’t had my coffee yet so am incapable of forming a coherent sentence that requires much thought. However finding the origin of puking has made my day.
I am glad Shakespeare has expanded your knowledge bank. He tends to do that with people. It’s an inadvertent talent of his.
I had no idea! Thanks for expanding my knowledge!
Which word totally amazed you?
‘Puking’ is definitely a contender… I just hadn’t realized our English lexicon hadn’t had these in it before his wordplay.
They might have been there, but it’s thought their appearance in his plays makes the words legit.