Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Words Invented by William Shakespeare

Longtime readers of this blog know I'm not the biggest fan of the Bard. But it's inarguable that William Shakespeare had a knack for clever turns of phrase.
Image of Williams Shakespeare from

In writing his now classic works of literature, Shakespeare also created words that would eventually become part of everyday language. For instance, if you've ever uttered the words "generous" and "majestic," or have even said the word "lonely," then you've used words that were originally made up by Shakespeare.

In an illuminating article, the Huffington Post has listed "13 Words You Probably Didn't Know Were Invented by Shakespeare." Besides "generous," "majestic," and "lonely," the Bard also came up with the following words:

Definition: Bad in a way that seems foolish or silly.
Origin: Derived from the verb "laugh."
Quote: "Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable." - The Merchant of Venice
Image via

Definition: A quality of brightness and happiness that can be seen on a person's face.
Origin: Derived from the Latin radiantem, meaning "beaming."
Quote: "For by the sacred radiance of the sun." - King Lear

Definition: Careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to.
Origin: From the Latin frugi, meaning "useful, proper, worthy, honest."
Quote: "Chid I for that at frugal Nature's frame?" - Much Ado About Nothing

Definition: The activities that occur when people are developing a romantic relationship that could lead to marriage or the period of time when such activities occur.
Origin: "Court" was first used to mean "woo" in the 1570s; prior, it was used to mean "king's court, princely residence," derived from the French cort.
Quote: "To courtship and such far ostents of love." - The Merchant of Venice

Definition: Move or act with haste; rush.
Origin: Likely derived from the verb "harry."
Quote: "Lives, honors, lands, and all hurry to loss." - Henry VI Part I

It seems that Shakespeare originated 1,700 words in all! For just 13 of them, however, check out the Huffington Post article at THIS LINK.

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