Thursday, 10 May 2012

Words to Thank Shakespeare For

William Shakespeare was a bit of a radical and was responsible for 'inventing' a whole bunch of words; some 1700, that are still used in everyday English.


In most cases, he didnt create these words from thin air. Instead, he turned nouns into verbs, (which we still frequently do; googling for example) transformed verbs into adjectives and added prefixes and suffixes to all manner of words. Without question, the modern English language has much to thank William Shakespeare for.

A


Addiction:  First appeared in Henry V. ~ “Since his addiction was to courses vain, His companies unletter'd, rude and shallow, His hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports…”(I.i)

Advertising:  First appeared in Measure for Measure. ~ “I was then/Advertising and holy to your business…”(V.I)

Amazement: First appeared in King John. ~ “And wild amazement hurries up and down/The little number of your doubtful friends.”(V.I)

B


Bedroom: First appeared in A Midsummer Night
s Dream. ~ “Then by your side no bed-room me deny;/For lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.”(II.ii)

Blanket: First appeared in King Lear. ~ Blanket my loins: elf all my hair in knots;/And with presented nakedness out-face/The winds and persecutions of the sky.(II.iii)

Bloodstained: First appeared in Titus Andronicus. ~ “These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain’d face,/The last true duties of thy noble son!”(V.iii)

Blushing: First appeared in Henry VI Part 3. ~ “And, if though canst for blushing, view this face,/And bite thy tongue…”(I.iv)

C


Circumstantial: First appeared in As You Like It. ~
“…this is called the/Counter-cheque Quarrelsome: and so to the Lie/Circumstantial and the Lie Direct.”(V.iv)

Cold-Blooded: First appeared in King John. ~ “Thou cold-blooded slave,/Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side…”(III.i)

Compromised: First appeared in The Merchant of Venice. ~ “When Laban and himself were compromised/That all the eanlings which were streak'd and pied/Should fall as Jacob’s hire…”

Critic: First appeared in Loves Labours Lost. ~ “A critic, nay, a night-watch constable;/A domineering pedant o'er the boy;/Than whom no mortal so magnificent!”(III.i)

D


Deafening: First appeared in Henry IV Part 2. ~
“With deafening clamour in the slippery clouds…”(III.i)

Discontent: First appeared in Titus Andronicus. ~ “Rest on my word, and let not discontent/Daunt all your hopes.”(I.i)

Drugged: First appeared in Macbeth. ~ “…the surfeited grooms/Do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg’d their possets…”(II.ii)

Dwindle: First appeared in Henry IV Part 1. ~ “Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely since this last action? do I not bate? do I not dwindle?(III.iii)

E


Elbow: First appeared in King Lear. ~ “A sovereign shame so elbows him.”(IV.iii)

Excitement: First appeared in Hamlet. ~ “How stand I then,/That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,/Excitements of my reason and my blood,/And let all sleep?”(IV.iv)

Eyeball: First appeared in A Midsummer Nights Dream. ~ “To take from thence all error with his might,/And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.”(III.ii)

F


Fashionable: First appeared in Troilus and Cressida. ~
“For time is like a fashionable host/That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand…”(III.iii)

Frugal: First appeared in The Merry Wives of Windsor. ~ “I was then frugal of my
mirth: Heaven forgive me!”(II.i)


G


Gloomy: First appeared in Henry VI Part 1. ~ “But darkness and the gloomy shade of death/Environ you, till mischief and despair/Drive you to break your necks or hang yourselves!”(V.iv)

Gossip: First appeared in The Comedy of Errors. ~ “With all my heart, I'll gossip at this feast.”(V.i)

Grovel: First appeared in Henry VI Part 2. ~ “If so, gaze on, and grovel on thy face,/Until thy head be circled with the same.”(I.ii)

H


Hobnob: First appeared in Twelfth Night. ~
Hob, nob, is his word; give’t or take’t.”(III.iv)

I


Impartial: First appeared in Henry IV Part 2. ~
“Sweet princes, what I did, I did in honour,/Led by the impartial conduct of my soul…”(V.ii)

Invulnerable: First appeared in King John. ~ “Our cannons’ malice vainly shall be spent/Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven…”(II.i)

J


Jaded: First appeared in Henry VI Part 2. ~
“The honourable blood of Lancaster,/Must not be shed by such a jaded groom.”(IV.i)

L


Labelled: First appeared in Twelfth Night. ~
“…it shall be inventoried, and every particle and utensil labelled to my will.”(I.v)

Lacklustre: First appeared in As You Like It. ~ “And, looking on it with lack-lustre eye,/Says very wisely, ‘It is ten o’clock…”(II.vii)

Laughable: First appeared in The Merchant of Venice. ~ “That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,/Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.”(I.i)

M


Madcap: First appeared in Love
s Labours Lost. ~ “That last is Biron, the merry madcap lord:/Not a word with him but a jest.”(II.i)

Marketable: First appeared in As You Like It. ~ “All the better; we shall be the more marketable.”(I.ii)

Mimic: First appeared in A Midsummer Nights Dream. ~ “Anon his Thisbe must be answered,/And forth my mimic comes.”(III.ii)

N


Negotiate: First appeared in Much Ado About Nothing. ~
“Therefore, all hearts in love use their own tongues;/Let every eye negotiate for itself/And trust no agent…”(II.I)

Noiseless: First appeared in Alls Well That Ends Well. ~ “For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees/The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time/Steals ere we can effect them.”(V.iii)

O


Obscene: First appeared in Love
s Labours Lost. ~ “…I did encounter that obscene and preposterous event…”(I.i)

Outbreak: First appeared in Hamlet. ~ “The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,/A savageness in unreclaimed blood,/Of general assault.”(II.i)

P


Pedant: First appeared in The Taming of The Shrew. ~ “But, wrangling pedant, this is
The patroness of heavenly harmony.”(III.i)


Puking: First appeared in As You Like It. ~ “At first the infant,/Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.”(II.vii)

R


Radiance: First appeared in Alls Well That Ends Well. ~ “In his bright radiance and collateral light/Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.”(I.i)

Rant: First appeared in Hamlet. ~ “Nay, an thou’lt mouth,/I’ll rant as well as thou.”(V.i)

S


Scuffle: First appeared in Antony and Cleopatra. ~ “Upon a tawny front: his captain’s heart,/Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst/The buckles on his breast…”(I.i)

Secure: First appeared in Henry VI Part 2. ~ “Now is it manhood, wisdom and defence,/To give the enemy way, and to secure us/By what we can, which can no more but fly.”(V.ii)

Swaggering: First appeared in A Midsummer Nights Dream. ~ “What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here,/So near the cradle of the fairy queen?”(III.i)

T


Torture: First appeared in Henry VI Part 2. ~ “You go about to torture me in vain.”(II.i)

Tranquil: First appeared in Othello. ~ “Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content!”(III.iii)

U


Undress:
First appeared in The Taming of The Shrew. ~
“Madam, undress you and come now to bed.”(Induction.ii)

V


Varied: First appeared in Titus Andronicus. ~
“Sweet varied notes, enchanting every ear!”(III.i)

Vaulting: First appeared in Henry VI Part 2. ~ “The pretty-vaulting sea refused to drown me.”(III.ii)

W


Worthless: First appeared in Henry VI Part 3. ~
“Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless threats!”(I.i)

Z


Zany: First appeared in Love
s Labours Lost. ~ “Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany,/Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some Dick,/That smiles his cheek in years and knows the trick…”(V.ii)

***
So, next time you're wondering what relevance Shakespeare has to modern life, ask yourself this question: Where would we be without worthless, puking pendants and eyeballs?

To find more words invented by Shakespeare and more Bard-knowledge than you can shake a stick at, check out ‘What’s It All About, Shakespeare’.

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