We Owe It All To The Bard

Estimated Time: 10 minutes

Shakespeare was known for making up words and phrases. Some of those you may have heard of before are:

  • Green-eyed monster, Othello
  • Fashionable, Timon of Athens
  • Seen better days, As You Like It
  • Knock knock! Who’s there?, Macbeth
  • New-fangled, Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • Wild goose chase, Romeo and Juliet
  • Dead as a doornail, Henry VI
  • Swagger, Henry V
  • Love Letter, Two Gentlemen of Verona

Here's a short video about Shakespeare's turn-of-phrase.

And then sometimes, Shakespeare made-up words that we still don't have a clue what they mean.

10 Words Shakespeare Used With Unclear Meanings

Shakespeare coined many of his own words, played around with others, used existing words in new and imaginative contexts, and joined pairs of words together to create compounds like watchdog (in The Tempest) and birthplace (in Coriolanus).

Do you know of other words or phrases that Shakespeare invented?

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