The Words of Shakespeare

If you have never read a Shakespeare play before the idea of Shakespearan language can seem a little overwhelming. However, whilst there may be some words which are incredibly complicated, such as ‘Honorificabilitudinitatibus’ (a Latin word meaning ‘the state of being able to achieve honours’), Shakespeare also invented many words which are now part of our everyday language.

Shakespeare introduced between 1700 and 3000 words to the English language and some of them may surprise you! Here are some of the most popular Shakespearean words that are used today. I’ve even covered my favourite insulting words of his…

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Commonly used words:

A

Addiction, arch-villain, assassination, arouse, accused, advertising, accommodation, amazement, apostrophe, auspicious.

B

Brave, bedazzled, belongings, bedroom, birthplace, blanket, bloodstained, barefaced, blushing, bet, bump, buzzer, bloody.

C

Character, cunning, cold-blooded, caked, cater, champion, circumstantial, compromise, courtship, countless, critic, control, critical.

D

Deserving, dawn, deafening, discontent, disheartened, rugged, dwindle, dexterously, dislocate.

E

Eventful, eyeball, epileptic, equivocal, elbow, excitement, exposure.

F

Fancy, fear, fashionable, fixture, flawed, frugal.

G

Grave, generous, gloomy, gossip, green-eyed, gust, gnarled, grovel.

H

Honest, hint, hobnob, hurried, half-blooded, hot-blooded, hurry.

I

Impede, impartial, invulnerable, inauspicious, indistinguishable, inaudible, impertinent, infectious.

J

Judicious, jaded, jarring.

L

Label, lacklustre, laughable, lonely, lower, luggage, lustrous, lapse.

M

Mad, manager, majestic, metamorphize, mimic, monumental, moonbeam, mountaineer, majestic, misplaced, multitudinous.

N

Negotiate, noiseless, new-fangled.

O

Obscene, obsequiously, ode, Olympian, outbreak.

P

Perpend, pedant, premeditated, perusal.

Q

Quaint, quake.

R

Respect, radiance, rant, remorseless, reliance, road.

S

Sanctimonious, submerge, suspicious, scuffle, secure, summit, swagger, saucy.

T

Torture, tranquil, testy.

U

Undergo, undress, unreal, uncomfortable.

V

Vile, vindictive, varied.

W

Worthless, warped.

Z

Zany.

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10 of My Favourite Shakespearean Insults

  1. Beef-witted – stupid, dull.
  2. Boil-brained – dumb.
  3. Churlish – rude/mean spirited.
  4. Fool-born – a fool from birth.
  5. Gorbellied – protruding belly.
  6. Loggerheaded – stupid.
  7. Lout – uncouth, aggressive.
  8. Bum-bailey – a bailiff or officer, someone who catches people by sneaking up behind them. Used in a sentence: “The traffic warden was a loggerheaded bum-bailey.”
  9. Milk-livered – coward.
  10. Idle-headed – foolish.

Because sometimes it is good to disrespect people with class. Those dankish, flap-mouthed pignuts!



© Rachael Bee and Raggie Writes, 2018 – 2020. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rachael Bee and Raggie Writes with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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