Shakespeare Did It Too: Weird Words The Bard Made Common

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Trivial Diversions

Shakespeare Did It Too: Weird Words The Bard Made Common

Shakespeare Did It Too: Weird Words The Bard Made Common

It’s a common experience for the younger generation to be berated by older folks who think we’re ruining the English language with our made up words and weird slang. Bae? Bah! But a well-informed student of English would know that making up words or using them in new ways is an important part of English, going back to Shakespeare himself. Many of the words we use regularly today were newfangled and unfamiliar when Shakespeare penned them. Maybe today’s new words aren’t so bad after all.

1. Gloomy

“Forced in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods?” – Titus Andronicus

2. Majestic

“This is a most majestic vision” – The Tempest

3. Hurry

“Lives, honors, lands, and all hurry to loss.” – Henry VI Part 1

4. Generous

“Free me so far in your most generous thoughts / That I have shot mine arrow o’er the house / And hurt my brother.” – Hamlet

5. Zany

“Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany” – Love’s Labour’s Lost

6. Rant

“I’ll rant as well as thou.” – Hamlet

7. Swagger

“If he swagger, let him not come here.” – Henry IV, Part 2

8. Arouse

“And now loud-howling wolves arouse the jades.” – Henry IV, Part 2

9. Critic

“A critic, nay, a night-watch constable.” – Love’s Labour’s Lost

10. Lonely

“Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen/makes fear’d and talk’d of more than seen.” – Coriolanus

11. Undress

“Madam, undress you and come now to bed.” – Taming of the Shrew

12. Bandit (originally banditto)

“Great men oft die by vile bezonians/A Roman sworder and banditto slave/Murder’d sweet Tully” – Henry VI, Part 2

Now check out these Shakespearean insults.

 

Related topics shakespeare, words
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