Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Original Bard

It's no secret I'm a fan of Shakespeare, although I don't exactly go around quoting him. Or do I? Actually, we all quote Shakespeare a whole lot more than we realize. You see, Shakespeare "invented" about 1700 words and a ton of phrases. Here are just a few:

  • accommodation
  • aerial
  • amazement
  • apostrophe
  • assassination
  • auspicious
  • baseless
  • bloody
  • bump
  • castigate
  • control (noun)
  • countless
  • courtship
  • critic
  • critical
  • dishearten
  • dislocate
  • dwindle
  • eventful
  • exposure
  • fitful
  • frugal
  • generous
  • gloomy
  • gnarled
  • hurry
  • impartial
  • inauspicious
  • indistinguishable
  • invulnerable
  • lapse
  • laughable
  • lonely
  • majestic
  • misplaced
  • monumental
  • obscene
  • perusal
  • pious
  • premeditated
  • radiance
  • reliance
  • road
  • sanctimonious
  • seamy
  • submerge
  • suspicious

  • Phrases:
  • all that glitters isn't gold
  • barefaced
  • be all and end all
  • break the ice
  • breathe one's last
  • brevity is the soul of wit
  • catch a cold
  • clothes make the man
  • disgraceful conduct
  • dog will have his day
  • eat out of house and home
  • elbowroom
  • fair play
  • fancy-free
  • flaming youth
  • foregone conclusion
  • frailty, thy name is woman
  • give the devil his due
  • green eyed monster
  • heart of gold
  • heartsick
  • hot-blooded
  • housekeeping
  • it smells to heaven
  • it's Greek to me
  • lackluster
  • leapfrog
  • live long day
  • long-haired
  • method in his madness
  • mind's eye
  • naked truth
  • neither a borrower nor a lender be
  • one fell swoop
  • pitched battle
  • primrose path
  • strange bedfellows
  • the lady doth protest too much
  • the milk of human kindness
  • to thine own self be true
  • too much of a good thing
  • wear one's heart on one's sleeve
  • witching time of the night

  • Have you invented any words or phrases? Tell me what they are!


    1. Oooh! THAT was educational! :) I had no idea.

    2. Ha! No way have I invented anything, and I had no clue he did. Well, I knew a few phrases, but not all that! What a genius.

    3. Yep, Shakespeare was and is da man. If you ever get a chance, shoot up to Stratford, Ontario. A whole town devoted to things Shakespearean. =o)

      Most of the phrases I've invented have to do with my cat. (Actually, other people may use the same words, I just don't remember seeing/hearing them before I made them up.) A few examples are:

      Yard TV (when the cat watches the world through one of the windows)
      Venus Flycat (when she lays on her back like she wants her belly rubbed, and then closes up and tries to eat my hand)

    4. Amanda Brice10:29 AM

      Wow, I knew he'd invented some phrases we use all the time today, but had no clue he'd invented all those words! Wow!

    5. I LOVE this, I LOVE that he made stuff up. Now I can too.

    6. my husbands always teases me about making up words because I am a writer---now I have ammo!

      I mostly add "ed" or "ing" to words that don't necessarily need them. And I like turning nouns into verbs. I notice my heroines do too.

      For instance, I didn't watch movies Sunday--I dvd'd my way through the weekend.

    7. I had no idea!! Themoreyouknow/

    8. Wow that is a lot of words. I'm always making stuff up. I really should write them down. i did write down when I called my some a dirtbag-ragamuffin. My husband made me write it. He could not believe I said it.

    9. Sometimes I coin a word at the same time everyone else is coining it, too -- back when everything was a "major" this or that (major crush, major disappointment, etc) I started saying "majorly"... only to hear others use it, too! Now, I'm no trend-setter, so I know they weren't copying me :-) -- it was just the way the English language works, that there would be a "need" to start saying things like "dude, you're majorly wasted" ... :-)

      And then there are words and expressions that my dh and I use:

      "minimalist" -- the perfect adjective for TV show opening credits that are very short, like Lost. (Longer ones, like for The Big Bang Theory or Battlestar Galactica, are therefore "maximalist.")

      "Shadow Ships" means spiders -- from the shape of the evil spaceships that the Shadows had on the TV show Babylon 5...

      "supermodel bad" -- as bad at whatever it is, as a supermodel is bad at acting

      Cara ;-)

    10. I love Shakespeare. Always have.

      My lexicon incoudes:

      guygasm and/or dudegasm
      our chothers (in stead of eachother)
      ahmedish (as in "that was so ahmedish of you")

    11. Shakespeare rocks! I had no idea he'd invented all those words.

      I'm sure I've coined a few here and there, but I can't think of any at the moment.

    12. Wow, that's really interesting, I did not know he wrote all that.

      There are some who think that he also wrote the bible. That might be giving him a little too much credit in the creation department.


    13. He was a genius, for sure!! I've made up words, but I can't think of any right now...will have to think harder...

    14. Yeah, pretty much everything turns out to be attributable to Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, or Ben Franklin. Or the Bible.

      Um, I say 'geek out' a lot, but I don't know that I invented it. 'Adorkable' is another favorite--as in, 'Jared Padalecki is adorkable'--but again, I can't take credit.