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The Legacy of Androva Series

In The Shadow Of Shakespeare 🎭

I write (or rather I try to write) most weekends. Some writing sessions are easier than others. There are times it's difficult to find the right words. But with more than one hundred and seventy thousand words in the Oxford English Dictionary--not counting another forty thousand obsolete words--at least I have plenty to choose from.

It was a little different in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Shakespeare (seen starring in an episode of Doctor Who in the gif 😀) had approximately one third as many words at his disposal, which might explain why he invented so many new ones. Hundreds and hundreds, in fact. Most of them are still being used today. He wasn't only an amazing storyteller, he was also something of a language pioneer.

Shakespeare is sometimes considered inaccessible--the argument being that he's too literary or that his prose and poetry is too complicated for a modern audience to understand. I think it depends a great deal on the interpretation, but that's a subject for another day. Today's blog post gives a few examples of how his creativity stands the test of time. Here are ten phrases and ten words that first existed in Shakespeare's head! Thank you very much for visiting my blog today, and I hope you find the lists interesting ❤.

Ten Phrases

  1. All's well that ends well (from the play of the same name)
  2. Break the ice (from The Taming of the Shrew)
  3. Forever and a day (from As You Like It)
  4. Good riddance (from Troilus and Cressida)
  5. In my heart of hearts and In my mind's eye (from Hamlet)
  6. Kill with kindness (from The Taming of the Shrew)
  7. Laughing stock (from The Merry Wives of Windsor)
  8. One fell swoop (from Macbeth)
  9. Set my teeth on edge (from Henry IV, Part I)
  10. Wear my heart upon my sleeve (from Othello)

Ten Words

  1. Cold-blooded (from King John. First use to mean a lack of emotion. Needless to say, Shakespeare was also responsible for hot-blooded)
  2. Eyeball (from The Tempest)
  3. Gloomy (from several plays, 'to gloom' was already a verb)
  4. Majestic and also majestically (from several plays. First use as adjective/adverb)
  5. Motionless (from Henry V)
  6. Perplex (from Cymbeline)
  7. Satisfying (from Othello)
  8. Shooting star (from Richard II)
  9. Soft-hearted, cruel-hearted, and faint-hearted (from several plays)
  10. Watchdog (from The Tempest)


Anke said...

Some of these I didn't know were Shakespearean! :-)

Alex C Vick said...

I didn't know all of them prior to researching this post either! :-)

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