10 Words English Language Wouldn't Have Without Shakespeare

By Lesley Vos

The great English playwright and poet William Shakespeare is the author of immortal works that deeply disclose inherent human passions, virtues, and vices.

Shakespeare's merit also lies in the fact that he had an enormous influence on English language's development. His works include more than 2,200 words which were not previously encountered in writing. Shakespeare was not afraid of experimenting with word-formation, "sticking" different words, prefixes and suffixes together. Thus, new shades of meaning or even completely opposite meanings of the same word were born. There is a very good expression in English: "words coined by William Shakespeare". He did not just invent new words out of nowhere, he "coined" words, putting all them into practice.

We do not even suspect that many of our usual English words were born many centuries ago thanks to Shakespeare. Let's take a look at 10 most beautiful of them and read the quotations from primary sources.

1. Addiction

"It is Othello's pleasure, our noble and valiant general, that, upon certain tidings now arrived, importing the mere perdition of the Turkish fleet, every man put himself into triumph; some to dance, some to make bonfires, each man to what sport and revels his addiction leads him." - Herald

Source: The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice (1604)

2. Advertising

"Come hither, Isabel. Your friar is now your prince: as I was then Advertising and holy to your business, Not changing heart with habit, I am still Attorney'd at your service." - Vincentio

Source: Measure for Measure (1603-1604)

3. Assassination

"If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly: if the assassination could trammel up the consequence, and catch with his surcease success." - Macbeth

Source: Macbeth (1603-1606)

4. Belongings

"Thyself and thy belongings are not thine own so proper as to waste thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee." - Duke Vincentio

Source: Measure for Measure (1603-1604)

5. Eyeball

"Go make thyself like a nymph o' the sea: be subject to no sight but thine and mine, invisible to every eyeball else." - Prospero

Source: The Tempest (1610-1611)

6. Fashionable

"For time is like a fashionable host that slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand, and with his arms outstretch'd, as he would fly, grasps in the comer: welcome ever smiles, and farewell goes out sighing." - Ulysses

Source: Troilus and Cressida (1602)

7. Hot-Blooded

"Why, the hot-blooded France, that dowerless took our youngest born, I could as well be brought to knee his throne, and, squire-like; pension beg to keep base life afoot." - Lear

Source: King Lear (1608)

P.S. The word "cold-blooded" is also Shakespeare's by the way.

8. Lonely

"I go alone, Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen Makes fear'd and talk'd of more than seen -your son Will or exceed the common or be caught With cautelous baits and practise." - Coriolanus

Source: The Tragedy of Coriolanus (1605-1608)

9. Luggage

"Hence, and bestow your luggage where you found it." - Alonso

Source: The Tempest (1610-1611)

10. Manager

"Where is our usual manager of mirth' What revels are in hand' Is there no play To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?" - King Theseus

Source: A Midsummer Night's Dream (1594-1596)

Gathered and submitted by , a writer of Bid4papers blog and a private educator of French language.


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