List of English words invented by Shakespeare – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of English words invented by Shakespeare – Wikipedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Shakespeare introduced more words into English than all other poets of his lifetime combined. Although it is often difficult to determine the true origin of a word, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) verified the following words Shakespeare originated or words that he was the first to use in print.

  • Academe
  • accessible
  • accommodation
  • addiction (Shakespeare meant ‘tendency’)
  • admirable
  • aerial (Shakespeare meant ‘of the air’)
  • airless
  • amazement
  • anchovy
  • arch-villain
  • to arouse
  • assassination
  • auspicious
  • bacheolorship (‘bachelorhood’)
  • to barber
  • barefaced
  • baseless
  • batty (Shakespeare meant ‘bat-like’)
  • beachy (‘beach-covered’)
  • to bedabble
  • to bedazzle
  • bedroom (Shakespeare meant a ‘room in bed’)
  • to belly (‘to swell’)
  • belongings
  • to besmirch
  • to bet
  • to bethump
  • birthplace
  • black-faced
  • to blanket
  • bloodstained
  • bloodsucking
  • blusterer
  • bodikins (‘little bodies’)
  • bold-faced
  • braggartism
  • brisky
  • broomstaff (‘broom-handle’)
  • budger (‘one who budges’)
  • bump (as a noun)
  • buzzer (Shakespeare meant ‘tattle-tale’)
  • to cake
  • candle holder
  • to canopy
  • to cater (as ‘to bring food’)
  • to castigate
  • catlike
  • to champion
  • characterless
  • cheap (in pejorative sense of ‘vulgar’)
  • chimney-top
  • chopped (Shakespeare meant ‘chapped’)
  • churchlike
  • circumstantial
  • cold-blooded
  • coldhearted
  • compact (as noun ‘agreement’)
  • to comply
  • to compromise (Shakespeare meant ‘to agree’)
  • consanguineous
  • control (as a noun)
  • coppernose (‘a kind of acne’)
  • countless
  • courtship
  • to cow (as ‘intimidate’)
  • critical
  • cruelhearted
  • to cudgel
  • Dalmatian
  • to dapple
  • dauntless
  • dawn (as a noun)
  • day’s work
  • deaths-head
  • defeat (the noun)
  • to denote
  • depositary (as ‘trustee’)
  • dewdrop
  • dexterously (Shakespeare spelled it ‘dexteriously’)
  • disgraceful (Shakespeare meant ‘unbecoming’)
  • to dishearten
  • to dislocate
  • distasteful (Shakespeare meant ‘showing disgust’)
  • distrustful
  • dog-weary
  • doit (a Dutch coin: ‘a pittance’)
  • domineering
  • downstairs
  • East Indies
  • to educate
  • to elbow
  • embrace (as a noun)
  • employer
  • employment
  • enfranchisement
  • engagement
  • to enmesh
  • enrapt
  • to enthrone
  • epileptic
  • equivocal
  • eventful
  • excitement (Shakespeare meant ‘incitement’)
  • expedience
  • expertness
  • exposure
  • eyeball
  • eyedrop (Shakespeare meant as a ‘tear’)
  • eyewink
  • fair-faced
  • fairyland
  • fanged
  • fap (‘intoxicated’)
  • farmhouse
  • far-off
  • fashionable
  • fashionmonger
  • fathomless (Shakespeare meant ‘too huge to be encircled by one’s arms’)
  • fat-witted
  • featureless (Shakespeare meant ‘ugly’)
  • fiendlike
  • to fishify (‘turn into fish’)
  • fitful
  • fixture (Shakespeare meant ‘fixing’ or setting ‘firmly in place’)
  • fleshment (‘the excitement of first success’)
  • flirt-gill (a ‘floozy’)
  • flowery (‘full of florid expressions’)
  • fly-bitten
  • footfall
  • foppish
  • foregone
  • fortune-teller
  • foul mouthed
  • Franciscan
  • freezing (as an adjective)
  • fretful
  • frugal
  • full-grown
  • fullhearted
  • futurity
  • gallantry (Shakespeare meant ‘gallant people’)
  • garden house
  • generous (Shakespeare meant ‘gentle,’ ‘noble’)
  • gentlefolk
  • glow (as a noun)
  • to glutton
  • to gnarl
  • go-between
  • to gossip (Shakespeare meant ‘to make oneself at home like a gossip—that is, a kindred spirit or a fast friend’)
  • grass plot
  • gravel-blind
  • gray-eyed
  • green-eyed
  • grief-shot (as ‘sorrow-stricken’)
  • grime (as a noun)
  • to grovel
  • gust (as a ‘wind-blast’)
  • half-blooded
  • to happy (‘to gladden’)
  • heartsore
  • hedge-pig
  • hell-born
  • to hinge
  • hint (as a noun)
  • hobnail (as a noun)
  • homely (sense ‘ugly’)
  • honey-tongued
  • hornbook (an ‘alphabet tablet’)
  • hostile
  • hot-blooded
  • howl (as a noun)
  • to humor
  • hunchbacked
  • hurly (as a ‘commotion’)
  • to hurry
  • idle-headed
  • ill-tempered
  • ill-used
  • impartial
  • to impede
  • imploratory (‘solicitor’)
  • import (the noun: ‘importance’ or ‘signifigance’)
  • inaudible
  • inauspicious
  • indirection
  • indistinguishable
  • inducement
  • informal (Shakespeare meant ‘unformed’ or ‘irresolute’)
  • to inhearse (to ‘load into a hearse’)
  • to inlay
  • to instate (Shakespeare, who spelled it ‘enstate,’ meant ‘to endow’)
  • inventorially (‘in detail’)
  • investment (Shakespeare meant as ‘a piece of clothing’)
  • invitation
  • invulnerable
  • jaded (Shakespeare seems to have meant ‘contemptible’)
  • juiced (‘juicy’)
  • keech (‘solidified fat’)
  • kickie-wickie (a derogatory term for a wife)
  • kitchen-wench
  • lackluster
  • ladybird
  • lament
  • land-rat
  • to lapse
  • laughable
  • leaky
  • leapfrog
  • lewdster
  • loggerhead (Shakespeare meant ‘blockhead’)
  • lonely (Shakespeare meant ‘lone’)
  • long-legged
  • love letter
  • lustihood
  • lustrous
  • madcap
  • madwoman
  • majestic
  • malignancy (Shakespeare meant ‘malign tendency’)
  • manager
  • marketable
  • marriage bed
  • militarist (Shakespeare meant ‘soldier’)
  • mimic (as a noun)
  • misgiving (sense ‘uneasiness’)
  • misquote
  • mockable (as ‘deserving ridicule’)
  • money’s worth (‘money-worth’ dates from the 14th century)
  • monumental
  • moonbeam
  • mortifying (as an adjective)
  • motionless
  • mountaineer (Shakespeare meant as ‘mountain-dweller’)
  • to muddy
  • neglect (as a noun)
  • to negotiate
  • never-ending
  • newsmonger
  • nimble-footed
  • noiseless
  • nook-shotten (‘full of corners or angles’)
  • to numb
  • obscene (Shakespeare meant ‘revolting’)
  • ode
  • to offcap (to ‘doff one’s cap’)
  • offenseful (meaning ‘sinful’)
  • offenseless (‘unoffending’)
  • Olympian (Shakespeare meant ‘Olympic’)
  • to operate
  • oppugnancy (‘antagonism’)
  • outbreak
  • to outdare
  • to outfrown
  • to out-Herod
  • to outscold
  • to outsell (Shakespeare meant ‘to exceed in value’)
  • to out-talk
  • to out-villain
  • to outweigh
  • overblown (Shakespeare meant ‘blown over’)
  • overcredulous
  • overgrowth
  • to overpay
  • to overpower
  • to overrate
  • overview (Shakespeare meant as ‘supervision’)
  • pageantry
  • to palate (Shakespeare meant ‘to relish’)
  • pale-faced
  • to pander
  • passado (a kind of sword-thrust)
  • paternal
  • pebbled
  • pedant (Shakespeare meant a schoolmaster)
  • pedantical
  • pendulous (Shakespeare meant ‘hanging over’)
  • to perplex
  • to petition
  • pignut (a type of tuber)
  • pious
  • please-man (a ‘yes-man’)
  • plumpy (‘plump’)
  • posture (Shakespeare seems to have meant ‘position’ or ‘positioning’)
  • prayerbook
  • priceless
  • profitless
  • Promethean
  • protester (Shakespeare meant ‘one who affirms’)
  • published (Shakespeare meant ‘commonly recognized’)
  • to puke
  • puppy-dog
  • pushpin (Shakespeare was referring to a children’s game)
  • on purpose
  • quarrelsome
  • in question (as in ‘the … in question’)
  • radiance
  • to rant
  • rascally
  • rawboned (meaning ‘very gaunt’)
  • reclusive
  • refractory
  • reinforcement (Shakespeare meant ‘renewed force’)
  • reliance
  • remorseless
  • reprieve (as a noun)
  • resolve (as a noun)
  • restoration
  • restraint (as ‘reserve’)
  • retirement
  • to reverb (‘to re-echo’)
  • revokement (‘revocation’)
  • revolting (Shakespeare meant as ‘rebellious’)
  • to reword (Shakespeare meant ‘repeat’)
  • ring carrier (a ‘go-between’)
  • to rival (meaning to ‘compete’).
  • roadway
  • roguery
  • rose-cheeked
  • rose-lipped
  • rumination
  • ruttish
  • sanctimonious
  • to sate
  • satisfying (as an adjective)
  • savage (as ‘uncivilized’)
  • savagery
  • schoolboy
  • scrimer (‘a fence’)
  • scrubbed (Shakespeare meant ‘stunted’)
  • scuffle
  • seamy (‘seamed’) and seamy-side (Shakespeare meant ‘under-side of a garment’)
  • to secure (Shakespeare meant ‘to obtain security’)
  • self-abuse (Shakespeare meant ‘self-deception’)
  • shipwrecked (Shakespeare spelled it ‘shipwrackt’)
  • shooting star
  • shudder (as a noun)
  • silk stocking
  • silliness
  • to sire
  • skimble-skamble (‘senseless’)
  • skim milk (in quarto; ‘skim’d milk’ in the Folio)
  • slugabed
  • to sneak
  • soft-hearted
  • spectacled
  • spilth (‘something spilled’)
  • spleenful
  • sportive
  • to squabble
  • stealthy
  • stillborn
  • to subcontract (Shakespeare meant ‘to remarry’)
  • successful
  • suffocating (as an adjective)
  • to sully
  • to supervise (Shakespeare meant ‘to peruse’)
  • to swagger
  • tanling (someone with a tan)
  • tardiness
  • time-honored
  • title page
  • tortive (‘twisted’)
  • to torture
  • traditional (Shakespeare meant ‘tradition-bound’)
  • tranquil
  • transcendence
  • trippingly
  • unaccommodated
  • unappeased
  • to unbosom
  • unchanging
  • unclaimed
  • uncomfortable (sense ‘disquieting’)
  • to uncurl
  • to undervalue (Shakespeare meant ‘to judge as of lesser value’)
  • to undress
  • unearthy
  • uneducated
  • to unfool
  • unfrequented
  • ungoverned
  • ungrown
  • to unhappy
  • unhelpful
  • unhidden
  • unlicensed
  • unmitigated
  • unmusical
  • to un muzzle
  • unpolluted
  • unpremeditated
  • unpublished (Shakespeare meant ‘undisclosed’)
  • unquestionable (Shakespeare meant ‘impatient’)
  • unquestioned
  • unreal
  • unrivaled
  • unscarred
  • unscratched
  • to unsex
  • unsolicited
  • unsullied
  • unswayed (Shakespeare meant ‘unused’ and ‘ungoverned’)
  • untutored
  • unvarnished
  • unwillingness (sense ‘reluctance’)
  • upstairs
  • unsolicited
  • unvarnished
  • useful
  • useless
  • valueless
  • varied (as an adjective)
  • varletry
  • vasty
  • vulnerable
  • watchdog
  • water drop
  • water fly
  • well-behaved
  • well-bred
  • well-educated
  • well-read
  • to widen (Shakespeare meant ‘to open wide’)
  • wittolly (‘contentedly a cuckhold’)
  • worn out (Shakespeare meant ‘dearly departed’)
  • wry-necked (‘crook-necked’)
  • yelping (as an adjective)
  • zany (a clown’s sidekick or a mocking mimic)