Want to know all about the words Shakespeare invented? We’ve got you covered.
In all of his works – the plays, the sonnets and the narrative poems – Shakespeare uses 17,677 different words.
How Many Words Did Shakespeare Invent?
Across all of his written works, it’s estimated that words invented by Shakespeare number as many as 1,700. We say these are words invented by Shakespeare , though in reality many of these 1,700 words would likely have been in common use during the Elizabethan and Jacobean era, just not written down prior to Shakespeare using them in his plays, sonnets and poems. In these cases Shakespeare would have been the first known person to document these words in writing.
Historian Jonathan Hope also points out that Victorian scholars who read texts for the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary read Shakespeare’s texts more thoroughly than most, and cited him more often, meaning Shakespeare is often credited with the first use of words which can be found in other writers.
Examples Of Commonly Used Words Shakespeare Created
It is Shakespeare who is credited with creating the below list of words that we still use in our daily speech – some of them frequently.
Along with these everyday words invented by Shakespeare, he also created a number of words in his plays that never quite caught on in the same way… Shakespearean words like ‘Armgaunt’, ‘Eftes’, ‘Impeticos’, ‘Insisture’, ‘Pajock’, ‘Pioned’ ‘Ribaudred’ and ‘Wappened’. We do have some ideas as to what these words may mean, though much is guesswork. Watch the video below for more insight into words Shakespeare invented that have been lost in the mists of time:
And it wasn’t just words that Shakespeare created, documented, or brought into common usage – he also put words together and created a host of new phrases. Read all about the phrases that Shakespeare invented here. And see our complete Shakespeare dictionary, which lists hundreds of commonly used Shakespeare’s words that arent; so common today, along with a simple definition.
Seen enough words Shakespeare invented? Why not see them in action by reading our pick of the very best Shakespeare quotes (including the classic to be or not to be), or reading quotes by play, including Macbeth quotes, Romeo & Juliet quotes, Julius Caesar quotes and Hamlet quotes. Or perhaps you’re more of a romantic soul, and would like to read Shakespeare’s very best love quotes.
What do you think of these Shakespeare words – any words Shakespeare invented you think we should add? Let us know in the comments section below!
these words are very stupid and were very unneeded
hope you’re a troll, homeslice. I’d say “hurry” is a pretty necessary word, along with pretty much every other word on that list.
I love Shakespeare so much. He is my life. Whenever I’m tired of being an English teacher/Facebook mom, I read his works, scroll through Shakespeare Wattpads and look at the Facebook page about him. If you’re out there William, I just wanted to say I’ll gladly leave my husband for you.
Educate yourself woman! That old sod had been dead for centuries, I don’t imagine you (whoever you are) to be marrying a pile of bones and dirt! But then again, you could just be weird…
sigh… Some people don’t get a joke.
Sirrah! Did you think this good lady actually wants to marry Shakespeare. Also, it’s “has,” not had.
you are very mind boggling and i don’t care that someone spelt something wrong, where do you get off?
‘Twas comedic within mine humble opinion, verily I sayeth!
Surely he jests, this poppet, latter he is a swiver within nightsoil. Enow, I pondereth? Well met and pleasant journey smithy.
Sire Joffery, I have a haiku for you, if you are so kind as to lend me your time.
Please learn your place, sir.
You are quite the dunce, Jeffery.
I implore; suck my balls.
Thanks for reading :3
The same could be communicated for Rabindranath Tagore
People lack an appreciation for the double entendre and puns mastered by Shakespeare. People have also forgotten how language is a weapon, sharpened by a keen wit or dulled by a coddled dolt. Witness the ad hominem political rhetoric spewing out of Washington. Does anyone remember facts, figures, or logic? Does anyone remember the tempered defense of Shylock or Othello? How did they reproach their accusers? When will we be going back to attacking facts instead of character? What does this have to do with Shakespeare? It never ends well with despots on the throne. We need leaders, not despots. Just read Shakespeare.
wow cool i wish he was still around
SHakespear looks like humpty dumpty ngl with his long ass egg head and receeded hairline. Must be 1500s evolution.