Shakespeare’s Novel Neologisms We Still Use

William Shakespeare, neolgoism

In honor of William Shakespeare, we’d like to share some words popularized by the Bard himself. Shakespeare died on April 23rd and was baptized on April 26th; his actual birth date remains unknown. Did Shakespeare coin the following terms? Probably not—these words may have been in conversational usage when he committed them to the page, or they may have previously appeared in the writings of his less-prominent contemporaries.

Whether or not these words are Shakespeare coinages, the plays of Shakespeare indubitably brought many novel words and phrases to the universal consciousness of English speakers worldwide. The continued popularity of Shakespeare’s writing keeps 16th- and 17th-century words alive that might have otherwise faded into obscurity.











Do you know the Shakespeare plays that use these following terms? Let us know.



  1. The Harlequin Lady -  June 9, 2016 - 6:49 pm

    Henry V will always be my favorite.
    Once more unto the breach!

    • phil -  November 5, 2016 - 2:00 am

      dear friends, once more, or close up the wall with our English dead

  2. serder -  June 8, 2016 - 4:22 am

    Please consider statement retratction. I am proud member of

  3. ashley -  May 23, 2016 - 11:02 am

    i love this is awesome

  4. kogami -  May 2, 2016 - 8:21 am

    very infrmative for people who thought that he was a good-for-nothing brat.

    • markeisha -  May 23, 2016 - 9:41 am

      i ike this.

  5. cozy -  April 28, 2016 - 7:38 pm

    2 Chainz or not 2 Chainz, that is the question

  6. Mhar -  April 27, 2016 - 6:34 pm

    Shakespeare in America. Who cares?

    Balagtas in Philippines.

    • The Harlequin Lady -  June 9, 2016 - 6:47 pm

      Hello fellow Filipino.
      You are either trolling or that must have been a typo. Shakespeare is not American, he is English. Just thought I’d put it out there.

  7. 3ggsy -  April 27, 2016 - 8:48 am

    Wow it’s amazing how we still use these words today I guess you can say we have good taste in wordPLAY

    • Baby Rump Kisser -  May 5, 2016 - 11:19 am

      That was awful. Feel bad about it.

      • Unknown -  June 5, 2016 - 4:35 pm

        Thank you, Baby Rump Kisser.

  8. Unknown -  April 25, 2016 - 7:33 pm

    He used swagger in A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and he may have used foul mouthed

    • Who else here LOVES emojis? -  April 26, 2016 - 5:35 pm

      That’s cool. I’ve never really read an actual Shakespeare play, but I probably wouldn’t get it because I’m only in 5th grade so…

      • Encouragement :) -  April 27, 2016 - 11:42 pm

        I don’t believe that! My friends and I acted out a Shakespeare play in 5th grade. :) It’s true, the language then was much different from the way we talk now, so it can be a bit confusing at first. However, there are so many resources available to help. Dictionaries, like this website, help with difficult words. Also, there are many versions of the plays that write out the story in modern English next to the original writing. See if your school library has one of these. Also, I’m sure your teacher would always be willing to help you find answers to any questions you have. They would probably also have suggestions on which plays you might like most.

        I say, don’t ever avoid trying a book because you don’t think you’re good enough for it. Some may turn out to be difficult, but it’s never not worth a shot! The only way to get better at reading, learn more, and understand books better is just to try it!

        Go for it, I believe in you!

        • hi -  May 25, 2016 - 5:29 pm

          my teacher is a brat

        • Emily Xiong -  June 20, 2016 - 6:24 pm

          Your words are so inspiring, thanks so much. I am from China and as a new beginner of English, do you think it’s a good idea if I read Shakespeare’s novel as a way of learning English?

      • Totally Confused -  May 3, 2016 - 6:25 pm

        You could always start with Merchant of Venice. You might not understand all the words or phrases, but ask your parents for the Cliff Notes version where everything is explained.

      • markeisha -  May 23, 2016 - 9:45 am

        markeisha like it.

      • MrsW -  June 5, 2016 - 11:53 am

        Don’t worry. You will have a chance to read Shakespeare. Either in middle school or high school. Unless you check out Shakespeare on your own.

    • Jimmy -  April 27, 2016 - 5:23 pm

      I’m pretty sure he did. I will check.

  9. Jaedyn -  April 25, 2016 - 9:23 am

    My favorite line in one of his plays is a murderer stabbing someone while saying, “What, you egg?”

    • Ariana -  April 26, 2016 - 9:29 am

      That would be from Macbeth.

  10. Matt Shoemaker -  April 25, 2016 - 6:17 am

    I agree even though he is a still good writer. He did steal a lot of stuff from plays and the Greek.

    • Caren -  April 25, 2016 - 9:31 am

      People in Shakespeare’s day didn’t have the same idea of “copyrighting” as we do, so to rewrite or recreate historical events or myths was quite common and acceptable. It’s what he did with them that matters.

      • itsa -  April 27, 2016 - 5:19 am


    • macaroonmonster2608 -  April 26, 2016 - 3:48 am

      Actually, it was not considered stealing. During Shakespeare’s time, it was considered quite common for playwrights to ‘steal’ lines or plots from plays. What made Shakespeare great was the fact he could change the plot and make it his own by projecting his feelings into the plays that he wrote.

    • Burger with Ketchup -  April 26, 2016 - 6:08 am

      Yeah and we continue his legend by re-inacting his plays

  11. Hi -  April 23, 2016 - 8:24 pm

    If y’all know what The Game is….

    I just lost The Game.

    • Zane -  April 25, 2016 - 5:05 pm

      I hate you. lol NR

    • Ugh -  April 26, 2016 - 1:11 am

      I just lost The Game. ;-)

      • Valencia -  April 26, 2016 - 12:07 pm

        That brought back memories! I had been winning the game for about 6 years. :P

        • BookDragon -  April 27, 2016 - 10:19 am

          What game??? I am confused

    • cggggggggggggggg -  April 27, 2016 - 6:33 am

      I also just lost the game

    • ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) -  April 28, 2016 - 1:03 pm

      whyyyyyyyyyyyyy u got to be so rude

  12. ThePurpleCat -  April 21, 2016 - 5:19 pm

    He also first used “puke.”

    • HELLO -  April 24, 2016 - 6:47 pm


    • lol -  April 25, 2016 - 2:41 pm

      ur so cool

    • Cheryl Hughes -  April 26, 2016 - 8:39 am

      This is very interesting. I have always thought this word best portrays this bodily act best.

  13. NOOBISH -  April 21, 2016 - 9:13 am


    • mac -  April 22, 2016 - 5:08 pm

      did he coin the phrase, ‘tempest in a tea cup, for it seems that’s what we have here.
      for better or worse we have his works and, it seems millions saw something in that.
      i think some of the correspondents are critting the wrong author; try Elmo over at Sesame Street.

  14. PAL -  April 21, 2016 - 8:07 am

    It is quite impressive that even to this day, many people still quote him without even knowing it. It goes to show what a great writer and story teller he was.

    • NOOBISH -  April 21, 2016 - 9:12 am

      Shakespeare was a rotten theif – he stole bits from other plays and Geek (should be Greek but I couldn’t resist it) mythology

      • SAME PERSON -  April 21, 2016 - 9:14 am


        • awesomepatelisindian -  April 25, 2016 - 1:43 pm

          he was weird he gay

      • mikatile -  April 24, 2016 - 11:49 am

        You saw a documentary and believed it all?
        Someone told you that?
        You believe no author gets inspiration from other sources?
        You think you’re clever?

        You’re not clever ;)

        • SeaDragon -  April 25, 2016 - 9:13 am

          I am an author, and i get insperation from MANY different sources.

          • Jimmy -  April 27, 2016 - 5:24 pm

            {offhand comment} do you write any books?

        • Vee -  April 27, 2016 - 10:41 pm

          That you have so sweetly managed to convince me that it is commonplace for authors to be inspired by the works of their peers and/or predecessors, I shall remain forever indebted to you. Thank you! :D

      • SeaDragon -  April 25, 2016 - 9:14 am

        Greek Mytholigy is AWESOME!!! :-(

        • Joel -  May 12, 2016 - 8:12 am

          I agree! The Greeks are awesome with mythology!

      • bob -  April 25, 2016 - 4:43 pm

        That is just a theory. They have not proved it, though there is some evidence suggesting so.

      • someone who studies Shakespeare -  April 27, 2016 - 6:06 am

        While you may believe he was a rotten thief, it was not wrong of him to use plotlines and other things from other playwrights. In fact, it was quite common during the Elizabethan period.

        • Totally Confused -  May 3, 2016 - 6:27 pm

          It is quite common today!! You ever watched a soap opera???

          • Joel -  May 12, 2016 - 8:11 am

            A soup opera? What in the world is that?

    • Denise -  April 21, 2016 - 12:57 pm

      It is unfortunate that often, when he is quoted, HIS meaning is not the meaning people are using the quote to convey.

  15. sean -  April 24, 2015 - 2:09 am

    He is still the best composer this world has ever met. I don’t think anyone would disagree with my comment.

    • NOOBISH -  April 21, 2016 - 9:10 am

      i disagree – so there

    • Jeff -  April 21, 2016 - 9:25 am


      • april siles -  April 26, 2016 - 11:46 am

        I Disagree as well but why do you

    • Kristina -  April 24, 2016 - 4:21 am

      I also disagree. he didn’t write music!

      • Steve -  April 26, 2016 - 6:35 am

        Me too

    • lol -  April 25, 2016 - 2:42 pm

      nah dood

  16. Who cares -  May 7, 2014 - 8:12 am

    Lawl. Swag-rific.

    • Paul -  January 2, 2015 - 1:10 am

      Do ya think he ever had alternative ideas left unpublished say for instance in coining his name perhaps he considered Willy Wigglestick and forgot it for some untold reason. After all they probably did have a series of bloopers worth the publishing in his time.

    • Violet -  April 22, 2016 - 5:48 am

      I kno, right? I really doubt people are using the word “swagger” like shakespeare did.

  17. Sandwich Barkley -  April 24, 2014 - 11:55 am

    Shakepare most notably invented the word “conch” in Lord of teh Flies, a really beautiful piece about the modern condition

    • Anonny -  April 25, 2014 - 11:17 am

      Shakespeare did not invent the word “conch” and he did not write Lord of the Flies

    • Johnathon -  April 29, 2014 - 11:51 am

      Excuse me for “being religious” but even if he did invent the word conch, he actually didn’t. Somebody discovered the alphabet. And somebody had to create the human. If the Earth created the human, who created the Earth? And even if you say the Earth has always been, why isn’t the human always here, since the earth created him? Then what do say to my comment? I’m not trying to be offensive, I’m just bored an need something to do.

      • Holms -  June 13, 2014 - 10:40 pm

        Look up ‘cosmological argument’ and its rebuttals to see why you are being not only tedious but also incorrect.

      • Rebecca -  April 23, 2016 - 4:07 am

        Its stupid to argue whether God exists or not on the subject of Shakespeare inventing words. Bacically what your saying is that God invented everything that we do (which is fine) but that would mean that nobody can actually take credit for anything.

        • Prince Vin -  April 24, 2016 - 7:01 am

          Rebecca Actually We Humans Achieved In Life Both Languages, Writings Discoveries, Inventions, Etc Man Is Never To Be Credited For That Rather God The Creator Should, Because It’s Him[God] Who Inspires Man On What Ever Good Things That Man Exhibits. On The Account Shakespeare He Is Just Unique When It Comes To That, That Is What He He Born For Such That God Himself Shall Glorified And Not For Himself[Shakespeare]. Funny Enough God Decide Never To Inspire Any Other Person To Write Extensively And In Inspiring Words As Shakespeare If Man Deviate Crediting All The Glory To God.

          • Paul A Williams -  April 27, 2016 - 3:50 pm

            Mankind has a portion of responsibility by being his or her best self. God cannot do it all, but requires us to mimic the Divine by ourselves being creators of good. We all create something in our lives, even if it is by default. In William Shakespeare’s case, he applied himself to the craft of writing, for which he was uniquely talented. A lot of people are talking these days about legacy, which means what we leave behind when we go. It could be a good family; it could be visual, musical or written arts; it could be a business that helps society in some way, etc.

  18. Bedford lawyer -  November 21, 2013 - 2:25 pm

    Did Shakespeare really have swagger? I guess he must have had swagger to be such a thief.

  19. Sylva-MD-Poetry -  May 17, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    Why Shakespeare was able to create new words and we aren’t able to create…I have my Neologism…On Armenian genocide created through my Childhood dreams and screams…

    Genocide—Armenian Genocide, the first genocide of the twentieth century

    genocided / genocide cohorts—new generations whose relatives were massacred.
    Recent cohorts have risen from the orphans of the genocided population.
    giver’s ground—where any escaping from genocide are welcome to live.

    • ajk -  April 27, 2016 - 7:21 am


  20. Lily -  May 15, 2013 - 2:51 pm

    Whoever “Jake” is, he is absolutely wrong, and misleading others to believe that his silly conspiracy theories are fact. The only reason some confused so-called scholars say Shakespeare was not the true author of the works attributed to him is that they cite the fact that he only received what would today be considered a sixth grade education. Therefore, they say, he did not have sufficient intelligence to pen such advanced writing. This is nowhere near enough evidence to consider it fact.

    • jacquie -  April 24, 2014 - 11:26 am

      shakesper is dumb because he is british

      • WordFreak -  May 23, 2014 - 10:22 pm

        I suggest you read Pride and Prejudice.
        And if things British are “dumb”, you should find another language.

        • HalfBrain -  April 17, 2015 - 2:21 pm

          Can’t say it better than you, WordFreak. I rather like the British language and culture, even though I’m American.

          • Farai -  April 22, 2016 - 12:21 pm

            British language is undoubtedly cool. I like it as well

      • Mr S -  June 26, 2015 - 7:17 am

        Please consider statement retratction. I am proud member of the UK Nation and without us the UK, there would be no such thing as global civilsation on a decent foundation. By the way, we gave you the English language, so feel free to taunt us in Turkish or insult us in Iranian, but show proper gratitude for us the givers of the linguistic air

        • lolcats21 -  April 21, 2016 - 7:46 am

          welcome back to the internet in a nutshell everyone

        • Jenna -  April 26, 2016 - 7:49 am

          Please consider statement retraction. I am a proud member of the United States; while I do disagree with jacquie I also find fallacies in your statement. Is it just me or where the Egyptians the first to start global civilization (not civilsation)? And you gave no one the English language. It is a language. It is learned. You have no trademark or copyright on that. Also if they had insulted British literature in Turkish or Iranian (which no one should insult Brit Lit) you wouldn’t have been able to rebuttal or defend your opinion. So shouldn’t we all be grateful that there is a common language that we can all communicate and interact with rather than try to claim it and make others feel inadequate for not being from the mother country?

      • ThePurpleCat -  April 21, 2016 - 5:21 pm

        England is so much better than America. I would much rather be British than American. It’s us Americans who are dumb.

        • andrewkane -  April 23, 2016 - 9:42 am

          If you believe your own country is lesser than another, then why don’t you do something about it like trying to motivate and be a role model? Also, when you say “us Americans are dumb” you are lumping yourself into that stereotype and effectively contradicting any argument attempting to make an intelligent observation. If you believe you aren’t a member of the “dumb” Americans, then what makes you better than the average American and the voice of America anyway? Additionally, how can you speak on England’s behalf? Have you been a citizen of England and truly got to understand their culture(s)? The entire UK has land mass smaller than just Oregon, and the US has 5 times the population of the UK. It isn’t an accurate comparison of cultures due to the copious amount of different cultures in the US that one can experience. I understand it is your opinion, but I would like to know what basis it has. If we want a better country, then I believe it starts with the individual’s influence on others.

        • Phil -  April 25, 2016 - 7:23 am

          PurpleCat: “Words” are one thing, grammar is another.

          to wit, see my correction of your comment -

          Yours: It’s us Americans who are dumb.

          The verb “are” the subject of the verb should be in the Nominative case –

          It’s we Americans who are dumb.

      • catsanford -  April 21, 2016 - 6:19 pm

        Yeah, but he seems to understand rules of capitalization and spelling better than you…

  21. babs -  May 1, 2013 - 12:25 pm

    Swagger. A useful word, meaning to walk about in a confident, almost vain manner. Yet we have deteriorated it into swag, as in cool or style. Forgive us William.
    By the way, Romeo did not have swagger. Romeo was a useless whiner who only thought about himself. Romeo had swag.

  22. Stevie -  April 26, 2013 - 9:47 pm

    Of course he invented swagger! Romeo and his homies had it in abundance, if you use it in today’s vernacular. Too bad apathetic slackers (Jersey Shore) have appropriated it and have no idea or care factor as to where the word came from. Ah, how things have changed . . .

  23. AnonyCow -  April 26, 2013 - 6:35 pm


    That view is cynical, straining speculation, and there is no substantial reason to doubt the historical and contextual attribution that what the Bard wrote, the Bard wrote.

    Moreover, that speculation originates in the disbelief of self-assigned High Priests of literature; disbelief that any ol’ yokel (whom Skakespeare was) could create something of worth. The very speculation betrays that they feel threatened by the Bard–and why shouldn’t they? His person, his history, and his body of work testifies that they and their arcane literary theories and rites of elitism are all garbage.

    • jacquie -  April 24, 2014 - 11:47 am

      its true taht Shakepeaser all of his Poems and Plays were conceptually indoctrinated into him whilst sleeping by extra-terrestrial biological entity and visitor to our Earth, Christopher Marley and Me

    • Annie -  July 3, 2016 - 12:21 pm


  24. Vaciane -  April 26, 2013 - 1:06 pm

    The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet uses eyeball, if I remember correctly. :)

  25. nagakala -  April 26, 2013 - 12:08 pm

    Its really great to know many aspects of Shakespeare, be it 23rd or 26th, that shouldnt be our subject of discussion, it is the subject matter that he dwelt upon which really exists even to this day, No doubt he lives amongst us to this day through his plays.

  26. Robert -  April 26, 2013 - 11:07 am

    he also came up with assassin

  27. Jerry -  April 26, 2013 - 9:16 am

    Shakespeare also invented the “knock-knock” joke. (See Macbeth.) Also bag and baggage; fight fires with fire; heart of gold; good riddance; feint-hearted; wear your heart on your sleeve; baited breath; green-eyed monster; brave new world;love is blind; heart of hearts; a sorry sight; fair play; foul play; vanish into thin air; jaws of death; dead as a doornail; lie low; wild goose chase; full circle; come what may; seen better days; set your teeth on edge; heart of gold; naked truth; break the ice; makes your hair stand on end; too much of a good thing; all that glitters is not gold; send him packing; be all, end all; breathed his last; the game is up; not slept one wink;come what may; for goodness’ sake; so-so; too much of a good thing; laughing stock; and many, many more. We speak Shakekspeare every day. His plays are performed somewhere in the world every day. And have been for 400 years in nearly all languages. Yep, he was good; about as good as it gets. (PS Anyone who thinks the man from Stratford did not write those poems and plays is wholly ignorant of the contemporary interplay between Shakespeare and other playwrights. He co-wrote three or four plays with other men; he was used as a play doctor to fix a play about Thomas More; Ben Jonson who would easily have exposed a literary fraud without thinking twice honored Shakespeare as his superior.)

    • Esoteric Poet -  February 23, 2016 - 1:55 am

      I do not believe Shakespeare wrote Titus Andronicus. There is nothing Shakespearean about TA. It was awful… >.<

    • mikatile -  April 24, 2016 - 11:42 am


  28. Ivory Tower -  April 26, 2013 - 9:01 am

    There was no established, standardized lexicon in Shakespeare’s day. Many of his words are butcheries or phonetic spellings combining multiple languages. Lots of them are also just mash ups of existing words used colloquially…. up(the)stairs. down(the)stairs. beam(of)moon(light).

    He often spells the same words several different ways in his first folio.

    You have to remember that French, Spanish, Portugese, and Gaelic were all very close by. If I had to venture a guess about “bubble” I would say that it is a combination of bu, the past participle of the irregular French verb boire – to drink; and bol, the French noun for bowl.

    My guess is that Shakespeare didn’t know that bu is past tense, and that either the opalescence or shape of bubbles reminded him of some glass “bol” he had seen. bu bol. bubble. It’s hardly different from how new words like “bootylicious” or “ain’t” or “bling” enter the lexicon today. Being such a prolific writer during the establishment of modern English he just happened to have a lot of them!

    • Annie -  July 3, 2016 - 12:23 pm

      Indeed agreed and now freed

  29. Angela M. -  April 26, 2013 - 4:32 am

    Just go to http://www.pathguy.com/shakeswo.htm. You will find the worlds and the names of the plays that all of the words appeared in. I do have a collections of Shakespeare’s works but that would be a project in itself to search through.

  30. Hector -  April 25, 2013 - 5:35 pm

    Campeon del pueblo.

  31. Neddy C -  April 25, 2013 - 4:27 pm

    didn’t shakinspeare invent yol0 as well?
    swag money maker out

  32. electra -  April 25, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    the term “in a pickle” was created by shakespeare

  33. Amy -  April 25, 2013 - 12:20 pm

    Perhaps Jake of “FIRST POST” fame should have read dictionary.com’s ENTIRE post on this subject where they state several times that they don’t know for sure if these terms were or were not coined by Shakespeare. Perhaps your didn’t notice that up on your soapbox of discontent, but you sadly missed the point.

  34. Patrushka -  April 25, 2013 - 12:04 pm

    You forgot assassin. He invented that word for Julius Caesar.

  35. Priya -  April 25, 2013 - 10:40 am

    Nice. Shakespeare also invented: Love is blind, You got to be cruel to be kind, Queen’s English, Seen better days, The worlds a stage, etc

  36. sam -  April 25, 2013 - 9:40 am

    curse Shakespeare, for he has damned us with his plague… the plague of SWAG.
    fie, fie upon thee, thou infectious swag-saying ratsbane

  37. Jim_997 -  April 25, 2013 - 8:36 am

    To Paignton 1957 I respect your opinion, but suggest perhaps a second look, with a perspective selected by yourself that is more meaningful to you. I always felt a distance from the Bard until I happened to see the production of two of his comedies after I had seen two plays by Mamet within a six month period. Of course, specific words world’s apart, but I was struck by the rhythm of everyday speech from both playwrights and came to a greater “comfort” with Shakespeare.
    Just a thought.

  38. John D Gubernat -  April 25, 2013 - 2:07 am

    Thank you, Ellie Clemens, for the link to the Complete Concordance of Shakespeare. Regards,
    John D. Gubernat

  39. S R SAIFI -  April 24, 2013 - 10:07 pm

    Happy birthday,Shakespeare.We all owe to him for what a collection of works he has left behind.He played with words and English literature will ever remain grateful to him.

  40. anonymous -  April 24, 2013 - 8:05 pm

    We also owe Shakespeare Sherlock Holmes and Knock-knock jokes ( he coined both “the game is afoot” and “knock knock! who’s there?). Not to mention elbow, fashionable, and skim milk.

  41. E B -  April 24, 2013 - 8:04 pm

    - Assassain


    He made those too,

  42. laney -  April 24, 2013 - 7:22 pm

    Haha :P Leave it to the man who wrote some of the most eloquent plays ever to come up with swagger…….I’m pretty sue he’d be rolling over in his grave if he knew how people used that word today

    And to the people saying he was born on April 23 not 26, the article says the 23rd….

  43. Terrill Soules -  April 24, 2013 - 6:32 pm


    It’s true.

    And Jake, let it go.

  44. Tsu -  April 24, 2013 - 6:08 pm

    … Really, Shakespeare. Gotta coin the term “swagger”. I wonder what people’d think now if they knew where the word came from. XD

  45. Michael Streeter -  April 24, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    One of the many inconvenient truths: Edward de Vere died in 1604. Almost a third of Shakespeare’s plays were based on events that happened after that.

  46. um yah -  April 24, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    i never thought he invented any of the words except for pageantry

  47. katelyn -  April 24, 2013 - 3:10 pm

    man swagger really bro i wish you were still alive and then we could have had something u know what im talkiing about

  48. krull -  April 24, 2013 - 2:20 pm

    As an English teacher I can say with some assurance that Shakespeare was baptized 2 or 3 days after his birth, a common practice in his time. There are records of his baptismal on the 26th so historians have chosen his date of birth as the 23rd but there is no certainty. It is, though, a fact that he died in 1616 on the 23rd.

  49. Eric Schwarz -  April 24, 2013 - 2:15 pm

    Who but Shakespeare one of the most well renowned classical writers, could come up with one of the most modern words “swag.”

  50. i am crazy -  April 24, 2013 - 1:46 pm


  51. No Name -  April 24, 2013 - 1:31 pm

    LOL, swagger…

  52. Steven Keys -  April 24, 2013 - 1:27 pm

    Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, is most likely the author of the Shakespeare works, but don’t drop that tid-bit while trekking through Strafford on Avon.

    See; “The Shakespeare Mystery,” Frontline, PBS (1995?).

    And that picture, nobody really knows who sat for that portrait. It’s never been verified as anyone and certainly not the mythical Mr. Shakespeare, which happened to be Ed’s nickname at Court, “One who shakes a speare.”

  53. Gilly -  April 24, 2013 - 1:19 pm

    Shakespeare was baptised on April 26th. It is not known for certain when exactly he was born. The idea that he was born on April 23rd is a popular myth, brought about in no small part by the simple fact that April 23rd is St George’s day. Can you think of a more fitting day for the most well known of English playwrights to have been born? Furthermore, the fact that he died on April 23rd was clearly also a tantalising prospect.

  54. Eric Schwarz -  April 24, 2013 - 1:03 pm

    Alright now who but Shakespeare, one of the oldest classical writers, could come up with a more modern word than swag

  55. janine -  April 24, 2013 - 11:58 am

    i love william shakespeare! happy birthday to him!

  56. Tony Pistilli -  April 24, 2013 - 10:28 am

    Here are the Shakespeare plays that use the above listed terms:

    bedazzle – The Taming of the Shrew

    foul-mouthed – King Henry the Fourth

    bedroom – A Midsummer’s Night Dream

    swagger – King Henry the Fourth

    well-bred – King Henry the Fourth

    champion – King Henry the Sixth

    droplet – Timon of Athens

    pageantry – Pericles Prince of Tyre

    inaudible – unable to locate, but the word “audible” appears in The Tragedy of Coriolanus and in Measure for Measure

    eyeball – Cymbeline, King John, As You Like It, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Macbeth

  57. Rachel Keith -  April 24, 2013 - 9:50 am

    William Shakespeare’s birthday is widely accepted as the 23rd. His baptism was on the 26th, an event that was customarily given three days after birth.

  58. Mary -  April 24, 2013 - 9:39 am

    he also invented upstairs, downstairs, tomorrow and yesterday

  59. Elizabeth Mitchell -  April 24, 2013 - 9:19 am

    Bedazzle(d) is from Act 4, Scene v of The Taming of the Shrew when Kate begins to beat Petruchio at his own game. He is trying to trick her in the gender of Vincentio’s mother and she replies

    Pardon, old father, my mistaking eyes
    That have been so bedazzled with the sun
    That everything I look on seemeth green.
    Now I perceive thou art a reverend father.
    Pardon, I pray thee, for my mad mistaking.

    Just saw a production of the play last week!

  60. Julia -  April 24, 2013 - 7:52 am

    I did not know that he invented these words…

  61. Douglas Chacha Otieno -  April 24, 2013 - 7:39 am

    merchant of venice contain the word eyeball

  62. Mike Farmer -  April 24, 2013 - 5:30 am

    Unless the scholarship has changed, Shakespeare’s birthday has always been supposedly April 23rd. We have a record of his christening on April 26, and the standard practice was to christen the child three days after the birth. We recently had a National Poetry Month event at our college and it was moved to April 23rd to commemorate the Bard (and because the auditorium had been rented on the 25th).

  63. jai bhatt -  April 24, 2013 - 3:00 am

    This website dictionary.com is the best website to learn about the books & writer;s

  64. Bill Atwood -  April 23, 2013 - 10:17 pm

    Shakespeare was actually baptized on April 26, there was usually a 3 day waiting period to make sure the baby lived. So it is assumed that he was born on the 23. But no one knows for sure. But, I liked all the words. Is there a place to find a complete list of his made-up words?

  65. Word Fan -  April 23, 2013 - 8:22 pm

    Woah…Shakespeare made up bedroom, eyeball AND swagger!? This guy is more amazing than I gave him credit for.

  66. Cindy Perez -  April 23, 2013 - 6:12 pm

    COOL :D

  67. sorry my name is cindy perez -  April 23, 2013 - 6:10 pm

    the first comment is spelled wrong my name is Cindy Perez. Dumb auto correct. :P

  68. Jessica Acosta -  April 23, 2013 - 6:07 pm


  69. Nathan Day -  April 23, 2013 - 5:46 pm

    swagger: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck: What swaggering homespuns have we here, so near the cradle of the fairy queen?)

  70. Zeze -  April 23, 2013 - 5:44 pm

    I know that people still use bedazzle today.

  71. Ariana Agnew -  April 23, 2013 - 5:22 pm

    Way to go Will! I made a list for class of the words and phrases he coined, but I never knew about some of these one! A huge fan of the Bard!

  72. Wooo -  April 23, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    Swagger? Reall? He invented that?! Oh, Shakespeare, you’ve done it again. :)

  73. soundcloudbuzz -  April 23, 2013 - 2:10 pm

    These are the words spoken by Shakespeare sounds good, its tough to use it now a days we have got more of slang everywhere.

    Thanks for sharing

  74. NerdyChica -  April 23, 2013 - 12:40 pm

    Happy Birthday Shakespear ( Three days early ), you were a talented playwright and poet, who’s work is not nearly appreciated enough in the 21st century.

  75. Elaine Carru -  April 23, 2013 - 11:50 am

    Interesting, surprising list!

  76. Person u don't no -  April 23, 2013 - 11:29 am

    he also invented “upstairs” downstairs”

  77. Al Sivats -  April 23, 2013 - 10:41 am

    Where can I find a list of two-word rhymes that I want to use
    in composing poems, such as hocus-pocus, willy-nilly, hebee-geebees,
    etc. I enjoy your wed site and read it every day. Thanks.

  78. person -  April 23, 2013 - 10:03 am

    he invinted swag? that makes so much snse

  79. randall hamilton -  April 23, 2013 - 10:00 am

    This is messed up. he is a pervert.

  80. VIncent -  April 23, 2013 - 9:03 am

    wow did not know that

  81. Leanne -  April 23, 2013 - 8:42 am

    Shakespeare’s birthday is widely considered to be April 23, not 26th as noted in the article. Interesting article though. Thank you!

  82. Alfredo Estrella -  April 23, 2013 - 8:42 am

    are the dashes in the terms: foul-mouthed, and well-bred, required to be considered as spelled correctly?

  83. Calliope -  April 23, 2013 - 8:32 am

    I saw the words swagger and just lost it. Excuse me while I laugh to the point of asphyxiation.

  84. jessy s -  April 23, 2013 - 8:01 am

    that is sooooooo awesome!!!!

  85. Sara -  April 23, 2013 - 6:54 am

    Some of these words were found in the Merchant of Venice or Romeo and Juliet.

  86. Julie -  April 23, 2013 - 6:29 am

    The word “eyeball” appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Act III scene ii:

    “Then crush this herb into Lysander’s eye; Whose liquor hath this virtuous property, to take from thence all error with his might, And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.”

  87. Dara M Khodaiji -  April 23, 2013 - 5:44 am

    very interesting and enlightening.

  88. Ice cream -  April 23, 2013 - 5:39 am

    Don’t know. Cool that it’s his birthday.

  89. TOM -  April 22, 2013 - 11:33 pm


  90. Archana R Pradeesh -  April 22, 2013 - 10:15 pm

    Hi there,

    Being an English Literature student, I was taught that William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564. He died on the same day of April, 1616.

    Please verify the date (April 26) given here as his birthday in the passage above.

    Or let me know if I made a mistake!

  91. Katherine -  April 22, 2013 - 8:43 pm


  92. Wayne Boyce -  April 22, 2013 - 8:42 pm

    How about the word “mammock”? Still in use in some parts of the U.S.

  93. Johan -  April 22, 2013 - 7:58 pm

    Mother father gentleman

  94. hjk -  April 22, 2013 - 7:56 pm

    pretty neat.

    I am a well-bred champion who is inaudibly foul-mouthed and who frequently puts droplets onto his eyeball and bedazzles his cheeks in his bedroom while he struts with swagger simply for pageantry on his mattress.

  95. Estephania Rodriguez -  April 22, 2013 - 7:17 pm

    Shakespeare’s novels enspired me alot. With his words that he made up himself continues on in life for century. My favorite novels are Romeo and Juliet, and also Hamlet.

  96. C. Lehman -  April 22, 2013 - 7:11 pm

    Interesting list! However, it’s not complete: there are many more words which are suspected to have been invented by Shakespeare. Also, isn’t Shakespeare’s birthday supposed to be on April 23, not April 26? The consensus was that he was born April 23, 1564.

  97. kennedy -  April 22, 2013 - 7:04 pm

    This is so cool! We’re currently reading The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet in my 9th grade english class.

  98. Macbeth -  April 22, 2013 - 6:58 pm

    thats cool.
    i like how a lot of the words are words we use today.

  99. A1!N@ -  April 22, 2013 - 6:50 pm

    Cool, and there’s also downstairs/upstairs and tut-tut, and a few i can’t remember at the time.
    Bedroom? Maybe in Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet.

  100. Amy_G -  April 22, 2013 - 6:10 pm

    I have been tld he also “invented” the word Bubble

  101. Sybanee -  April 22, 2013 - 6:01 pm

    Did Shakespeare not create the word lonely as well? I’ve heard that he had and that one would surprise me the most if it were true.

  102. Anonomus -  April 22, 2013 - 5:48 pm

    actually, i know all this stuff. i am studying Shakespeare right now

  103. Dictionary Lover -  April 22, 2013 - 5:08 pm

    I read that he also invented the word “puke”. Is this true?

  104. LaNell Barrett -  April 22, 2013 - 4:16 pm

    That list is just amazing….

  105. Kathy -  April 22, 2013 - 4:09 pm

    Shakespeare’s birthday is actually the 23rd, not the 26th.

  106. kori -  April 22, 2013 - 4:08 pm

    This is awesome. At my college we are studying drama and Shakespeare’s work, it is truly amazing how Shakespeare invented a lot of the words we use today as actual terms. Some other cool examples are ” venomed , beetle-headed, maggot-pie!”

  107. Phumpul -  April 22, 2013 - 3:46 pm

    Eyeball and swagger came from Shakespeare? You learn something new everyday!

  108. Erin -  April 22, 2013 - 3:37 pm

    It’s strange to think we use these words everyday and we don’t realize that Shakespeare made them.

  109. Maybe -  April 22, 2013 - 3:24 pm

    Interesting?! Eyeball! I’ve also heard he invented “vomit”. Hmmm . . . The phrases he founded are also humorous.

  110. RionHtarlloAmli -  April 22, 2013 - 3:00 pm

    Taming of the shrew, Henry IV, Titus Andronicus, As you like it, All’s well that ends well and Macbeth are some of the plays that use the above terms.

  111. Philip Moreis -  April 22, 2013 - 2:54 pm

    I’m looking at this list and the word ‘swagger’ comes up. And I’m like, “WTF? Shakespeare created that word? Who would’ve thought a guy from the 1600s created the word ‘swagger’?”

  112. Nicholas St John -  April 22, 2013 - 2:19 pm

    A great homage, except that his birthday is on April 23rd, not April 26th…

  113. Riptide -  April 22, 2013 - 1:54 pm

    YES, First!

    I didn’t know they had some of these words back then.

  114. Hebeestie Wallopman -  April 22, 2013 - 1:53 pm

    and yet you miss bubble.

  115. babs -  April 22, 2013 - 1:35 pm

    swagger, a useful and fun word that we have deteriorated into “swag”. Forgive us, William

    • Sandwich Barkley -  April 24, 2014 - 4:45 pm

      swag is better and cooler than swagger, buddy. swag means u are not afraid of a few bugs in your coffee and can ingest big sandwiches

  116. angus long -  April 22, 2013 - 1:23 pm

    i knew he used swagger in mid summer nights dream

  117. Lucy Newell -  April 22, 2013 - 12:39 pm

    i think some of these words were in his plays.

  118. heaven -  April 22, 2013 - 11:30 am

    happy birthday

  119. Lizzybeth -  April 22, 2013 - 10:26 am

    Wow… Well I didnt know Shakespeare came up with the word “swagger” xD
    Certainly didn’t expect “bedroom” or “eyeball” on this list :D

  120. Cyraus -  April 22, 2013 - 9:33 am


  121. Caslon -  April 22, 2013 - 9:23 am

    Eyeball? Seriously? This is a word that was supposedly invented or popularized by Shakespeare in his writing? Pray tell, what word did they use before Will?

    • 1099 Contracted Employee -  April 24, 2014 - 4:47 pm

      before eyeballs were invented by Willie Shakespore people used to hav eye cubes

  122. jayoh -  April 22, 2013 - 8:52 am

    He was born april 23, yo!

  123. Greg Murphy -  April 22, 2013 - 8:15 am

    Although records show that Shakespeare was baptised on April 26, his commonly accepted birthday is April 23, which also happens to be the day he died in 1616.

  124. mari339 -  April 22, 2013 - 7:42 am

    Wow! I thought champion was used before his time! Bedroom, I thought was used much earlier. Guess i’m wrong for once…. : )

  125. Manasi -  April 22, 2013 - 5:57 am

    Romeo and Juliet uses eyeball and bedazzle

  126. niomi -  April 22, 2013 - 2:44 am

    happy birthday to will have a nice day chick

  127. patrycja -  April 22, 2013 - 2:35 am

    Oh Will… did you have to coin ‘swagger’?

  128. T.Cox -  April 22, 2013 - 2:35 am

    That’s news that Shakespeare came up with the word, “swagger”. In Edwardian times the word meant bragging or to brag proudly. It was used in A Midsummer’s Night Dream, for one, but based on his body of work I have to believe he used the word to describe more than a few characters.

    That list is long, his plays must have been filled with his “coined terms”, hence his need to create them.

  129. Paige -  April 22, 2013 - 2:04 am

    I wonder what the yolokids of my generation would think if their teachers told them that Shakespeare invented the word “swagger”. Would they think that it is cool, and start reading his works more? Or would they drop the term swag completely?

  130. Paignton 1957 -  April 22, 2013 - 1:23 am

    Not all of us think that Shakespeare was great. His stuff leaves me cold. Perhaps he’s a bit like Picaso. Were they great? I don’t think so but they were great at selling themselves

  131. Sultan Akhtar Patel -  April 22, 2013 - 12:43 am


    Source: Hamlet

    • Esoteric Poet -  February 23, 2016 - 1:58 am

      I believe Dirge has been there from before Shakespeare. Isn’t it death related?

  132. chloe -  April 22, 2013 - 12:16 am

    he also invented the word bubble!

    • Jaggedstar -  April 21, 2016 - 3:38 pm

      He invented the word bubble!?!?!?
      Wow, one of my friends will be surprised to here that!

      • sean -  April 25, 2016 - 4:25 pm


  133. Mohit Deshpande -  April 21, 2013 - 9:48 pm

    Interesting collection.. would like to see more ..

  134. a.gopalakrishnan -  April 21, 2013 - 4:22 am

    it is good shakespeeare plays are loveable great

  135. Ellie Clemens -  April 21, 2013 - 2:20 am

    Here’s a source for the first one:
    Taming of the Shrew, [IV, 5], Katherina, Line 2312

    Pardon, old father, my mistaking eyes,
    That have been so bedazzled with the sun
    That everything I look on seemeth green;
    Now I perceive thou art a reverend father.
    Pardon, I pray thee, for my mad mistaking.

    I have, somewhere, in some bookcase, a concordnce to Shakespeare, but of course I’m lazy and so just found an online concordance here:

    Have fun!


  136. bholland -  April 20, 2013 - 12:26 pm

    Where are the “following terms”?

  137. SHAKESPEARE | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  April 20, 2013 - 11:56 am

    [...] ‘Shakespeare’ should bedazzle Us — Though a foul-mouthed bedroom braggart we be — With the swagger of a well-bred Champion — Sipping a droplet of Bloody Hump Tea — Foregoing all the pageantry, — Inaudible know it all, — Not knowing the root of eyeball — Where the eyeball of Shakespeare would have no place. — Inaudible nary the sound. — Pageantry merely a droplet — For the Champion, well-bred dog,  — Would not participate in such cloak and dagger — Forsooth the dead men did swagger — In the bedroom where they held sway — Foul-mouthed for the sake of razzle — Saving frazzle for another lost day. — Oui bedazzle whatever we hear. — Who is what the why knowledge we lack — Where, when, how the however — There was for US obviously never — Any Depth for showing — Any otherwise whatever knowing — What of Christopher Marlowe or William Shakespeare. –>>L.T.Rhyme  — “Oui.” –>>J.J.Rousseau This entry was posted in JJROUSSEAU, L.T.Rhyme, Rupert L..T. Rhyme and tagged LT, LTRhyme, the HOT WORD on April 20, 2013 by LTRhyme. [...]

  138. JJM -  April 20, 2013 - 8:15 am

    Swagger is used towards the beginning of Romeo and Juliet, I know that much.

  139. Jake -  April 19, 2013 - 8:28 pm

    FIRST POST!!! And with that said, Shakespeare was a thief and many of his plays were written by several suspected authors long before little Willy ever picked up a quill. Read a book (or several)

    • mikatile -  April 24, 2016 - 11:55 am

      No one knows, it’s all guess work, and conjecture. Read a book, but use your own brain too ;)

    • macaroonmonster2608 -  April 26, 2016 - 3:59 am

      Please read my above message. You know what ,I’m just going to write one here. It is NOT considered stealing! It was common for great playwrights to ‘steal’ plots in Shakespeare’s time. Really, what made Shakespeare great is the fact he could tweak the plot and turn it into his own play. If he only ‘stole other playwrights’ plays, he would never have made it among the ranks of great renown playwrights today. So, before you make such comments, you should think why Shakespeare would have become such a good playwright if he had only copied other people’s plays. I have read several Shakespeare books and researched about him; yes he might have BORROWED some plots, but every story portrayed a piece of his writing, the very one he is revered for as a great playwright today. So, not respond, HE IS NOT A THIEF.


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