Words & Phrases Invented By William Shakespeare

Below are just a few examples of words and phrases commonly used in Modern English and coined (or at least first written) by the Bard.

Words:

  1. accommodation
  2. admirable
  3. aerial
  4. amazement
  5. apostrophe
  6. assassination
  7. auspicious
  8. barefaced
  9. baseless
  10. belongings
  11. bloody
  12. bump
  13. castigate
  14. changeful
  15. clangor
  16. control (noun)
  17. countless
  18. courtship
  19. critic
  20. critical
  21. dawn
  22. dexterously
  23. dishearten
  24. dislocate
  25. dwindle
  26. eventful
  27. exposure
  28. fitful
  29. frugal
  30. generous
  31. gloomy
  32. gnarled
  33. hostile
  34. hurry
  35. ill-used
  36. impartial
  37. inauspicious
  38. indistinguishable
  39. invulnerable
  40. lapse
  41. laughable
  42. lonely
  43. long-legged
  44. majestic
  45. misplaced
  46. monumental
  47. multitudinous
  48. obscene
  49. ode
  50. overblown
  51. palmy
  52. perusal
  53. pious
  54. premeditated
  55. radiance
  56. reliance
  57. road
  58. sanctimonious
  59. seamy
  60. skim milk
  61. sportive
  62. submerge
  63. suspicious
  64. watchdog

Phrases:

  1. All that glisters is not gold.” > Merchant of Venice
  2. As good luck would have it” > The Merry Wives of Windsor
  3. “Baited breath”
  4. “Be all / End all”
  5. “Brave New World” > The Tempest, Act V, Scene 1 > Probably written 1610-1611
  6. Break the ice” > The Taming of the Shrew
  7. “Breathed his last”
  8. Clothes make the man.” > Hamlet
  9. Cold comfort” > King John
  10. Come what come may” > Macbeth
  11. “Dead as a doornail”
  12. Devil incarnate” > Titus Andronicus
  13. “Faint hearted”
  14. Fair play> The Tempest, Act V, Scene 1 > Probably written 1610-1611
  15. “Fair play / Foul play”
  16. “Fight fire with fire”
  17. “For Goodness’ sake”
  18. “Full circle” > King Lear, Act V, Scene 3 > Written 1605-1606
  19. “The game is up”
  20. “Good riddance”
  21. “Green eyed monster”
  22. Heart of gold”
  23. “Heart of hearts”
  24. In a pickle” > The Tempest
  25. It’s Greek to me” > Julius Caesar
  26. Knock knock! Who’s There?”
  27. A laughing stock” > The Merry Wives of Windsor
  28. “Lie low”
  29. “Love is blind”
  30. “Makes your hair stand on end”
  31. “Naked truth”
  32. “Off with his head”
  33. “Out of the Jaws of Death”
  34. “A piece of work”
  35. Pound of flesh” > The Merchant of Venice
  36. “Seen better days”
  37. “Send him packing”
  38. Set your teeth on edge”
  39. “So-so”
  40. “A sorry sight”
  41. Such stuff as dreams are made on” > The Tempest
  42. The lady doth protest too much” > Hamlet
  43. Too much of a good thing” > As You Like It
  44. “Vanish into thin air”
  45. Wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve” > Othello
  46. Wild goose chase” > Romeo and Juliet
  47. What’s done is done” > Macbeth
  48. “The world is my oyster”

Sources:

  1. https://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/resources/words-shakespeare-invented/
  2. https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/word-lists/list-of-words-and-phrases-shakespeare-invented.html

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Bill

    Shakespearean vocabulary page now up on Bill’s List.

Leave a Reply