In all of his work – the plays, the sonnets and the narrative poems – Shakespeare uses 17,677 words: Of those words, Shakespeare invented an incredible 1,700 of them!


This list of words that we use in our daily speech were all brought into usage by Shakespeare:

  • accommodation
  • aerial
  • amazement
  • apostrophe
  • assassination
  • auspicious
  • baseless
  • bloody
  • bump
  • castigate
  • changeful
  • clangor
  • control (noun)
  • countless
  • courtship
  • critic
  • critical
  • dexterously
  • dishearten
  • dislocate
  • dwindle
  • eventful
  • exposure
  • fitful
  • frugal
  • generous
  • gloomy
  • gnarled
  • hurry
  • impartial
  • inauspicious
  • indistinguishable
  • invulnerable
  • lapse
  • laughable
  • lonely
  • majestic
  • misplaced
  • monumental
  • multitudinous
  • obscene
  • palmy
  • perusal
  • pious
  • premeditated
  • radiance
  • reliance
  • road
  • sanctimonious
  • seamy
  • sportive
  • submerge
  • suspicious

Read phrases that Shakespeare invented >>

35 replies
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  1. nancy
    nancy says:

    Some of my favorites are scallywag, leapfrog, balderdash. If a word, phrase or pun sounds quirky, odd and literary, its origins are probably with Shakespeare. And yes, I do believe Shakespeare the man existed as a real man, actor, manager and grain merchant in Stratford, not as a pseudonym for a wealthy nobleman. Genius has been found in the most unusual and unpredictable places. Just look at the life on John Harrison the cabinet maker who solved the longitude problem.

    Reply
  2. So-and-So
    So-and-So says:

    This really helps with my English HW, thank you for this! But I can’t really believe that he invented generous or road as these were words used long before him.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] the now United Kingdom, whereas in 1066, Norman-France did the same. Thanks to Shakespeare, we have 1,700 words that he invented or popularized, such as gloomy, lonely, fashionable, eyeball, radiance, frugal, […]

  2. […] just made up out of thin air and ink. This list comes from what looks like a respectibubble source: No Sweat Shakespeare. If you want to know about this guy’s work, this is the place to visit. (I make up words, […]

  3. […] authors, who invent new words within their stories. J. R.R. Tolkien created the word tween, while Shakespeare created over several thousand new words, like bump, sanctimonious, gnarled and […]

  4. […] Shakespeare was pretty cool. If he existed… Posted on November 7, 2011 by ireckonthat So, there’s some film coming out about whether Shakespeare did or did not really exist, or something. Yeah, I’m keen on seeing it, but I have always been impressed by the idea of making up stuff, and whoever it was that is now attributed as Shakespeare made heaps of good stuff up. Here’s a list of words from http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/resources/shakespeare-words/ […]

  5. […] best possible outcome a gamer could hope for. Nobody needs to remember that Shakespeare invented half our best adjectives in order to enjoy how they flow in a […]

  6. […] William Shakespeare who forever left his mark on the English Language. He invented hundreds of new words and phrases. I too sometimes invent my own words and pronunciations because they sound better to my ears. His […]

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