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! We say invented, though in reality  many of these 1,700 words would likley have been in common parlance, just not written down prior to Shakespeare. Historian Jonathan Hope also points out that Victorian scholars who read texts for the first edition of the Oxford English Dicitonary 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.

That said, it is Shakespeare who is credited with bringing into usage the below list of words that we still use in our daily speech – some of them frequently.

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

Along with these everyday words, Shakespeare also used a number of words in his plays that never quite caught on in the same way… 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 Shakespeare’s words that have been lost in the midst of time:

Read phrases that Shakespeare invented >>

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  1. Mahie
    Mahie says:

    Ohh myy golly…..thank you sooo very much…This is really A-MAZE-ING!!!! I never knew these words were invented by William Shakespeare. Is this all that he invented or is more? Can you pleaase answer me back because I need too know…Thank-you vvery VERY much! (:
    -MAHiE!

    Reply
    • lizzi
      lizzi says:

      There are more words that Shakespeare invented such as: puke, bubble, and many more… He invented roughly 1,700 words by combining Latin roots, phrases and meanings…. Hope this helps(:

      Reply
  2. Mohammed
    Mohammed says:

    THANK YOU all of the people that do this to us, you help me with my homeworks, I´m living in Spain, but my origin in Marroccan, have have to look at the dictionary this words, write it please…
    THANKS, GRACIAS…

    Reply
  3. A Geek
    A Geek says:

    Thank you very much for helping me with my homework. I very much appreciate it – how do you know all of these wonderful facts and words Shakespeare invented. Geek 🙂

    Reply
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