Shakespeare and the English Language

William_Shakespeare_1609Over 1700 of our common English words were coined from Shakespeare. By changing verbs to adjectives, adding prefixes or suffixes or just combining words never used together, a new version of English had been born.

According to James Davie Butler, Shakespeare was familiar with seven different languages, sometimes quoting foreign phrases in his plays.Here are some of the most common words from Shakespeare, along with their definitions.

1. Abandon – Banish or exile

2. Torture – Afflict or cause suffering

3. Gloomy – forlorn or cheerless

4. gossip – to tell of another’s secret or chitchat

5. label – document or sheet of writing

If you’re interested in which common words were used in which plays, then check out the following website:



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