Friday, December 10, 2010

Shakespeare's Coined Words Now Common Currency

While William Shakespeare died many years ago, the English playwright and poet lives on not only through his writings, but through the words and sayings attributed to him that still color the English language today. So whether you are "fashionable" or "sanctimonious," thank Shakespeare, who coined the terms.

Shakespeare is called the greatest author in the English language not only because his works are in English, but also for his profound and lasting impact on the language itself. Shakespeare coined over 1,500 words by  himself. (Some estimate this number to be closer to 10,000 words!)

Here's a collection of well-known quotations that are associated with Shakespeare:

• Eaten out of house and home
• Pomp and circumstance
• Full circle
• The makings of
• Method in the madness
• Neither rhyme nor reason
• One fell swoop
• Seen better days
• It smells to heaven
• A sorry sight
• A spotless reputation
• Sweets to the sweet
• In my heart of hearts
• All that glitters is not gold

Try the Shakespeare dictionary.


  1. Hello Students :)
    After reading this post, find a quote from one of Shakespeare's plays or poems to post as a comment. Be sure to note the quote source and get parental approval before posting your chosen quote.

  2. Portia: Therefore, prepare thee to cut off the flesh. Shed thou no blood, nor gut thou less nor more but just a pound of flesh: if thou tak'st more or less than just a pound, be it so much as makes it light or heavy in the substance, or the division of the twentieth part of one poor scruple, nay, if the scale do turn but in the estimation of a hair, thou diest and all thy goods are confiscate.
    The Merchant of Venice
    Shakespeare made easy

  3. Let me have men about me that are fat; Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o'nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous. Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2

    Once more to the breach, dear friends, once more, or close up the wall with our English dead. Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1
    Donald Livingston

  4. To be, or not to be: that is the question:
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
    No more; and by a sleep to say we end

    To be, or not to be (from Hamlet 3/1)

  5. "All that glitters is not gold"

    This famous quote originated in the play by William Shakespeare - the actual word is 'Glisters' but over time this is commonly referred to as 'Glitters'.


  6. Parting is such sweet sorrow.
    Romeo and Juliet
    John W.

  7. A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
    Lenard Caputo

  8. "Cowards die many times before their deaths,
    The valiant never taste of death but once."

    Julius Caesar (Act 2, scene 2)

    Paul Waters

  9. Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
    Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart;
    And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
    Even at the base of Pompey's statue,
    Which all the while ran blood, great Caeser fell.

    The Tragedy of Julius Caeser
    Act III * Scene II

    Posted by: Judah

  10. Come, go we in procession to the village.
    And be it death proclaimed through our host
    To boast of this, or take that praise from God
    Which is his only.

    The Life of Henry the Fifth
    Act IV * Scene VIII

    Posted by: Joseph

  11. Now all the youth of England are on fire, and silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies.-Henry V
    Lauryn Caputo

  12. "Nothing can come of nothing: speak again."
    King Lear (I, i, 92)
    -Joel R. Frost

  13. Marcus Antonius:
    "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!
    I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
    The evil that men do lives after them,
    The good is oft interred with their bones;
    So let it be with Caesar."
    From Marcus Antonius -Leanna H. (oft is old english for often)

  14. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
    -Evan Kirk-

  15. "Such stuff as dreams are made of."
    The Tempest Act 4, scene 1
    -Emily Hier

  16. All that glisters is not gold;
    Often have you heard that told:
    Many a man his life hath sold
    But my outside to behold:
    Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
    Had you been as wise as bold,
    Young in limbs, in judgement old
    Your answer had not been inscroll'd
    Fare you well, your suit is cold.
    The Merchant of Venice (II, vii)

    - Ruth Hill

  17. "The play's the thing
    wherein I'll catch the conscience
    of the king."
    Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2
    - Ann Marie Michaelis

  18. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
    King Henry V Quote Act iv. Scene 3.

    Josh M.

  19. "All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players."
    As you like it

    Jim Hier

  20. He hath eaten me out of house and home.

    William Shakespeare