Manual Coined by Shakespeare: Words and Meanings First Penned by the Bard

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According to the story, back in the days when computers were vast room-filling machines containing hundreds of moving parts, one of the earliest recorded malfunctions was caused by an insect making its home on one of the delicate mechanisms inside—and hence, all computer malfunctions since have been known as bugs. A cabal is a group or sect of like-minded people, often with the implication that those involved are conspiring or working together for some clandestine purpose.

The earliest known reference to golf in English? A popular story claims that when the English explorer Captain Cook first arrived in Australia in the late 18th century, he spotted a peculiar-looking animal bounding about in the distance and asked a native Aborigine what it was called. Cook then returned to his ship and wrote in his journal on 4 August that, "the animals which I have before mentioned [are] called by the Natives kangooroo.

When Mary I of Scotland fell ill while on a trip to France in the mids, she was served a sweet jelly-like concoction made from stewed fruit. Anything described as nasty was ultimately said to be as scathing or as cruel as his drawings. In the early s, the wealthiest passengers on cruise ships and liners could afford to pay for a port-side cabin on the outward journey and a starboard cabin on the homeward journey, thereby ensuring that they either had the best uninterrupted views of the passing coastlines, or else had a cabin that avoided the most intense heat of the sun.

These "port out starboard home" passengers are often claimed to have been the first posh people—but a far more likely explanation is that posh was originally simply a slang name for cash. The bogus story behind pumpernickel is that it comes from the French phrase pain pour Nicol , a quote attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte that essentially means "bread only good enough for horses.

Well, no one is really sure—but one theory states that the bread might have originally been, shall we say, hard to digest.

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Back when horse manure and everything else, for that matter used to be transported by ship, the methane gas it gives off tended to collect in the lowest parts of the vessel—until a passing crewman carrying a lantern had the misfortune to walk by and blow the ship to pieces. Did this ever happen? Who knows. Sincere is derived from the Latin sincerus , meaning "pure" or "genuine.

None of these stories, of course, is true. Sirloin steak takes its name from sur , the French word for "above" as in surname , and so literally refers to the fact that it is the cut of meat found "above the loin" of a cow. When sur— began to be spelled sir— in English in the early s, however, a popular etymology emerged claiming that this cut of meat was so delicious that it had been knighted by King Charles II. Different theories claim that on lists of ferry passengers, lists of university students, and even on lists of guests at royal weddings, the word snob would once have been written beside the names of all those individuals who had been born sine nobilitate , or "without nobility.

In the New Testament, "the word of God" is described as "sharper than any two-edged sword" Hebrews Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills! With the help of social media, slang words and phrases can gain momentum around the globe in what feels like mere minutes. But trendy terms were making splashes long before YouTubers were stanning guyliner-wearing pop stars who slay all day and woke Gen Z-ers were tweeting their hot takes about fake news, mansplaining, and more.

In a new study , digital subscription service Readly analyzed data from its magazine archives to identify some popular terms from years past and present and pinpoint exactly when they stopped appearing in print. This obscure term for a foolish person also once meant a "fickle, unstable person," according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Phrases from Shakespeare

Much like scrooge is now synonymous with miser , the word scaramouch was used from the s through the s to describe any boastful coward. Wondering why the obsolete expression sounds so familiar? Usage dropped off in the early 20th century, but you can always bring it back for that friend who unabashedly reads your text messages over your shoulder.

Rapscallion and scapegrace are both wonderful ways to offend a mischievous person—if such a person would even be offended—that overlapped in popularity between the s and the s.


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BY Dana Schwartz. Subscribe to our Newsletter! BY Paul Anthony Jones. Bug According to the story, back in the days when computers were vast room-filling machines containing hundreds of moving parts, one of the earliest recorded malfunctions was caused by an insect making its home on one of the delicate mechanisms inside—and hence, all computer malfunctions since have been known as bugs.


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Cabal A cabal is a group or sect of like-minded people, often with the implication that those involved are conspiring or working together for some clandestine purpose. Kangaroo A popular story claims that when the English explorer Captain Cook first arrived in Australia in the late 18th century, he spotted a peculiar-looking animal bounding about in the distance and asked a native Aborigine what it was called. Marmalade When Mary I of Scotland fell ill while on a trip to France in the mids, she was served a sweet jelly-like concoction made from stewed fruit.

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Posh In the early s, the wealthiest passengers on cruise ships and liners could afford to pay for a port-side cabin on the outward journey and a starboard cabin on the homeward journey, thereby ensuring that they either had the best uninterrupted views of the passing coastlines, or else had a cabin that avoided the most intense heat of the sun. Pumpernickel The bogus story behind pumpernickel is that it comes from the French phrase pain pour Nicol , a quote attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte that essentially means "bread only good enough for horses.

Sincere Sincere is derived from the Latin sincerus , meaning "pure" or "genuine. Sirloin Sirloin steak takes its name from sur , the French word for "above" as in surname , and so literally refers to the fact that it is the cut of meat found "above the loin" of a cow. Snob Different theories claim that on lists of ferry passengers, lists of university students, and even on lists of guests at royal weddings, the word snob would once have been written beside the names of all those individuals who had been born sine nobilitate , or "without nobility.

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Aug 19, Amy rated it liked it Shelves: shakespeare , language. Shakespeare coined an estimated 1, English words. Coined by Shakespeare discusses many of these coinages, citing the play and context of each and how the word has—or hasn't—continued to be used in the ensuing centuries. The word discussions in the book are arranged alphabetically and read like an etymological dictionary. Many of the words he penned are new forms of existing words; he invented them by doing things like using a noun form of what had only been used as a verb or adding prefixes a Shakespeare coined an estimated 1, English words.

Many of the words he penned are new forms of existing words; he invented them by doing things like using a noun form of what had only been used as a verb or adding prefixes and suffixes. Some came from names, like pander, which he derived from the character Pandarus in The Iliad.

English Vocabulary: 10 adjectives invented by Shakespeare

Others, like alligator, came from Spanish el lagarto, "the lizard. As much as I enjoyed the entries, after a while I wondered why I was reading every page of a book that was in essence a dictionary. Part of the answer lies in the interesting nature of the entries, but what really kept me reading were the quizzes interspersed between each letter of the alphabet's entries. I matched first and ending lines to the plays they came from, answered questions about movie versions of the plays, determined what was fact and what was tradition about Shakespeare's life, took a multiple choice quiz on the Globe theatre, and a lot more.

I love quizzes and enjoyed taking them with my daughters and husband. Next time I teach Shakespeare, I will probably include some of the information about Shakespeare's coinages in the course, but I will definitely use some of the quizzes as a class activity. May 30, Xin rated it really liked it Shelves: word-lovers-bibliography. From auspicious to zany, this compendium is organized alphabetically, and features quizzes for 16th century buffs.

May 11, Elly rated it really liked it. It was very interesting to not only to see some of the words that Shakespeare came up with, but to see how he came up with them, and why. It was kind of like read a dictionary, but on how the words were made up. Dabney rated it it was amazing Sep 06, Alice rated it liked it Jun 09, Caitlyn rated it really liked it Dec 20, Maggie Front rated it liked it Sep 06, Faith-Anne rated it really liked it Jan 14, Amanda Johnson rated it liked it Jan 08, Beck rated it it was amazing May 08, Victoria rated it really liked it Jul 09, Michelle Tang rated it it was ok Jun 27, Leah-Leanna rated it really liked it Nov 03, James Benson rated it liked it Jan 06, May 18, Yang added it Shelves: language.

Words and Meanings First Used by the Bard. A Dictionary. Donna Suttle rated it it was amazing Jan 14, Eleni rated it really liked it Nov 06, Bethany rated it it was amazing Feb 24, Mickey rated it really liked it Aug 15, Katie Mccrary rated it really liked it Jun 01, Jim Parker rated it liked it Aug 05, Jessica rated it liked it May 03, Charles E.