TNB Night Owl – Shakespeare’s Words

William Shakespeare painted by John Taylor, image in public domain.

Writers will sometimes create words when attempting to describe new concepts. Science fiction author Jack Williamson created more than ten which found their way into the lexicon, including “terraform” and “humanoid”. Shakespeare, however, has him beat. He created hundreds of words, whether out of whole cloth, by slapping an “un” prefix onto an existing word or by shifting verbs to nouns and vice versa.

More than a dozen of these have found their way into our daily lexicon. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the more popularly known “Shakespeareisms”:



Half-blooded / Hot-blooded / Cold-blooded









…There are more. Many more.

Students throughout the world have been told they shouldn’t make up words. I freely admit that every time I hear someone use “adult” as a verb it makes me cringe and stirs my ire.

That said, I’ve got to admit, Shakespeare was a far better wordsmith than I might ever hope to be. It’s worth hoping that people continue to coin interesting new words. Perhaps it makes me “hopish”…?

…Naah, I’ll leave the word creation to the pros.

Question of the night: Who are some of your favorite British actors & authors?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.