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Ask A Question Thursday

May 2, 2019
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As we all know Shakespeare was adept at creating numerous words for his own works, which are even today in common usage (whether we known their origin or not!) So today’s question is: Do you make your own vocabulary words in your book or resort to the existing ones?

shakespeare_words_used_today

Here is a list of Shakespeare’s unique words:  

Bandit Henry VI, Part 2. 1594

Critic Love’s Labour Lost. 1598.

Dauntless Henry VI, Part 3. 1616.

Dwindle Henry IV, Part 1. 1598.

Elbow (as a verb) King Lear. 1608.

Green-Eyed (to describe jealousy) The Merchant of Venice. 1600.

Lackluster As You Like It. 1616.

Lonely Coriolanus. 1616.

Skim-milk Henry IV, Part 1. 1598.

Swagger Midsummer Night’s Dream. 1600.

Shakespeare must have loved the prefix un- because he created or gave new meaning to more than 300 words that begin with it. Here are just a few:

Unaware Venus & Adonis. 1593.

Uncomfortable Romeo & Juliet. 1599

Undress Taming of the Shrew. 1616.

Unearthly A Winter’s Tale. 1616

Unreal Macbeth. 1623

When we look at these words it is fascinating to think until the Bard created them they did not exist!

Please post your comments below.

Last week’s question: Where is your perfect writing retreat?

Weather it’s sitting somewhere with a legal pad, or sitting at my desk in front of my desktop computer, I need complete silence when I write.

Although I began my novel, NOLA Gals with an extended metaphor of the ocean while on a cruise, poolside with a tropical drink, I wrote most of it alone at my sister’s cottage. I moved back and forth between deck and kitchen table, piling up research books & handwriting historical data in ringed notebooks. Eventually it all came together on my laptop.

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4 Comments

  1. It’s important in my stories to use the language that the characters would use in whatever circumstances they are in. Sometimes that requires a cliche although I try to avoid those. I don’t think I have ever made up a word to use but I wouldn’t dismiss the idea as it might be necessary to fit certain circumstance. I try always to choose a name for a character that is allows the reader to know an ethnic background or age range that fits the story line so I have been known to make up an appropriate name.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To date, although have written numerous works, I have not invented my own words to suit. No work has warranted that invention, yet… but, I do research to use words in other languages or dialects in order to give my work authenticity. I give characters names that have special meaning. I ensure that usage is particular to the setting and timeline. So, there are many things that are considered when finalizing a piece and the words representing it. Thank you for your question and engagement with the writing community.

    Liked by 1 person

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