William Shakespeare 400th anniversary: 60 everyday words and phrases you never knew came from the Bard – The Independent

If you ever doubt the relevance of Shakespeare in 2016, take a look at these 60 well-used sayings that come courtesy of the Bard:

Every now and then, another publication tells us about words that Shakespeare coined. In most cases, this is bullshit. He didn’t make up all these words, he is simply the oldest known example of their usage in writing. Even for expressions, there’s no proof that Shakespeare was the one who invented them.

Just look in a dictionary, and you’ll see that some of the words in the list date back before Shakespeare. My Mac’s dictionary tells me that swagger, for example, has its origin in the early 16th century; and that grovel dates back to middle English (way before Shakespeare, around the time of Chaucer).

Shakespeare’s words are wonderful, there are many gems in them, but he didn’t make all this stuff up. If he did, the people seeing the plays wouldn’t have understood them.

Source: William Shakespeare 400th anniversary: 60 everyday words and phrases you never knew came from the Bard | Features | Culture | The Independent

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.