Archive for the ‘shakespeare’ Category

September 1st, 2009 - 1:29 pm § in shakespeare, word formation, word origins

Shakespeare’s Contributions to English (Part 2)

If you missed Part 1, read about it here. We learned that Shakespeare added nearly 2,000 words to the English lexicon, including words like hurry, puke, monumental, and majestic. One benefit of the many words that Shakespeare coined is that we can make better distinctions between meanings. For examp[...]

August 31st, 2009 - 2:00 pm § in back-formation, etymology, mass nouns, shakespeare, word formation, word origins


What is back-formation? Back-formation is when a shorter word (lexeme) is created from a longer word. Back-formation occurs when an affix (prefix, suffix) is taken away from a word to create a new one. The term back-formation refers to this process. Remember how the word “pea” came from [...]

August 28th, 2009 - 5:09 pm § in etymology, shakespeare, vocabulary, word origins, words of the day

Words of the day

Every Friday I’m going to post about the etymology (origins) of a few choice words or phrases. “for ever and a day” – meaning indefinitely. This comes from Shakespeare. He used it in two of his plays…1. The Taming of the Shrew (1596): BIONDELLO: I cannot tell; expect th[...]

August 27th, 2009 - 9:02 pm § in shakespeare, word formation

Shakespeare’s Contributions to English (part 1)

(Looking for Part 2? Click here.) If you want to charge someone with a crime, there’s a word for it: you accuse them.  If you want to give a winning athlete a title, there’s a term for it: you call them a champion.  If you’re in a rush, you hurry.  If something’s grand and wonderful, [&he[...]