Well, I couldn't claim to be from Will Shakespeare's hometown without paying tribute to the father of modern English himself! The English language owes a great debt to Shakespeare. He invented over 1700 of our common words by changing nouns into verbs, changing verbs into adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and creating totally original words. Therefore, the title of this article's rather misleading because we actually use a lot of his words in everyday English:
addiction advertising bedroom blanket champion critic dawn drugged elbow excitement fashionable flawed gloomy gossip hint hurried impede impartial jaded lonely luggage marketable mountaineer outbreak obscene pendant premeditated radiance remorseless secure summit torture tranquil undress unreal varied worthless zany
Yep. Shakespeare invented all of these. And if that wasn't enough, the Bard of Avon was familiar with seven foreign languages and often quoted them directly in his plays. His vocabulary was the largest of any writer, at over twenty-four thousand words. Just to put that into perspective, the average native speaker typically uses about 5,000 words in speech and 10,000 in writing.
So how can one aspire to that? Well, I guess one way to widen your vocabulary is to step out of your comfort zone and try to express yourself in different ways without using the same old familiar words. A place to start is with curse words. Shakespeare was a master of these. He coined and used some absolutely excellent insults throughout his work.
The Shakespeare cursing game:
To help you make your insults more colourful, here are some of Shakespeare's finest. If you want to direct the insult at someone, use "Thou art a" (you are a) and then a word from each column. If it's just for a general outburst of exasperation, then the 3 words suffice. I don't know what half these words mean but said in an angry voice they do the trick....and any combination works!
Column 1 Column 2 Column 3artless base-court apple-johnbawdy bat-fowling baggagebootless beetle-headed bladderbeslubbering beef-witted barnacleclouted clay-brained bum-baileychurlish boil-brained boar-pig cockered clapper-clawed bugbearcurrish crook-pated clack-dishcraven common-kissing canker-blossom dankish dismal-dreaming clotpole dissembling dizzy-eyed coxcombfobbing elf-skinned flap-dragondroning doghearted codpiece errant dread-bolted death-token fawning earth-vexing dewberry froward fat-kidneyed flax-wenchgorbellied folly-fallen gigletfrothy fen-sucked flirt-gill gleeking flap-mouthed foot-licker goatish fly-bitten fustilarian impertinent fool-born gudgeon infectious full-gorged haggardmewling idle-headed lewdsterjarring guts-griping harpy loggerheaded half-faced hedge-pig lumpish hasty-witted horn-beast mammering hedge-born hugger-mugger mangled hell-hated joithead paunchy ill-breeding loutroguish pottle-deep moldwarppribbling ill-nurtured maggot-pie puking knotty-pated malt-worm puny milk-livered mammet qualling motley-minded measle rank onion-eyed minnow reeky plume-plucked miscreant ruttish pox-marked mumble-newsvenomed swag-bellied skainsmatesaucy reeling-ripe nut-hook spleeny rough-hewn pigeon-egg spongy rude-growing pignut surly rump-fed puttock tottering shard-borne pumpion unmuzzled sheep-biting ratsbane vain spur-galled scut villainous tardy-gaited strumpetyeasty weather-bitten wagtailwarped tickle-brained varlot wayward toad-spotted vassalweedy unchin-snouted whey-face
For ready-made insults, try this page. Feel free to post your curses in the comments section.
Feel free to share ideas and opinions here. It's your space!