William Shakespeare died over 400 years ago.

Yet most high school students still have to read and study at least one of his plays before they graduate.

What’s the deal with this guy?

What makes him so relevant after four centuries?

What could he have possibly done, observed, or created that hasn’t been done, observed, or created a thousand times by someone else since he died?

The plays are pretty good.

In fact, he’s still produced more often than any other playwright, living or dead.

And! Can you think of another playwright who invented 1,700 words that we still use today?

Me neither:

Photo Credit: did you know?


Let me bullet that list from the slide out for you, so it can sink in.

He invented:

  • Bedazzled
  • Aroused
  • Drugged
  • Addiction
  • Puking
  • Bloodstained
  • Accused
  • Dauntless
  • Assassination
  • Cold-Blooded
  • Elbow
  • Eyeball

He INVENTED those words.

Coined is the proper term, actually, implying a certain shaping and forming of words that already existed.

His words were so user-friendly that you’ve probably said, heard, or seen all of the above, recently.

And not in a 400-year-old play.

On the street. In conversation.

He also invented words like:

  • Advertising
  • Amazement
  • Bandit
  • Bedroom
  • Blanket
  • Blushing
  • Bet
  • Champion
  • Circumstantial
  • Compromise
  • Courtship
  • Critic
  • Dawn
  • Discontent
  • Epileptic
  • Excitement
  • Flawed
  • Fashionable
  • Football
  • Generous
  • Gloomy
  • Gossip
  • Gust
  • Hint
  • Hurried
  • Impede
  • Impartial
  • Jaded
  • Label
  • Lackluster
  • Laughable
  • Lonely
  • Lower
  • Luggage
  • Madcap
  • Majestic
  • Mimic
  • Monumental
  • Moonbeam
  • Mountaineer
  • Negotiate
  • Obscene
  • Ode
  • Olympian
  • Outbreak
  • Premeditated
  • Radiance
  • Rant
  • Savagery
  • Scuffle
  • Secure
  • Skim Milk
  • Submerge
  • Summit
  • Torture
  • Tranquil
  • Undress
  • Unreal
  • Varied
  • Worthless
  • Zany
  • Gnarled
  • Grovel

And that’s still just a partial list.

He’s also responsible for coining a whole bunch of idioms and phrases that we still use, like:

  • “It’s Greek to me”
  • “Fair Play”
  • “All that Glitters isn’t gold”
  • “Break the ice”
  • “A laughing stock”
  • “Too much of a good thing”
  • “In a pickle”
  • “Full circle”
  • “Knock, knock… Who’s there?”

It’s  Shakespeare:

Photo Credit: GIPHY

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