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Speaking Like Shakespeare

Whether English is your native language or not did you know that you might be speaking like Shakespeare? Many of you had to read Shakespeare in school and for you, like for me it probably seemed like Chinese or something. I was lucky to have review books I could purchase where the explanation of each play was made simple.

Our language changed a great deal due to this ingenious writer. Here are some phrases that are commonly used in the English language which come from Shakespeare’s plays. It is not really known if he actually created these phrases or if they were already in use during his lifetime. What is known is that Shakespeare’s plays often had the earliest citations of these phrases. So the next time you use one of them remember you’re speaking Shakespeare.

A laughing stock (The Merry Wives of Windsor)

A sorry sight (Macbeth)

As dead as a doornail (Henry VI)

Eaten out of house and home (Henry V, Part 2)

Fair play (The Tempest)

I will wear my heart upon my sleeve (Othello)

In a pickle (The Tempest)

In stitches (Twelfth Night)

In the twinkling of an eye (The Merchant Of Venice)

Mum’s the word (Henry VI, Part 2)

Neither here nor there (Othello)

Send him packing (Henry IV)

Set your teeth on edge (Henry IV)

There’s method in my madness (Hamlet

Too much of a good thing (As You Like It)

Vanish into thin air (Othello)

  • Question of

    Did you know that Shakespeare created these phrases?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you use some of them?

    • Yes
    • No

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