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Shakespeare invented more than 1,600 English words. 

Feeling at a loss for words? Then take a page out of the Bard’s book. “English simply couldn’t accommodate all of the things Shakespeare needed to say,” explains Felicia Londré, a theater professor at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. “So he borrowed words, changed words, and gave new meaning to words,” in addition to conjuring up his own. While you have Will to thank for terms like bandit, laughable, and zany, not all of his contributions have survived. Among the many casualties: John-a-dreams (an idle muser) and disliken (to disguise). A lost lexical legacy? We’re speechless. 

 

 

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