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4.0 out of 5 stars A little Shakespeare dictionary
This little book (from Merriam Webster, the big dictionary people) is definitely fun. It is part of a series about how words have been used in different times and places. This volume concentrates on the words "invented" by Shakespeare - the authors estimate that there are in the vicinity of 1,500 such words and this book probably includes a couple hundred...
Published on March 23 2000

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A light-hearted look at Shakespearean invention
According to various sources approximately 1531 words were first coined by Shakespeare. The leading resource on this appears be the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, which, if you leaf through it, you will find highlighted entries, showing who first used these particular words and quoting the play, poem or book where they were used.

By comparison this book,...
Published on June 22 2012 by L. Power


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4.0 out of 5 stars A little Shakespeare dictionary, March 23 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Coined by Shakespeare: Words & Meanings First Penned by the Bard (Hardcover)
This little book (from Merriam Webster, the big dictionary people) is definitely fun. It is part of a series about how words have been used in different times and places. This volume concentrates on the words "invented" by Shakespeare - the authors estimate that there are in the vicinity of 1,500 such words and this book probably includes a couple hundred examples. Admittedly, there is lots of room for judgement here and sometimes the authors note that, but many times they state theories as fact. This tendency keeps my rating below five stars. The book is organized with a chapter for each letter of the alphabet - and a Shakespeare trivia quiz at the end of each chapter. Again, fun, but beware of theories - on the other hand, maybe one of these questions will make it to "Do You Want To Be A Millionaire?". It is not a book for reading straight through, but it is perfect to fill short periods here and there that keep you waiting. You will be amazed at the words included such as ADVERTISING, ALLIGATOR, INVESTMENT, OBSCENE, PUKE, PUPPY DOG and ZANY. There are also some examples that you probably won't recognize. The text gives sites for the usage in Shakespeare's plays. If you are interested enough in this subject to have made it to the end of this review, then buy it, its worth the price.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A scholarly book in tune, March 10 2002
By 
John R. Bridell (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Coined by Shakespeare: Words & Meanings First Penned by the Bard (Hardcover)
I bought this book for myself and a copy for my granddaughter, age 13. She had played a leading role in Midsummer's Night two year's ago at her St. Paul elementary school. The experience won her over to Shakespeare. Since I didn't start reading Shakespeare before age 18, I wondered if Coined by Shakespeare would be too far out-of-tune with the romance novels that she was devouring. Well, I've read it now. It is a dandy. A real banger, as Hardy would put it. Rarely does a scholarly book meet the needs of anyone less versed than a PhD. This book, I'm making wager, will charm a 13 year old word lover. We just finished a Minnesota blizzard. I'm tickled that Shakespeare coined "gust."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A light-hearted look at Shakespearean invention, June 22 2012
By 
L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coined by Shakespeare: Words & Meanings First Penned by the Bard (Hardcover)
According to various sources approximately 1531 words were first coined by Shakespeare. The leading resource on this appears be the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, which, if you leaf through it, you will find highlighted entries, showing who first used these particular words and quoting the play, poem or book where they were used.

By comparison this book, 274 pages long is composed of chapters on each letter, including quizzes, some pictures, an estimated coverage of one and a half words per page, with examples of usage and sometimes ontology, and is a somewhat light hearted look at the use of language, covering 450 to 490 words.

You may not know for example that the following words, according to the authors were coined by Shakespeare:

Accused, addiction, advertising, auspicious, bandit, baseless, bet, buzzer, courtship, dawn, denote, design, elbow, embrace, engagement, eyeball, fashionable, film, flawed, forward, generous, gloomy, glow, go-between, green-eyed (as in monster), gust, high-pitched (Rape of Lucrece), hint, hush, impede, inaudible, investment, jet, jig, kickshaw, kissing (really?), lackluster, lapse, launder, lonely, lower, luggage, manager, marketable, metamorphise, misquote, monumental, mimic, negotiate, noiseless, numb.

Obscene, ode, outbreak, Olympian, pageantry, pedant, perusal, premeditated, promethean, radiance, rant,roadway, reclusive, remorseless, retirement, rival, roadway,rumination, sacrificial, sanctimonious, scuffle, secure, shooting star, stealthy, switch, splitting, swagger, tardiness, threatingly, torture (2 Henry VI), tranquil, transcendence, unaware (V &A), unclog, undress (TTS), unmitigated, unreal, urging, varied, vaulting, watchdog,, weel-behaved, widen, widowed, wild-goose chase (RJ), worm-hole (RL), worthless, yelping (1H IV), yoking (VA), zany.

If you read this book I think you will find it both informative, and entertaining. Why I do not give it a higher number of stars is that I was hoping for a book that includes all the words, so for me though the subject is interesting this book has a limited appeal and value.

I have researched several of the words published as originated by Shakespeare, in the Oxford edition, and elsewhere. Some words such as jet mentioned above were previously used by Greene, some coined by Marlowe include faceless, light-borne, lineage, sweet-flowering, undecked, so there are some errors in attribution. Undoubtedly words such as kissing must have existed before they were first used in a Shakespeare play or poem, nevertheless it is interesting to explore the origins.

I think you will find it enlightening, and there do not appear to be any inexpensive alternatives. One book I recommend is Shakespeare's Wordcraft, which includes the use of Shakespearean language patterns, not specifically about coinage although some examples are included.

If you decide to get it, I think you will quite like it, and I hope this was helpful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The welcome result of lengthy and painstaking research, March 2 2001
This review is from: Coined by Shakespeare: Words & Meanings First Penned by the Bard (Hardcover)
Coined By Shakespeare: Words & Meanings First Penned By The Bard is the welcome result of lengthy and painstaking research conducted under impeccable standards of scholarship. Readers can also enjoy testing their knowledge of Shakespeare linguistic trivia through a series of quizzes which are interspersed throughout. Coined By Shakespeare is a "must" for all Shakespeare enthusiasts and word buffs.
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Coined by Shakespeare: Words & Meanings First Penned by the Bard
Coined by Shakespeare: Words & Meanings First Penned by the Bard by Jeffrey McQuain (Hardcover - Dec 4 1997)
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