Words in the Elizabethan Language
The number of words used in the Elizabethan Language were constantly developing during Elizabethan times - their vocabulary was expanding. The average number of words used in a 'commoners' vocabulary during Elizabethan times was less than 500, compared with at least 7, 500 words that are used in modern day English. Elizabethan writers and playwrights invented new words. William Shakespeare invented many of the words that he used in his plays. Shakespeare is credited with contributing more new words to the English language than any other single person - approx 2, 000. Some of the many new words he invented to enhance the Elizabethan language and vocabulary are as follows:
Accused Addiction Amazement Arouse Assassinate Blushing Champion Circumstantial Compromise Courtship Countless Critic Dawn Epileptic Elbow Excitement Exposure Frugal Generous Gossip Hint Impartial Invulnerable Jaded Label Lonely Luggage Majestic Negotiate Obscene Premeditated Puke Scuffle Torture Tranquil Varied and Worthless
Elizabethan Language and Education
The Elizabethan language and vocabulary had not been formalised. New words were being invented. Elizabethan dictionaries were not available. Elizabethan words were therefore written in a variety of different formats. The name of William Shakespeare provides an excellent illustration of the confusion that this caused. The name Shakespeare was spelt in an astonishing variety of ways during Elizabethan times including Shakspere, Shakespere, Shakkespere, Shaxpere, Shakstaff, Sakspere, Shagspere, Shakeshafte and even Chacsper. Shakespeare himself always wrote “Shakspere.” However, in many formal documents his name generally appears as Shakespeare. Interestingly, another derivation of the name "Shake-speare" appears on the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays.
Elizabethan Language Guide - An Elizabethan Dictionary
The translation of words in the Elizabethan language and vocabulary requires a Modern English to Elizabethan English Dictionary. The following link provides access to an Elizabethan dictionary for an easy to follow Elizabethan language guide. The translation and definition of the Elizabethan words and meanings used in the Elizabethan language make the literature of the era, including the works of William Shakespeare much easier to understand. Click the following links for a guide to the Elizabethan language via an Elizabethan Dictionary.
Details, facts and information about Elizabethan Life, including education can be accessed via the Elizabethan Online Dictionary section and a comprehensive index of all the subjects covered in this website can be found in the Elizabethan Era Index