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21 Words We Owe to Shakespeare (And 4 We Don't)

21 Words We Owe to Shakespeare (And 4 We Don't)

Shakespeare is the first known citation for over a thousand words and even more meanings—a diverse collection that has become a staple of everyday language. With that in mind, here are 21 examples of words that Shakespeare is the oldest known source for—as well as four we used to attribute to him, but no longer do. But in the third edition of the OED (or OED3), Warner takes the lead, and Henry V is demoted to second place. This wasn’t due to a shocking Henry V related discovery; it was just a policy change. So while Henry V can be reasonably dated to 1599, because dishearten wasn’t published in a play in Shakespeare’s lifetime, it gets demoted.

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