The Joy of Creating Words: Becoming a Shakespeare

I was going to talk about making words and phrases, but I realized that I haven’t done anything like that.  In fact, most people don’t or won’t notice until they are long gone because you need time to see what sticks.  Makes me wonder how many authors lived long enough to see some of their creations become permanent fixtures of the lexicon.  Of course, this makes me think of Shakespeare.

I’ve always been surprised by how many phrases and words came from this man.  I would have loved to be in the room when he came up with them.  What did people think?  We look at phrases like ‘green-eyed monster’ and ‘ break the ice’, but they are so common that they have no effect.  Imagine hearing them for the first time though.  It had to be confusing and require an explanation to some extent.  Probably even ignored or mocked at first, but then these determined phrases managed to wriggle into permanency.  Did Shakespeare ever expect this?

What do you think of this topic?  Have you ever wondered about the origin of common phrases?  Do you have a favorite?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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14 Responses to The Joy of Creating Words: Becoming a Shakespeare

  1. L. Marie says:

    I didn’t know that so many phrases are attributed to Shakespeare! Amazing! This is a great topic! I love learning the origins of idioms like “sticks and stones can break your bones” or “a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush.”


  2. Your mind is in a fun place today. Great post.


  3. I used to wonder who was the first person to drink the milk out of a cow. Very brave indeed. Phrases are like that. I love “busier than a cat on a hot tin roof.” Don’t know who came up with it but it fits. Fun post, Charles.


  4. Every writer has to think of new and interesting ways to express things. Shakespeare was justifiably remembered for his gift at turns of phrase.


  5. Great post! I often wonder about the origins of things. Sometimes enough that I’ll go look them up.


  6. Pingback: Wednesday Will – a blog from Charles Yallowitz – The Joy of Creating Words: Becoming a Shakespeare — Legends of Windemere – Honey

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