Feeling a bit overwhelmed with your IELTS UKVI preparation? Take a break from your intensive review efforts by learning more about the fascinating side of the English language.

Whether you discovered his works out of curiosity or as a compulsory school reading, William Shakespeare is—without a doubt—one most prolific playwrights of the world. One myth surrounding his legacy is that he coined over a thousand words in the English language. And, with the way he spins words and disregards grammar in his works, this conception may hold some grains of truth.

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While it did not reach a thousand, Shakespeare did invent a lot of words. Many terms—like moonbeam and fashionable—made their debut in his works. However, not all of the words that are attributed to him are actually his to take credit from. Studies show that some of the expressions attributed to the acclaimed playwright already existed long before him.

Give a variety to your JRooz Review Center lectures by learning about debunking English language myths. Here are some of the words that Shakespeare did not invent and the play they supposedly first appeared in.

1.    Laughable – (adj.) to characterize something as laughter- or derision-provoking.

Allegedly first used in:
The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene I
“Some that will evermore peep through their eyes
And laugh like parrots at a bag-piper,
And other of such vinegar aspect
That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.” – Salarino

2.    Assassination – (n.) refers to a murder that is secretly carried out, usually to promote one’s political agenda. 

Allegedly first used in:
Macbeth, Act I, Scene VII
“If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well   
It were done quickly: if the assassination   
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch   
With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here.” – Macbeth

3.    Deafening – (adj.) to be extremely loud or noticeable.

Allegedly first used in:
King Henry IV, Part II, Act III, Scene I
“Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them   
With deafening clamour in the slippery clouds,   
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes?” – King Henry IV

4.    Dwindle – (v.) to slowly reduce the quantity of something.

Allegedly first used in:
King Henry IV, Act III, Scene III
“Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely since this last
action? do I not bate? do I not dwindle? Why my
skin hangs about me like an like an old lady's loose
gown; I am withered like an old apple-john.” – Falstaff

5.    Frugal – (adj.) to be economic or restrained with one’s resources.

Allegedly first used in:
The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II, Scene I
“Why, he hath not been thrice in my company! What   
should I say to him? I was then frugal of my
mirth: Heaven forgive me! Why, I'll exhibit a bill
in the parliament for the putting down of men.” – Mistress Page

6.    Eyeball – (n.) refers to spherical capsule that enables one to see.  

Allegedly first used in:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act III, Scene II
“Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;   
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error with his might,   
And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.” – Oberon

7.    Puking – (v.) to vomit.

Allegedly first used in:
As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII
“At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.” – Jaques
Get your English facts straight before taking the IELTS UKVI examination. Supplement your JRooz review center course with interesting trivia about the language to fuel your study motivation. 


  • "10 Words Shakespeare Never Invented." Merriam-Webster. Accessed June 22, 2017. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/words-shakespeare-didnt-invent.
  • Barber, Katherine. "Mythbusting: Sorry, No, Shakespeare Did NOT "Invent" This Word.” Wordlady. August 8, 2014. Accessed June 22, 2017. http://katherinebarber.blogspot.com/2014/08/mythbusting-sorry-no-shakespeare-did.html.
  • Mabillard, Amanda. Words Shakespeare Invented. Accessed June 22, 2017. http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/wordsinvented.html.
  • Misra, Ria. "No, William Shakespeare Did Not Really Invent 1,700 English Words." Io9. April 24, 2015. Accessed June 22, 2017. http://io9.gizmodo.com/no-william-shakespeare-did-not-really-invent-1-700-eng-1700049586.