This video was published on May 4, 2012. The lesson is by April Gudenrath and animation by TED-Ed. There is a full lesson at here. "You're a fishmonger!" By taking a closer look at Shakespeare's words--specifically his insults--we see why he is known as a master playwright whose works transcend time and appeal to audiences all over the world."

Shakespeare glossary (Cliff Notes

A glossary of Shakespearean terms from the publisher of notes for students who don't necessarily read the literature for themselves
Dictionary of Shakspeare
A selective dictionary of Shakepearean words that have may no longer be used, or whose meanings have changed over the centuries.
Words and Phrases Coined by Shakespeare
A long list of phrases and words that Shakespeare invented, like "dead as a doornail" and "unreal." For many English-speakers, the following phrases are familiar enough to be considered common expressions, proverbs, and/or clich├ęs.
Concordance of Shakespeare's works
Easy to use. Type in a word, and this search engine will find all the instances of that word in Shakespeare's works.
Shakespeare's words
The site integrates the full text of the plays and poems with the entire Glossary database, allowing you to search for any word or phrase in Shakespeare's works, and in particular to find all instances of all words that can pose a difficulty to the modern reader.

How many words did Shakespeare know?
Statistical techniques can give us a good estimate of how many words Shakespeare knew based on how many he used.

Shakespeare Insult generator
This site (by "Playing With Plays") is a fun way to help you discover Shakespearian English. The concept is very simple. You download a PDF document which contains three columns. All you have to do to create an insult is to choose one word from each of the three columns and it is do.

Shakespeare insults
A selection of Shakespeare's insults and put-downs from the No Sweat Shakespreare site

Elizabethan English
The topics include sounds and sentences, puns and word-play, Shakespeare's pronunciation, and prose & verse.

Proper Elizabethan accents
This site offers a brief introduction about how speech in Elizabethan England actually sounded,vocabulary, and grammar. It includes a table for constructing Shakespearean insults.

Reading Shakespeare's language
The New Folger Library Shakespeare presents some resources to help guide students in reading Shakespeare.


An introduction by David and Ben Crystal to the 'Original Pronunciation' production of Shakespeare and what they reveal about the history of the English language.




Shakespeare uses a wide variety of words changed around. Ordinarily the verb follows subject, eg. we say - Are you calling? Shakespeare said - Call you?

Shakespeare tended to use "are" or "were" rather than "have" or "had" in cases such as this with a past participle

Pronouns Second person is "you" nowadays for plural or singular. In Shakespeare's day, you was used to be polite or as the plural. Thou was for ordinary use.