Shakespeare and 'The Licence of Ink': Endnotes

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1] Vivian Salmon in The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, ed. by Michael Dobson and Stanley Wells, 2nd edn, rev. by Will Sharpe and Erin Sullivan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), p. 109[2] Leslie Dunton-Downer and Alan Riding, Essential Shakespeare Handbook (London: Dorling Kindersley, 2004), p. 43.

[3] Stanley Wells, Shakespeare For All Time (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 147.

[4] Joseph T. Shipley, In Praise of English: The Growth and Use of Language (New York: Times Books, 1977), p. 28; Richard Lederer, The Miracle of Language, rev. edn (New York: Pocket Books, 1999), p. 87; Allan A. Metcalf, Predicting New Words: the Secrets of their Success (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002), p. 59.

[5] In 1943, Hart calculated Shakespeare’s lemmatized vocabulary as 17,677. Subsequent scholars have not diverged significantly, with most figures coming in between 17,000-20,000. Figures in the region of 28-31,000 are sometimes given - these are counts of word forms (e.g. speaks, speaketh, spoke etc.), rather than lemmas (e.g. speak).

[6] Alfred Hart, ‘The Growth of Shakespeare’s Vocabulary’, The Review of English Studies, 19.75 (1943), 242-254 (p. 254); Weekley cited in Ward E.Y. Elliott and Robert J. Valenza, ‘Shakespeare’s Vocabulary: Did it Dwarf All Others?’, in Stylistics and Shakespeare’s Language: Transdisciplinary Approaches, ed. by Mireille Ravassat and Jonathan Culpeper (London: Continuum, 2011), pp. 34-57 (pp. 34-35).

[7] Stephen Marche, How Shakespeare Changed Everything (New York: Harper Collins, 2011), p. 38.

[8] Lederer, p. 87; Marche, p. 36.

[9] Brenda James and William D. Rubinstein, Unmasking the Real Shakespeare: The Truth Will Out (London: Pearson, 2005; repr. Abingdon: Routledge, 2013), p. 7.

[10] Russ McDonald, Shakespeare and the Arts of Language (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001; repr. 2013), p. 35; Terttu Nevalainen, ‘Shakespeare’s new Words’, in Reading Shakespeare’s Dramatic Language, ed. by Sylvia Adamson and others (London: Arden, 2001), p. 237.

[11] Harold Bayley, The Shakespeare Symphony (London: Chapman and Hall, 1906), p. 210; Seth Lerer, Inventing English: A Portable History of the Language, rev. edn (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015), p. 129.

[12] Shipley, p. 28.

[13] David Crystal, The Stories of English, 2nd edn (London: Penguin, 2005), p. 318.

[14] David Crystal, Think On My Words (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), p. 9.

[15] David Crystal and Ben Crystal, The Shakespeare Miscellany (London: Penguin, 2005), pp. 108, 114.

[16] David Crystal, Email to H. M. Senechal (16 April 2016).

[17] Stephen Greenblatt in The Norton Shakespeare, ed. by Stephen Greenblatt and others (New York: Norton, 1997), p. 63.

[18] Hugh Craig, ‘Shakespeare’s Vocabulary: Myth and Reality’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 62.1 (2011), 53-74 (p. 68).

[19] Elliott and Valenza, pp. 34-57 (p. 42).

[20] Ibid., pp. 47-48.

[21] Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, Du Bartas his Deuine Weekes and Workes, trans. by Josuah Sylvester (London: Humfrey Lounes, 1611), p. 483, in EEBO-TCP <>; Thomas Nashe, Nashes Lenten Stuffe (London: N.L. and C.B., 1599), p. 31, in EEBO-TCP <>

[22] Edward Evans, Verba Dierum, or, The Dayes Report of Gods Glory (Oxford: Joseph Barnes, 1615), p. 147, in EEBO-TCP <>; Samuel Rowlands, [A Paire of Spy-Knaves] (London: G. Purslowe, [1620?]), C1v, in EEBO-TCP <>

[23] James A.H. Murray, ‘Preface to Volume I’, in A New English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1888), p. v, <>

[24] Geneviève Petau de Maulette, Devoreux. Vertues teares for the losse of the most christian King Henry, trans. by Gervase Markham (London: James Roberts for Thomas Millington, 1597), p. 37, in EEBO-TCP <>; Andrew Willett, An Antilogie or Counterplea to An Apologicall (he should haue said) Apologeticall Epistle published by a Favorite of the Romane Separation, and (as is supposed) one of the Ignatian Faction (London: Thomas Man, 1603), p. 217., in EEBO-TCP  <>

[25] Thomas Heywood, Troia Britanica: or, Great Britaines Troy (London: W. Jaggard, 1609), p. 287, in EEBO-TCP <>

[26] Jürgen Schäfer, Documentation in the OED (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980).

[27] Nashe himself can now frequently be antedated. Over 60% of the words on Schäfer’s list that the OED currently records in use at a later date can be antedated further than Nashe on via EEBO.

[28] See <>

[29] Cited in Andrew Dickson, ‘Can the world’s biggest dictionary survive the internet?’, Guardian, 23 February 2018 <>

[30] Holger Schott Syme, ‘People Being Stupid About Shakespeare III’, 11 July 2011, <>

[31] Bill Bryson, Shakespeare: the World as a Stage, rev. edn (London: Harper Collins, 2016), pp. 112-113. A further three words are on record shortly after Shakespeare’s usages, suggesting that they, too, may have been already active. Including such words in antedatable totals would add two to the Swift, Mental Floss and No Sweat Shakespeare counts and one to the tally in Unmasking the Real Shakespeare.

[32] Daniel Swift, ‘Laughable Maybe, but Never Lacklustre: Words of the Bard’, Telegraph, 21 March 2014 <>; Josie Gurney-Read, ‘How Well Do You Know Shakespeare’s Words?’, Telegraph, 21 March 2014 <>

[33] James and Rubinstein, p. 7.

[34] Roma Panganiban, ‘Twenty Words We Owe to Shakespeare’, Mental Floss, 31 January 2013 <>

[35] No Sweat Shakespeare, ‘Words Shakespeare Invented’, <>

[36] Sarah Ann Harris, ‘William Shakespeare 400th Anniversary: Can you recognise the words coined by the Bard?’, HuffPost, 21 April 2016 <>

[37] Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, ‘Shakespeare’s Words and Phrases’, <>; Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, ‘Exploring Words Invented by Shakespeare’, 2013, educational worksheet.

[38] Jeff McQuain and Stan Malless, Coined by Shakespeare: Words and Meanings First Used by the Bard (Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1998).

[39] Scott Kaiser, Shakespeare’s Wordcraft (New York: Limelight Editions, 2007), p. 2.

[40] Giles Goodland, ‘‘Strange Deliveries’: Contextualizing Shakespeare’s First Citations in the OED’ in Stylistics and Shakespeare’s Language: Transdisciplinary Approaches, ed. by Ravassat and Culpeper, pp. 8-33 (p. 30).

[41] The malapropisms are: allicholly (n.), allicholly (adj.), argal (adv.), canary (n.), cangenet (n.), cardinally (adv.), confirmity (n.), continuantly (adv.), directitude (n.), egma (n.), exion (n.), frutify (v.), gratility (n.), impeticos (v.), incardinate (adj.), infamonize (v.), temperality (n.), pulsidge (n.), vagrom (adj.), labra (n.). The remaining exclusions are: 1.) capochia (n.): Theobald’s 1733 emendation of Shakespeare’s chipochia, widely but not universally accepted - che póccia has also been proposed, for example; 2.) colly (v.): the OED includes Shakespeare’s usage (‘the collied night’) twice, in separate entries for colly (v.) and collied (adj.), counting them as two entries in its list of Shakespeare’s first usages; 3.) embassy (n.): featured in the OED entry for ambassy|embassy (n.), but antedated by a usage in the related entry embassy (n.); 4.) fly-slow (adj.): from some copies of the 1632 Second Folio, where Q texts and F1 have slie slow and slye slow respectively; 5.) halt (n.): occurs in a poem of unknown authorship that appears in The Passionate Pilgrim, an anthology that also features poems by Shakespeare; 6.) soil (v.) - as for colly (v.) and yellow (v.), ‘the soyled horse’; 7.) spitting (adj.): listed as a noun in the OED, although Shakespeare’s usage (‘the spitting power’) is adjectival and OED’s spitting (adj.) predates Shakespeare’s usage; 8.) yellow (v.) - as for colly (v.) and soil (v.), ‘their yellowing noyse’.

[42] David Crystal and Ben Crystal, p. 118.

[43] John Simpson, The Word Detective (London: Abacus, 2016; repr. 2017), p. 159.

[44] In terms of dating the likely composition of Shakespeare’s works, I have followed the ‘best guess’ suggestions provided in Martin Wiggins’ incomparable British Drama 1533-1642: A Catalogue, vols 3-6 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013-2015).

[45] In fact the figure is certainly somewhat higher as a number of unrevised entries lacking an obs. or rare marker cite only Shakespeare’s usage of an unusual term that cannot be found on EEBO either.

[46] C.S. Lewis, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, Excluding Drama (Oxford: Clarendon, 1954), p. 464.

[47] Estimates of how many new words entered the English language during the Early Modern period have varied, although the significant expansion of the language is well-documented. David Crystal states that the vocabulary doubled by the end of the period. Ian Lancashire has calculated that, from 1500 to 1600, total vocabulary grew by 75%, with numbers of new-word entries from OED making this figure 78%. Lancashire and Elisa Tersigni have, however, cautioned that the expansion rate may be inflated due to printing functioning to conserve pre-existing words from earlier, lost manuscripts. See David Crystal, The Stories of English, p. 317; Ian Lancashire, ‘Lexicon and Semantics’ in English Historical Linguistics, ed. by Alexander Bergs and Laurel J. Brinton, 2 vols (Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2012), I, 637-652 (p. 637); Ian Lancashire and Elisa Tersigni, ‘Early Modern English Vocabulary Growth’, ResearchGate, July 2013


[48] The figure is from the OED, so some of the entries will be potentially antedatable, although many remaining within the Early Modern period.

[49] Terttu Nevalainen, ‘Early Modern English Lexis and Semantics’ in The Cambridge History of the English Language ed. by Roger Lass, 6 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), III, pp. 332-456 (p. 336).

[50] Ralph Lever, The Arte of Reason, rightly termed, Witcraft (London: H. Bynneman, 1573), in EEBO-TCP <>

[51] Goodland, pp. 8-33 (p. 30).

[52] Elliott and Valenza, pp. 34-57 (p. 47).

[53] Cited in Nina Porzucki, ‘Did William Shakespeare really invent all those words?’, PRI, 19 August 2013 <>