Let's face it, no matter how many times your English teacher rambles on about how cool Shakespeare is, his stuff isn't too easy to read. We're not talking about a few funny words, like in Doctor Seuss - we're talking Elizabethan English (also known, funnily enough, as "Modern English"), which may as well be a different language! To help you get to the actual story behind those baffling words, Kidzworld's put together a cheat sheet for reading Shakespeare. Check it out!
Shakespeare's Vocab A - Z
- Alas: An exclamation of sadness or regret.
- Barn: No, it's not the thing that cows live in. In Shakespeare's time this was a child.
- Abate: This is a multi-purpose word meaning either to shorten, to throw down or to dull the edge of.
- Aim: A guess.
- Bob: This isn't just a dude's name, Shakespeare used it to mean to strike something, or to insult someone or to get something from someone by insulting them.
- Century: One hundred of anything.
- Coil: What we would now call turmoil or a disturbance.
- Cross: A piece of money or a coin.
- Dig-You-Good-Den: Literally this means "give you good evening" but it really just means goodnight.
- Don: To put on.
- Enseamed: Fat, gross and smelly. Not a nice thing to call your friends.
- Fang: To bite something or to grab it with your teeth.
- Forsooth: In truth, or in fact.
- Forbode: Forbidden or not allowed.
- Guard: A decoration or to decorate something.
For more words from Shakespeare, click here!