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Shakespearean Glossary

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    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!

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