Everyday Terms Coined By Shakespeare

You probably say and hear a lot of colloquial terms that can be traced straight back to Shakespeare.

The stories that were told by William Shakespeare have had a lot of resonance in our modern society. Romeo and Juliet remains a common touchstone, as most generations are already firmly aware of this classic tale.

However, there is more to the Shakespeare story than that. You may know about the famous stories that he came up with but are you aware of the colloquial terms he’s responsible for?

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

They are a true testament to his massive influence. This animated tutorial, provided by Digg, provides some much-needed background. There are so many terms that we use in our daily lives that can be traced directly to the works of Shakespeare. For example, the term “breaking the ice” is derived from Taming of the Shrew.

Meanwhile, if you have ever used the phrase “wild goose chase,” you are knowingly or unknowingly cribbing from Romeo and Juliet. This is another story that received a modern remix, as longtime fans of Leonardo DiCaprio’s work are well aware.

Photo: YouTube/Digg

Anyone who has ever said “out of the jaws of death” has Twelfth Night to thank for that. Even something as benign as the concept of “knock knock jokes” was ripped straight from the pages of Shakespeare, Love’s Labor’s Lost, to be exact. We barely know where the English language starts and where the Shakespeare influence ends but that’s pretty neat to us.

As huge fans of his work, we are happy to see his memory living on in the present day. There is no greater compliment to be paid to a writer of this magnitude.

Photo: flickr/Internet Archive Book Images

As the old saying goes, there are two deaths that each person must experience. The first death takes place when we physically leave the earth and transition into the next phase of our existence. The second death takes place when our name has been said for the final time.

From the looks of it, this second death is something that Shakespeare will never experience. The immortal bard has come up with all sorts of terms that will remain a key part of our vocabulary for decades to come.