And Other Old or Unfamiliar Words and Phrases That Occur in Shakespeare
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daff (verb): (1) Toss or wave aside, discard; (2) doff; take off; (3) make sport of. Example: "She bade good night that kept my rest away; and daffed me to a cabin hanged with care" (The Passionate Pilgrim, Poem XIV).
dam (noun): Mother. Example: "She's the devil's dam" (Titus Andronicus, 4.2.70).
damosella (noun): Damosel, a young woman. Example: "But, damosella virgin, was this [letter] directed at you?" (Love's Labour's Lost, 4.2.57)
Danskers (noun): Danes. Example: "Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris" (Hamlet, 2.1.10).
darnel (noun, DAR nl): Weed-like grass that grows in grain fields in Asia and Europe. Example:
Her fallow leasdarraign (verb): Prepare to fight; get ready for war. Example: "Darraign your battle, for they are at hand" (Henry VI Part III, 2.2.75).
The darnel, hemlock and rank fumitory
Doth root upon. (Henry V, 5.2.46-48)
daubery (noun, DAW buh re, DAW bre): Something produced in a messy, crude, or unskilled manner. Example: "She works by charms, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery as this is" (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 4.2.83).
dauphin (noun, doh FAN): Oldest son of the French king between 1349 and 1830; heir to the French throne. Example: "Prince Dauphin, you shall stay with us at Rouen" (Henry V, 3.5.67).
debile (adjective, DEB ile): Weak; lacking strength. Example: "Some debile wretch" (Corionlanus, 1.9.56).
debosh: Debauch; debase; corrupt. Example: "[Honour] is a slave, / Debosh'd on every tomb, on every grave" (All's Well That Ends Well, 2.3.124-125).
defeature (noun): Disfigurement. Example:
And therefore hath she brib’d the Destinies,deflower (verb): Take away a woman's virginity; ruin or ravage innocence. Example:
To cross the curious workmanship of nature,
To mingle beauty with infirmities,
And pure perfection with impure defeature. (Venus and Adonis, 733-736)
defunct (adjective): No longer working; inoperative; ceasing to exist. Example: "The organs . . . defunct and dead" (Henry V, 4.1.24).
delated (adjective); Accusatory; having to do with a legal charge or challenge. Example: "These delated articles [against Norway's king]" (Hamlet, 1.2.40).
delation (noun): Accusation. Example: "They are close delations, working from the heart" (Othello, 3.3.143).
demi-wolf: Animal that is part dog and part wolf. (See shough.)
denay (noun): Denial. Example: "My love can give no place, bide no denay" (Twelfth Night, 2.4.111).
denier (noun, den YAY): French coin of small value in use between the eighth and eighteenth centuries. Example: "I'll not pay a denier" (Henry VI Part I, 3.3.78).
denotement (noun): Meaning; significance. Example: "He hath devoted and given up himself to the contemplation, mark, and denotement of her parts and graces" (Othello, 2.3.238).
depute (verb): Appoint to a high position; assign authority to; transfer authority to. Example: "There is especial commission come from Venice to depute Cassio in Othello's place" (Othello, 4.2.221).
derogate 1 (verb, DAIR uh gate): Diminish in value. Example: "You cannot derogate, my lord" (Cymbeline, 2.1.24).
derogate 2 (adjective, DAIR uh gate): Base; corrupted. Example: "From her derogate body never spring / A babe to honour her" (King Lear, 1.4.196-197).
descant (noun): Discussion on a specific topic; speak about. Example: "She bade [me] . . . / To descant on the doubts of my decay" ("Passionate Pilgrim," 182)
despatch, dispatch (verb): Some editions of Shakespeare use despatch for dispatch (kill; reject; dismiss), although the authoritative Oxford Edition uses dispatch. Example:
MACBETH Is he dispatch'd?determinate (verb, dih TERM ih nate): End, terminate. Example: "The sly slow hours shall not determinate / The dateless limit of thy dear exile" (Richard II, 126.96.36.199).
FIRST MURDERER My lord, his throat is cut. (Macbeth, 3.4.19-20)
diadem (noun): Monarch's crown; royal power. Example: "Henry but usurps the diadem" (Henry VI Part III, 4.7.71).
dialogue (noun): See Stage Directions and Drama Terms.
diaper (noun): Towel. Example:
Let one attend him with a silver basindirge (noun): Funeral song. Example: "Our . . . hymns to sullen dirges change" (Romeo and Juliet, 4.5.96).
Full of rose-water and bestrew'd with flowers;
Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper. (The Taming of the Shrew, Induction, 1.51-52)
dich: Might it do; may it do; should it do. Example: Much good dich thy good heart, Appemantus" (Timon of Athens, 1.2.62).
disannul (verb): Make invalid; annul; cancel. Example: "Warwick disannuls great John of Gaunt" (Henry VI Part III, 3.3.85).
disme (noun, DIME): A tenth (1/10). Example: "Many thousand dismes" (Troilus and Cressida, 2.2.21).
dispark (verb): Declare a private park as available for public use; open a private park to the public. Example: "You have . . . / Dispark'd my parks and fell'd my forest woods" (Richard II, 3.1.24-25).
dispatch: See despatch.
disprized (adjective): Scorned; disdained; rejected. Example: "The pangs of dispriz'd love" (Hamlet, 3.1.82).
disquantity (verb): Lessen; reduce the size of. Example: "[She] will take . . . / A little to disquantity your train" (King Lear, 1.4.158-159).
distaff (noun): Rod or staff on which the fibers of flax, wool, or another material were wound around a cleft at one end prior to making yarn. The distaff could be attached to a spindle or a spinning wheel. Example: "[Your hair] hangs like flax on a distaff" (Twelfth Night, 1.3.56).
distained (adjective): Stained. Example:
Round about her tear-distained eyedistemperature (noun): Illness; fever; physical condition or disorder. Example: "[He suffered from] a huge infectious troop / Of . . . distemperatures and foes to life" (The Comedy of Errors, 5.1.88-89).
Blue circles stream'd; like rainbows in the sky:
These water-galls in her dim element
Foretell new storms to those already spent. (The Rape of Lucrece, lines 1586-1589)
distract (adjective): Distraught; distracted. Example: "She is . . . distract: / Her mood will needs be pitied" (Hamlet, 4.5.4-5).
distrain (verb): Seize (property). Example: "[Beaufort] hath here distrain'd the Tower to his use (Henry VI Part I, 1.3.66).
ditch-dog (noun): Dog that drowned in a ditch. In King Lear, Edgar describes himself as so poor that he must resort to eating dead dogs (3.4.82).
dive-dapper (noun): Bird also known as a dabchick or grebe. Example: "Upon this promise did he raise his chin / Like a dive-dapper peering through a wave" (Venus and Adonis, 85-86).
divers (adjective, DY verz): Diverse; various; several. Example:
The king’s attorney on the contrarydoit (noun): Dutch silver coin of small value; anything of little value. Example: "This morning for ten thousand of your throats / I’d not have given a doit" (Coriolanus, 5.4.40-41).
Urg’d on the examinations, proofs, confessions
Of divers witnesses. (Henry VIII, 2.1.23-25)
dole (noun): (1) Grief or sorrow; fate. Example: "What dreadful dole is here!" (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 5.1.256).
dormouse (noun): Bushy-tailed rodent resembling a mouse or a small squirrel. Example: "She did show favour to the youth in your sight only to exasperate you, to awake your dormouse valour" (Twelfth Night, 3.2.13). In other words, the listener's valor is meager.
dotant (noun, DOH tint): Old person who lacks full control of his faculties; senile person. Example: "The palsied intercession of such a decayed dotant" (Coriolanus, 5.2.37).
doublet (noun): Closefitting sleeveless jacket. Example: "Look you, Francis, your white canvas doublet will sully" (Henry IV Part I, 2.4.34).
dout (verb, rhymes with doubt): Extinguish a fire. Example: "I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze / But that this folly douts it" (Hamlet, 4.7.208-209).
dower (1) (noun): Dowery. A dowery is anything of material value, such as money or property, that a man receives from a woman at the time that they are married. Usually the father of the bride pays the dowery. Sometimes, another person offers to pay the dowery. "Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower" (All's Well That Ends Well, 5.3.344).
dower (2) (verb): Bestow a dowery. (See previous entry). Example: "[She is] dower'd with our curse" (King Lear, 1.1.204).
dowlas (noun): Coarse linen cloth. Example:
MISTRESS QUICKLY I bought you a dozen of shirts to your back.dowle (noun): Soft filament of a bird's feather. Example: "One dowle that's in my plume" (The Tempest, 3.3.81).
FALSTAFF Dowlas, filthy dowlas. (Henry IV Part I, 3.3.18-19)
down-gyved (adjective): Lowered to the ankle in a position like that of a legiron (gyve) on a prisoner. Example: "No hat upon his head, his stockings foul'd, /
Ungart'red, and down-gyved to his ankle" (Hamlet, 2.1.89-90).
Downs (noun): Chalk hills and cliffs along the coast of southeastern England. Example: "Our pinnace [ship] anchors in the Downs" (Henry VI Part II, 4.1.11).
drab (noun, verb): Prostitute; associate with a prostitute. "[I] must (like a whore) unpack my heart with words / And fall a-cursing like a very drab" (Hamlet, 2.2.420-421).
drachma (noun, DRAHK muh): Term for an ancient Greek coin widely circulating beginning in the fifth century BC. The name was also used for coins circulating later in the Roman Empire. The word appears in two of Shakespeare's Roman plays, Julius Caesar and Coriolanus. Example: "To every Roman citizen [Caesar] gives / . . . seventy-five drachmas" (Julius Caesar, 3.2.220-221).
draff (noun): Discarded food; residue from the brewing process that is fed to cattle. The word may be used figuratively to refer to anything that is thrown away because it is inferior. Example: "Swine eats all the draff" (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 4.2.50).
dram (noun): Apothecary weight that equals 1/8 of an ounce; a small amount. Example (used figuratively): "[He is] void and empty / From any dram of mercy" (The Merchant of Venice, 4.1.8).
dramatis personae (noun, DRAH muh teese pair SONE ay, or pair SONE eye): List of the characters in a play. Such a list is found at the beginning of each Shakespeare play.
drave (verb): Drove. Example:
Madam, an hour before the worshipp’d sundrawer (noun, DRAW er): Tapster; bartender. Example: "I am sworn brother to a leash of drawers, and can call them all by their . . . names, as Tom, Dick, and Francis" (Henry IV Part I, 2.4.5).
Peer’d forth the golden window of the east,
A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad. (Romeo and Juliet, 1.1.104-106)
drossy (adjective, DRAW se): Worthless; trivial; without merit. Example "The drossy age" (Hamlet, 5.2.134).
drumble (verb): Be lazy, slow, or sluggish; move lazily, slowly, or sluggishly. "Go take these clothes here quickly. . . . Look how you drumble!" (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 61).
dry-beat (verb): Beat mercilessly; beat severely. Example: "I will dry-beat you with an iron wit, and put up my iron dagger" (Romeo and Juliet, 4.5.121).
dryfoot (noun): In hunting, the scent of game. Example: "A hound . . . that draws dryfoot well" (The Comedy of Errors, 4.2.45).
dudgeon: Handle of a knife. Example: "On thy blade and dudgeon [are] gouts of blood" (Macbeth, 2.1.57).
duello (noun): Dueling rules. Example: "The gentleman will, for his honour’s sake, have one bout with you; he cannot by the duello avoid it" (Twelfth Night, 3.4.150).
dump (noun): Song of lament or mourning. Example: "Doleful dumps the mind oppress" (Romeo and Juliet, 4.5.121).
dup (verb): Open, unlatch. Example: "He dupp'd the chamber door" (Hamlet, 4.5.39).
durst (verb, past tense and past participle of dare): Dared; had the courage to. Example: "These five days have I hid me in these woods and durst not peep out" (Henry VI Part II, 4.10.1).
dug: Nipple of a breast; a breast. Example: "I had then laid wormwood to my dug" (Romeo and Juliet, 1.3.33).
durance (noun): (1) Imprisonment; (2) duration. Example: "I give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance" (Love's Labour's Lost, 3.1.88).
eale (noun): Ale. Example: "Dram of eale" (Hamlet, 1.4.40).
eaning: (verb, adjective): Yeaning (giving birth; bearing; bringing forth offspring). Example:
The fulsome ewes,eftsoons: In a moment; soon; presently. Example: "Turn our blown sails; eftsoons I'll tell thee why" (Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 5.1.297).
Who, then conceiving, did in eaning time
Fall parti-coloured lambs. (The Merchant of Venice, 1.3.67-69)
eftest: (adjective): Easiest; best. Example: "Yea, marry, that’s the eftest way" (Much Ado About Nothing, 4.2.21).
eisel (noun): Vinegar. Example: "I will drink / Potions of eisel 'gainst my stong infection" (Sonnet 111, lines 9-10).
eld (noun): Old age; old persons. Example:
All thy blessed youth
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms
Of palsied eld. (Measure for Measure, 3.1.36-38)
embarquement (noun): Hindrance. Example:
The prayers of priests, nor times of sacrifice,embassage (noun): Ambassador and his entourage. Example:
Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst
My hate to Coriolanus. (Coriolanus, 1.10.24-27)
I every day expect an embassageemblaze (verb): Blazon; depict; proclaim; display for all to see. Example: "Thou shalt wear it as a herald's coat / To emblaze the honor that thy master got" (Henry VI Part II, 4.10.39-40).
From my Redeemer to redeem me hence;
And now in peace my soul shall part to heaven. (Richard III, 2.1.5-6)
empiricutic (adjective): Having to do with medical quackery. Example: "The most sovereign prescription in Galen is empiricutic" (Coriolanus, 2.1.42).
embossed (adjective): (1) Foaming; frothing; (2) ulcerating. Examples:
Timon hath made his everlasting mansionembowel (noun): Disembowel; remove the intestines; uproot or get ride of something. Example: "When the schools/ [Are] embowell'd of their doctrine" (All's Well That Ends Well, 1.3.164-165).
Upon the beached verge of the salt flood;
Who once a day with his embossed froth
The turbulent surge shall cover. (Timon of Athens, 5.1.215-218)
All the embossed sores and headed evils
That thou with license of free foot hast caught
Wouldst thou disgorge into the general world. (As You Like It, 2.7.71-73)
embracement (noun): Embrace. Example: "The embracements of his bed where he would show most love" (Coriolanus, 1.3.3).
emulous (adjective): Envious; desiring the power or possessions of another. Example: "He is not emulous, as Achilles is" (Troilus and Cressida, 2.3.168).
encave (verb): Hide, ensconce. Example: "Do but encave yourself" (Othello, 4.1.90).
enchase (verb): Set a gem in place; decorate with engraving, embossing, or the inlaying of ivory, wood, or another material. Example: "King Henry's diadem [crown], / Enchas'd with all the honors of the world" (Henry VI Part II, 1.2.9-10).
encloud (verb): Cover or surround with vapor. Example: "In their thick breaths, / Rank of gross diets, shall we be enclouded" (Antony and Cleopatra, 5.2.256-257).
encompassment (noun): (1) Achievement; accomplishment; (2) investigation. Example: "[If you find] by this encompassment and drift of question / That they know my son" (Hamlet, 2.1.13-14).
enfeoff (verb, en FEEF): Give someone possession of an estate; figuratively, attach oneself to a certain quality. Example: "[He] enfeoff'd himself to popularity" (Henry IV Part I, 3.2.71).
engirt (verb): Encircle; surround. Example: "That gold [king's crown] must round engirt these brows of mine" (Henry VI Part II, 5.1.105).
englut (verb): Swallow eagerly; devour greedily; gulp down. Example: In Henry V, a Frenchman, Montjoy, tells King Henry before the battle of Agincourt (between the English and French), "Thou needs must be englutted" (4.3.90). Montjoy is using englutted figuratively to mean captured.
enmew (verb): Keep in a cage; imprison. Example:
This outward-sainted deputy,enow (adverb: e NOW, ih NOW, e NOH, or ih NOH): Enough. Example: There are liars and swearers enow to beat the honest men. . . (Macbeth, 4.2.61).
Whose settled visage and deliberate word
Nips youth i' the head and follies doth enmew. (Measure for Measure, 3.1.97-102).
enroot (verb): Take root. Example: "His foes are . . . enrooted with his friends (Henry IV Part II, 4.1.216).
enround (verb): Surround. Example. "How dread an army hath enrounded him" (Henry V, Act 4 Chorus, line 37).
entail (verb): Bequeath; give to a specifically designated heir. Example: "The Dukedom . . . is entailed to thee" (Edward III, 1.1).
enter: Stage direction indicating the entrance onto the stage of a character or characters..
equipage (noun, AY quih pij or e QUIP ij): Retinue; attendants of a high-ranking dignitary. Example: "A dearer birth than this his love had brought / To march in ranks of better equipage" (Sonnet 32, lines 11-12).
epilogue: Short address spoken by an actor at the end of a Shakespeare play that comments on the meaning of the events in the play or looks ahead to expected events; an afterword in any literary work.
epitheton (noun, e PITH uh tun): Greek for epithet, a term used to describe or characterize a person or thing. The following underlined words are examples of epithetons, or epithets: Richard the Lion-Hearted, Catherine the Great, and Ivan the Terrible. Sometimes an epithet is a descriptive phrase repeatedly used before a noun in a literary work, such as wine-dark sea in Homer's Iliad or Odyssey. Example from Shakespeare: "I spoke it . . . as a congruent epitheton appertaining to thy young days" (Love's Labour's Lost, 1.2.11).
ere (preposition and conjunction, pronounced AIR): Before; previous to; sooner than. Example: "That’s a marvellous searching wine, and it perfumes the blood ere one can say, What’s this?" (Henry IV Part II, 2.4.10).
erewhile (adverb): A while ago; a short time ago. Example: "Know'st thou the youth that spoke to me erewhile?" (As You Like It, 3.5.108).
erst: Formerly; originally. Example: "[The people] erst did follow thy proud chariot wheels / When thou didst ride in triumph through the streets" (Henry VI Part II, 2.4.16-17).
errant (1) (adjective): Roving; wandering; traveling about on an adventure. Example: "Come, come, you . . . knight-errant" (Henry IV Part II, 5.4.9).
errant (2) (adjective: Deviating from a path or course. Example: "Errant from his course of growth" (Troilus and Cressida, 1.3.11).
espial (noun, eh SPY l): (1) Observer; person who spies on someone; (2) observation; discovery; act of spying on someone. Example:
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too;estridge (noun): Ostrich. Example: "All [are] furnish’d, all in arms, / All plum’d like estridges that wing the wind" (Henry IV Part I, (4.1.107-108).
escot (verb, ES kit or ES kot): Support; maintain. Example: "What, are they children? Who maintains 'em? How are they escoted?" (Hamlet, 2.2.262).
esperance (noun, ES per inse): Hope. Example:
To be worst,essay (noun): Example: Attack; attempt; endeavor; campaign. "[The Scots launched] hot essays, / Girding with grievous siege castles and towns" (Henry V, 1.2.156-157).
The lowest and most dejected thing of fortune,
Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear. (King Lear, 4.1.4-6)
eterne (adjective): Eternal. Example:
MACBETH O! full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife;Ethiope or Ethiop (noun): Black who lives in Ethiopia, Africa; blackness. Example 1: "It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night/ Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear" (Romeo and Juliet, 1.5.42-43). Example 2: "Such Ethiope words [are] blacker in their effect / Than in their countenance" (As You Like It, 4.3.36-37).
Thou know’st that Banquo and his Fleance lives.
LADY MACBETH But in them nature’s copy’s not eterne. (Macbeth, 3.2.43-45)
everyet or ever yet (adverb): At any time; in all these years. Example: "When everyet was your appeal denied?" (Henry IV Part II, 4.1.95).
exchequer (noun). Treasury. Example: "You have an exchequer of words and, I think, no other treasure to give your followers" (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 2.4.36).
excursion: Stage direction indicating that a military attack is taking place. The opening of Scene II in Act III of King John contains such a stage direction..
exeunt: Stage direction indicating the departure of two or more characters from the stage.
exit: Stage direction indicating the departure of a character from the stage..
exposture (noun): Exposure. Example:
Determine on some course,exsufflicate (adjective: ex SUFF lih kit): Empty; useless; rejected. Shakespeare may have coined this word; there is no known record of its use prior to its appearance in Othello in the following passage:
More than a wild exposture to each chance
That starts i' the way before thee. (Coriolanus, 4.1.39-41)
Exchange me for a goatextirp (verb): Dig up; extirpate. Example: "It is impossible to extirp it [this vice]" (Measure for Measure, 3.2.55).
When I shall turn the business of my soul
To such exsufflicate and blown surmises. (3.3.207-210)
extraught (verb): Extracted; descended (as in descended from wealthy ancestors). Example: "Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught / To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?" (King Henry VI Part III, 2.2.146-147).
eyas (noun, EYE ihs): Young hawk trained in falconry. Example: "There is, sir, an aery of children, little eyases, that cry out on the top of question" (Hamlet, 2.2.261).
eyne (noun): Eyes. Example: "The scorn of your bright eyne . . ." (As You Like It, 4.3.45).
facinorous (fa SIN or uhs) or facinerious (adjective): Very wicked. Example: "'Tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most facinorous spirit" (All's Well That Ends Well, 2.3.23).
factionary (adjective): Taking sides; partisan; devoted to a particular group or person. Example: "Prithee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius, always factionary on the party of your general" (Coriolanus, 5.2.32).
fadge (verb): Conclude; turn out; succeed. Example: "How will this fadge?" (Twelfth Night, 2.2.24).
fain (adjective): Ready; willing; eager. Example: "I must be fain to pawn both my plate and the tapestry of my dining chambers" (Henry IV Part II, 2.1.54).
faitor (noun): Pistol's rendition of traitor in Henry IV Part II. Example: "Down, down, dogs! down faitors" (2.4.56).
falchion (noun, FAL chun): Short medieval sword with a broad blade. Example:
And full as oft came Edward to my side,
With purple falchion, painted to the hilt
In blood of those that had encounter’d him. (Henry VI Part III, 1.4.13-15)
fallow (adjective): (1) Plowed but unplanted; (2) Yellowish brown. Example 1: "Fallow leas" (Henry V, 5.2.46). Example 2: "How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he was outrun" (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1.1.38-39).
falsing (adjective, verb): Lying, deceiving, forging, counterfeiting. Example: "[I am] not sure, in a thing falsing" (The Comedy of Errors, 2.2.76). The speaker is referring to a wig ("false" hair).
fap (adjective): Drunk. Example: "Being fap, he was . . . cashier'd [dismissed from command]" (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1.1.88).
farced (adjective): Padded; stuffed; lengthened. Example: "The farced title [of a king]" (Henry V, 4.1.149).
fardel (noun, FAR dl): Burden; pack; bundle. Example: In his "to be or not to be" soliloquy in the first scene of the third act, Hamlet says fear of death makes us bear the burdens (fardels) of this life because the unknown may impose burdens we know nothing about. Here are two of the lines: "Who would fardels bear, / To grunt and sweat under a weary life?" (Hamlet, 3.1.86-87).
farthing (noun): See "From the Penny to the Pound."
fay (noun): Faith, as used in an oath. (Fay is Similar in meaning to "by George" or "by heaven"). Fay can also mean fairy in other contexts. Example: "By my fay, a goodly nap" (The Taming of the Shrew, Induction, 68).
fealty (noun): In medieval times, the fidelity or loyalty owed by a vassal (or subject) to a lord. Example: "Dare he command a fealty in me? (Edward III, 1.1.
feat (adjective): Neat. Example: "And look how well my garments sit upon me; / Much feater than before (The Tempest, 2.1.274-275).
fecks (noun): Corrupted word for faith. Example: "In fecks! / Why, that's my bawcock" (The Winter's Tale, 1.2.148-149).
federary (noun, FED er air e): Co-conspirator; confederate; traitor; accomplice; partner. Example: "She's a traitor and Camillo is / A federary with her" (The Winter's Tale, 2.1.111-112).
fee'd: (verb) Paid. Example: " There’s not a one of them but in his house / I keep a servant fee’d" (Macbeth, 3.4.157-158). Macbeth speaks these lines. His meaning is that he pays servants to act as spies in the households of others.
feeder (noun): Servant. Example: "I will your very faithful feeder be" (As You Like It, 2.4.80).
fee-grief (noun): Private grief; grief endured by one person. Example: "What concern they? The general cause? or is it a fee-grief?" (Macbeth, 4.3.227-228).
Fee-simple: Possessions. Example: "Any man should buy the fee-simple of my life for an hour and a quarter" (Romeo and Juliet, 3.1.12).
fell 1 (adjective): Deadly. Example: "Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius" (Coriolanus, 1.3.26).
fell 2 (noun): Skin or hide of an animal. Example: "We are still handling our ewes, and their fells, you know, are greasy" (As You Like It, 3.2.26).
felly (noun): Rim of a wheel with spokes. Example: "Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel" (Hamlet, 2.2.348).
feodary (noun, FE duh re): Accomplice. Example: "Art thou a feodary for this act?" (Cymbeline, 3.2.23).
fere (noun): Companion; spouse. Example: "This king unto him took a fere, / Who died and left a female heir" (Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Prologue, 23-24).
festinately (adverb): Hurriedly, quickly, hastily. Example: "Bring him festinately hither" (Love's Labour's Lost, 3.1.5).
fico (noun, FE koh): (1) A fig; (2) offensive gesture made by driving the thumb up between the index and middle finger. Example: "A fico for the phrase" (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1.3.17).
fie (interjection): For shame! Nonsense! (Used to express disagreement, annoyance, or mild disgust). Example: "Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis [the world is] an unweeded garden" (Hamlet, 1.2.139).
fillip (verb): Strike. Example: In Henry IV Part II, the Chief Justice tells Falstaff, "Commend me to my cousin Westmoreland," then exits. Falstaff then says, "If I do, fillip me with a three-man beetle" (1.2.70).
fine sovereign (noun): See "From the Penny to the Pound."
fitchew (noun): Carnivorous mammal that is related to the weasel, but larger. Example: "To be a dog, a mule, a cat, a fitchew . . . I would not care" (Troilus and Cressida, 5.1.36.).
firago (noun): Virago; shrew; ogre. Example: "Why, man, he’s a very devil; I have not seen such a firago" (Twelfth Night, 3.4.139).
firk (verb): Beat; strike. Example "I'll . . . firk him" (Henry V, 4.4.28).
fleer (noun): Sneer; scornful grimace. Example: "Mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns, / That dwell in every region of his face" (Othello, 4.1.91-92).
fleshment (noun): Excitement, stimulation, and invigoration caused by succeeding in a first attempt; excitement of an exploit. Example: "In the fleshment of this dread exploit" (King Lear, 2.2.92).
flews (noun), flewed (adjective): Flews are the overhanging flesh in the corners of the upper lip of some dogs, such as bloodhounds. Example:
My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,flexure (noun): Bend or curve in something, such as a tube; fold or crease in cloth or paper. Shakespeare uses the word figuratively to mean bowing or kneeling before someone. Example: "Will it give place to flexure and low bending?" (Henry V, 4.1.141).
So flew'd, so sanded, and their heads are hung
With ears that sweep away the morning dew. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 4.1.105-107)
flirt-gill (noun): Giddy, frivolous girl. Example: "I am none of his flirt-gills" (Romeo and Juliet, 2.4.78).
flock (noun): Tuft of wool or cotton. Example: "Put a few flocks in the point [pommel of a saddle]" (Henry IV Part I, 2.1.5).
fob (verb): Deceive; cheat. Example: "[I] begin to find myself fobbed in it" (Othello, 4.2.210).
foh (interjection): Expression of abhorrence, disgust, or contempt. Example: "Foh, foh! adieu; you palter [palterer, one who acts or talks deceptively or insincerely]" (Troilus and Cressida, 5.2.59).
foin (verb or noun, FOYN): To thrust with a sword; to fence; a thrust with a sword. Example: "In good faith, he cares not what mischief he doth if his weapon be out: he will foin like any devil; he will spare neither man, woman, nor child. (Henry IV Part II, 2.1.12).
foil (1) (noun): Thin sheet of polished metal set under a gem to enhance the gem's appearance. Example: "[Richard is] a base foul stone, made precious [like a precious gem] by the foil / Of England's chair [throne], where he is falsely set" (Richard III, 5.3.273-274).
foil (2) (noun): Flexible fencing sword with a blunted tip. Example: "The adventurous knight shall use his foil" (Hamlet, 2.2.254).
foil (3) (verb) Thwart; defeat. Example: "The wrestler / . . . did but lately foil the sinewy Charles" (As You Like It, 2.2.15-16).
foison (FOY zuhn): Good harvest, bountiful crop. Example:
. . . from the seedness the bare fallow brings
To teeming foison. (Measure for Measure, 1.4.46-48)
fool (verb or noun): In the royal courts of England, a fool was a comic figure with a quick tongue who entertained the king, queen and their guests. He was allowed to—and even expected to—criticize anyone at court. Many fools, or jesters, were dwarfs or cripples, their odd appearance enhancing their appeal and, according to prevail beliefs, bringing good luck to the court. Shakespeare wrote many fools into his plays. Among them were the fool in King Lear and Feste in Twelfth Night. William Kempe and Richard Armin became London celebrities for their performances as fools in Shakespeare's plays. Armin wrote a book about fools entitled Foole Upon Foole; or Six Sortes of Sottes.
foot (noun): Infantry; a contingent of foot soldiers. Example:
CHIEF JUSTICE Come all his forces back?footboy (noun): Boy who works as a servant or page. Example: "[He was] not like a Christian footboy or a gentleman's lackey" (The Taming of the Shrew, 3.2.45).
GOWER No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse. (Henry IV Part II, 2.1.67-68)
foot-cloth mule (noun): Mule with an ornamental cloth draped over its body. It extended to the ground on both sides of the animal. A foot-cloth mule was used on special occasions when important persons were present. Example: "Hast thou not . . . / . . . plodded by my foot-cloth mule?" (Henry VI Part II, 4.1.55-56).
footing (noun): Approach of a person on foot; footsteps. Example: "But, hark! I hear the footing of a man" (The Merchant of Venice, 5.1.32).
fordo (verb): Ruin; kill; destroy. Example:"Your eldest daughters have fordone themselves, / And desperately are dead" (King Lear, 5.3.344-345).
forsooth (adverb): Indeed; in truth; verily; in fact. Example:"Yes, forsooth, I will hold my tongue" (King Lear, 1.4.109).
fortnight (noun): Fourteen days (or two weeks). Example: "Why did you not lend it to [her] . . . a fortnight [ago]" (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1.1.101).
foughten (verb that is also used as an adjective): Fought. Example: "In this glorious and well-foughten field, / We kept together in our chivalry!" (Henry V, 4.6.20-21).
foul papers: Original manuscript of a playwright which was later edited.
fracted (adjective): Broken; fractured. Example: "His heart is fracted" (Henry V, 2.1.76).
frank (verb): Enclose; shut; imprison. Example: "My son . . . is frank'd up in hold" (Richard III, 4.5.5).
fraught (adjective and verb): Filled with; full of. Example: "I would you would make use of your good wisdom / Where of I know you are fraught" (King Lear, 1.4.133-134).
fraughtage (noun, FRAW tij): Cargo, freight; shipment. Example: "The deep-drawing barks do there disgorge / Their war-like fraughtage" (Troilus and Cressida, Prologue, 12-13).
frippery (noun): Shop that sells second-hand clothes; old clothes. (In modern English, frippery refers to fancy clothes.) Example: In The Tempest, Trinculo, the jester, examines clothes and says, "O King Stephano! . . . . Look what a wardrobe here is for thee." Then, addressing the deformed beast Caliban, Trinculo says, "Oh ho, monster! We know what belongs to a frippery" (4.1.235).
frontlet (noun): Decorative band worn around the forehead. Shakespeare uses it figuratively to refer to a frown. Example: "How now, daughter! what makes that frontlet on? Methinks you are too much of late i' [in] the frown" (King Lear, 1.4.108).
froward (adjective, FRO werd): Obstinate; stubborn; disobedient; contrary. Example: "Ah, froward Clarence, how evil it beseems thee / To flatter Henry, and forsake thy brother" (Henry VI Part III, 4.7.87-88).
frush (verb): Batter; wreck; destroy. Example: "I like thy armour well; / I'll frush it and unlock the rivets all" (Troilus and Cressida, 5.6.38-39).
fumiter: See fumitory.
fumitory (noun, FEW mih tor e): Herb with spikes of spur-shaped flowers. Example:
Her fallow leasfust (verb): Decay; decline; rot away. Example:
The darnel, hemlock and rank fumitory
Doth root upon. (Henry V, 5.2.46-48)
He that made us . . .fustilarian (noun, FUS tih LAIR e ihn): Scoundrel; despicable person. Example: Away, you scullion! you rampallian! you fustilarian! (Henry IV Part II, 2.1.25).
. . . gave us not
That capability and god-like reason
To fust in us unus'd. (Hamlet, 4.4.41-44) [God gave us reason to think carefully and wisely. Not using our reason causes it to wither and waste away.]
gaberdine (noun): Loose-fitting outer garment, such as a coat or cloak. "The storm is come again! my best way is to creep under his gaberdine; there is no other shelter hereabouts" (The Tempest, 2.2.23).
gad (1) (noun): Pointed tool that can pierce; chisel. Example: "With a gad of steel [I] will write these words" (Titus Andronicus, 4.1.107).
gad (2) (verb): Wander about. Example: "Where have you been gadding?" (Romeo and Juliet, 4.2.17)
gage (noun): Glove thrown down by a knight as a sign that he challenges another man to a duel to the death. Example: "Pale trembling coward, there I throw my gage" (Richard II, 1.1.72).
gallery: Roofed seating area of a theatre, such as the Globe, that resembled the grandstand of a baseball park. The Globe had three galleries that could accommodate 2,000 to 3,000 playgoers.
galliard (noun): Spirited dance. Example: "What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?" (Twelfth Night, 1.3.62).
gallow (verb): Frighten. Example: "The wrathful skies / Gallow the very wanderers of the dark" (King Lear, 188.8.131.52).
galliass (noun): Shakespeare's spelling of galleass, the term for a well-armed galley with three masts that sailed the Mediterranean between 1500 and 1700. Example: "Gremio, 'tis known my father hath no less / Than three great argosies, besides two galliasses" (The Taming of the Shrew, 2.1.380-381).
gallowglasses or galloglasses: Well-armed mercenary soldiers in the service of an Irish chieftain. Example:
The multiplying villanies of naturegamesome (adjective): Playful; given to merriment. Example: "[No one else] is so merry and so gamesome" (Cymbeline, 1.6.68).
Do swarm upon him—from the western isles
Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied. (Macbeth, 1.2.15-17)
gammon (noun): Bottom portion of a side of bacon. Example: "I have a gammon of bacon . . . to be delivered as far as Charing-cross" (Henry IV Part I, 2.1.13).
gaoler (noun, JAIL er): Jailer. Example:
You're my prisoner, butgarboil (noun): Uproar; confusion; turmoil; disturbance. Example: "At thy sovereign leisure read / The garboils she awak'd" (Antony and Cleopatra, 1.3.73-74).
Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys
That lock up your restraint." (Cymbeline, 1.1.85-86)
gaskins: (noun): Another word for galligaskins, which were loose trousers. Example:
CLOWN I am resolved on two points.gasted (adjective): Terrified. Example: “Whether gasted by the noise I made, / Full suddenly he fled” (King Lear, 2.1.57-58).
MARIA That if one break, the other will hold; or, if both break, your gaskins fall. (Twelfth Night, 1.5.14-15)
gawd (noun): Gaud, a gaudy trinket or bauble; a cheap and showy article of fashion. Example: "These . . . gawds / . . . I'll pull them off myself" (The Taming of the Shrew, 2.1.5-6).
geck (noun): Object of mockery, scorn, and derision. Example:
Why have you suffer'd me to be imprison'd,gentle (noun): Person of high birth and social position. Example: "Gentles, methinks you frown" (The Taming of the Shrew, 3.2.69).
Kept in a dark house, visited by the priest,
And made [a] notorious geck? (Twelfth Night, 5.1.308-310)
gest (noun): Exploit; adventure; bold deed; noteworthy accomplishment. "We have beat him to his camp: run one before / And let the queen know of our gests" (Antony and Cleopatra, 4.8.3-4).
gib (noun, adjective: pronounce the g as in get): Castrated cat. Example: "I am as melancholy as a gib cat" (Henry IV Part I, 1.2.25).
giglot (noun,GIG lut): Wanton or lascivious woman. Example: "Away with those giglots. . . ! (Measure for Measure, 5.1.353).
gimmal (noun, GIM l): Interlocking rings making up the bit of a horse. Gimmal can be used as an adjective, as in the following example: "In their pale dull mouths the gimmal bit / Lies foul with chew'd grass" (Henry V, 4.2.54-55).
gimmor or gimmer (noun): Mechanical device; gadget; doohickey. "I think by some odd gimmors or device / Their arms are set like clocks" (Henry VI Part I, 1.2.44-45).
ging (noun): Gang. Example: "There's a knot, a ging, a pack, a conspiracy against me" (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 4.1.57).
Gis (noun, Jeez): Jesus. In Hamlet, Ophelia uses this term when swearing an oath (4.5.41).
glanders (noun): Contagious disease of animals, primarily horses, causing neck swelling and ulceration in the lungs and respiratory tract. It is sometimes fatal. Example: "His horse [is] hipped with an old mothy saddle and . . . possessed with the glanders" (The Taming of the Shrew, 3.2.43).
gleek (noun): Imitation; mock. Example: "[I will give you] the gleek" (Romeo and Juliet, 4.5.116).
glister (verb): Glisten. Example: "All that glisters is not gold" (The Merchant of Venice, first line of a poem following line 67 of 2.7).
glow-worm (noun): Beetle that glows like a firefly. Example: The glow-worm shows the matin [morning] to be near (Hamlet, 1.5.97).
gloze or glose (verb): Explain away; comment, talk at length. Example:
Paris and Troilus, you have both said well,goblin (noun): Small, ugly, diabolical creature that plays malicious tricks on human beings. "Be thou a spirit of health or a goblin damn'd" (Hamlet, 1.4.46).
And on the cause and question now in hand
Have gloz'd, but superficially. (Troilus and Cressida, 2.2.171-173)
good-year (noun): Sexually transmitted disease. Good-year is most frequently used in Shakespeare as a mild oath. It is usually preceded by what the, as in what the hell! Example "You are both, i' good truth, as rheumatic as two dry toasts; you cannot one bear with confirmities. What the good-year!" (Henry IV Part II, 2.4.24).
gobbet (noun): Morsel; chunk; piece. Example: "[You are] overgorged / With gobbets of thy mother's bleeding heart" (Henry VI Part II, 4.1.89-90).
godwit (noun): See Q to Z, scamel.
gorbellied (adjective): Having a big belly; having a belly gorged with food. Example: "Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye undone?" (Henry IV Part I, 2.2.45).
gourd or gord (noun): Loaded die (plural, loaded dice). Gambling object tossed in a game resembling dice. Shakespeare uses this word in The Merry Wives of Windsor (1.3.43).
gramercy (interjection): Thanks, thank you. Example:
GOBBO God bless your worship!gratis (adverb): Without interest; without a fee. Example: "He lends out money gratis" (The Merchant of Venice, 1.3.23).
BASSANIO Gramercy! (The Merchant of Venice, 2.2.34-35)
gratulate 1 (adjective, GRATCH you late): Pleasing; satisfying; gratifying. Example: "There is more behind that is more gratulate" (Measure for Measure, 5.1.543).
gratulate 2 (verb, GRATCH you late): Greet happily; congratulate. Example: "[I go] to gratulate the gentle princes" (Richard III, 4.1.13).
graymalkin (noun, gray MAL kin): (1) Gray cat; (2) untidy woman. Example: "I come, Graymalkin!" (Macbeth, 1.1.11). The first witch is addressing her cat.
greave (noun): Piece of armor worn by knights to protect the shin (between the knee and ankle). Example: "The harsh and boisterous tongue of war / [Turns] your brooks to greaves" (Henry IV Part II, 4.1.56-57).
greenly (adverb): Naively; without thinking things through; amateurishly; without sophistication. Example: "We have done but greenly" (Hamlet, 4.5.52).
gripe (noun): Grasp; grip. (See unlineal.)
grize or grise (noun, GREEZ): Step; stage in a series of actions. Example:
Let me speak like yourself and lay a sentence,groat (noun): See "From the Penny to the Pound."
Which as a grize or step, may help these lovers
Into your favour. (Othello, 1.3.221-223)
guardant (noun): One who protects another. In heraldry, the term is used to refer to the image of a beast facing forward, as on a painted shield. Example: "My angry guardant stood alone" (Henry VI Part I, 4.7.11). Here, a soldier named Talbot is referring to his son, who fought bravely in battle to protect his father. But he died.
gudgeon (noun): Small freshwater fish. Example: "But fish not, with this melancholy bait, / For this fool-gudgeon, this opinion" (The Merchant of Venice, 1.1.107-108).
guerdon (noun and verb, GUR don): Reward. Example: "My Lord Protector will, I doubt it not, / See you well guerdon'd" (Henry VI Part II, 1.4.41-42).
gules (noun, GYOOLZ): In heraldry, the color red. Example: "Head to foot / Now is he total gules; (Hamlet, 2.2.310-311). Note: Nathaniel Hawthorne used this word in the last sentence of his novel The Scarlet Letter to identify the color of the letter A (standing for adulteress), sewn into a patch worn by the novel's heroine, Hester Prynne.
gyve (noun, JIVE): Shackle, fetter; leg iron; manacle. Example: "Here is in our prison a common executioner, who in his office lacks a helper: if you will take it on you to assist him, it shall redeem you from your gyves" (Measure for Measure, 4.2.5).
habiliment (noun, huh BIL uh ment): Clothing suited for a particular occasion; dress; garb. The word is frequently used in the plural. Example:
In this strange and sad habiliment,habitude (noun): Usual way of behaving; behavior pattern; tendency. Example: "His real habitude gave life and grace / To appertainings and to ornament ("A Lover's Complaint," line 115).
I will encounter with Andronicus,
And say I am Revenge. (Titus Andronicus, 5.2.3-5)
haggard (noun): Bird of prey more than a year old. Shakespeare uses this word figuratively for the unruly wife of Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew.
Another way I have to man my haggard,hale (verb): Pull; drag; draw; lift up and down. Example: "I'll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne" (Henry VI Part I, 1.1.154).
To make her come, and know her keeper's call
. . . is to watch her, as we watch these kites (4.1.131-133).
half-crown (noun): See "From the Penny to the Pound."
halfpenny or ha'penny (noun): See "From the Penny to the Pound."
halter (noun): Rope for hanging a person by the neck. Example: "I hope as soon to be strangled with a halter" (Henry IV Part I, 2.4.189).
halidom (noun): Holy place, sacred
place. Example: "By my halidom / The pretty wretch left
crying" (Romeo and Juliet, 1.3.50).
In Syracusa was I born, and wedhapless (adjective): Unlucky; unfortunate. Example: "Hapless Aegeon whom the fates have mark’d / To bear the extremity of dire mishap!" (The Comedy of Errors, 1.1.142-143).
Unto a woman, happy but for me,
And by me too, had not our hap been bad. (The Comedy of Errors, 1.1.37-40)
haply (adverb): Perhaps; by accident or chance; by happenstance. Example: "I have thrust myself into this maze,/ Haply to wive and thrive as best I may" (The Taming of the Shrew, 1.2.44-45).
hard-handed (adjective): Having callused hands; having the rough hands of carpenters or others who do manual labor. Example:
THESEUS What [who] are they that do [act] the play?hardiment: Daring deed; bold undertaking. Example: "He did confound the best part of an hour / In changing hardiment with great Glendower" (Henry IV Part I, 1.3.103-104).
PHILOSTRATE Hard-handed men, that work in Athens, here. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 5.1.76-77)
harebell or hare-bell (Noun): Plant with bell-shaped flowers, blue or white. Example:
Thou shalt not lackharlock (noun): Charlock, a weed in the mustard family, or possibly hordock, a weed with purple or pink flowers. Example: "[He was] crown'd . . . / With harlocks, hemlock, nettles" (King Lear, 4.4.5-6).
The flower that's like thy face, pale primrose, nor
The azur'd harebell. (Cymbeline, 4.2.283-285)
harrow (verb): Torment, worry, distress; vex. Example: "It harrows me with fear and wonder" (Hamlet, 1.1.57).
hasle (noun, adjective): Hazel, a shrub or small tree. Example: "[Edward stood like] a hasle wand amidst a wood of pines" (Edward III, 5.1).
haste-post-haste (adjective): Immediate; instant. Example: "He requires your haste-post-haste appearance" (Othello, 1.2.44).
hatchment (noun): Tablet or panel exhibiting a deceased person's coat of arms. Example: "No . . . hatchment o'er his bones" (Hamlet, 4.5.176).
haught (adjective): Proud; haughty. Example: "Thou haught insulting man" (Richard II, 4.1.262).
hautboy or hautbois (noun, O bwah or HO bway): Oboe, a woodwind instrument. Example: At the beginning of second scene of the first act of Timon of Athens, a bracketed description of what is taking place begins with the following phrase: "Hautboys playing loud music." This description precedes the scene but is not part of it.
haviour (noun): Behavior; manner of conducting oneself. In Hamlet, Claudius observes that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were brought up with Hamlet and are "neighbour'd to his youth and haviour" (2.2.14). (Some editions of Shakespeare's works use humour instead of haviour.) Then Claudius asks them to keep company with Hamlet and act as informers.
head (noun): Momentum; progress. Example: "The Goths [army of Goths] have gather'd head" (Titus Andronicus, 4.4.65).
head-lugged (adjective): Dragged by the ears or the head. Example: "[He is] a gracious aged man, / Whose reverence even the head-lugg'd bear would lick. (King Lear, 4.2.48-49).
hebona (noun): Plant containing a poisonous agent. Example: "Juice of cursed hebona" (Hamlet, 1.5.70).
hectic (noun): Fever; heat; rage. Example: "Like the hectic in my blood, he rages" (Hamlet, 4.3.61).
hedge (verb): Protect someone as if he is enclosed with a hedge. Example: "There's such divinity doth hedge [protect] a king" (Hamlet, 4.5.99)..
hedge-pig: Hedgehog. Example: "Thrice and once the hedge-pig whin'd" (Macbeth, 4.1.4).
hedgepriest (noun): Traveling Methodist preacher; clergyman who accepted the views of John Wycliffe; uneducated clergyman. Example:
BEROWNE There is five in the first show.heft (noun): Heaving; vomiting. Example:
KING You are deceived, 'tis not so.
BEROWNE The pedant, the braggart, the hedgepriest, the fool, and the boy. (Love's Labour's Lost, 5.2.560-562)
Make knownhefted (adjective): Weighted. Example: "Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give / Thee o'er to harshness" (King Lear, 2.4.178-179).
How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge [throat, gullet], his sides,
With violent hefts. (The Winter's Tale, 2.1.58-60)
heigh (interjection, HI): A call for attention. Example: "Heigh, heigh! the devil rides upon a fiddlestick" (Henry IV Part I, 2.4.185).
helm (noun): Helmet. Example: "This [man] would have donn'd his helm / For such a petty war" (Antony and Cleopatra, 2.1.43-44).
hempen (adjective): Made of hemp. In line 9 of the chorus recitation that begins the third act of Henry V, Shakespeare refers to sailors climbing hempen ropes.
henchman (noun): Servant, attendant, or page; trusted or loyal follower. Example: "I do but beg a little changeling boy, / To be my henchman" (A Midsummer's Night's Dream, 2.1.124-125).
hent (verb): Jump. Example: "Jog on, jog on, the footpath way / And merrily hent the stile" (The Winter's Tale, 4.2.41).
hest (noun): Command, order. Example:
FERDINAND What is your name?hewgh (noun or interjection, rhymes with few): Sound of an arrow shot through the air. Example: "O, well flown. . . . Hewgh!" (King Lear, 4.6.103)
MIRANDA Miranda.—O my father!
I have broke your hest to say so. (3.1.46-48)
Hiems (noun, HI ems or HE ems): Latin for winter. Example: "This side is Hiems, Winter; this Ver, the Spring" (Love's Labour's Lost, 5.2.874).
high cross or high-cross (noun): Large stone cross in Ireland or Britain; crossroads; stone cross erected at a crossroads. Example: "I had as lief take her dowry with this condition, to be whipped at the high-cross every morning" (The Taming of the Shrew, 1.1.17).
hilding (noun): Base, despicable person. Example: "He was some hilding fellow that had stolen / The horse he rode on" (Henry IV Part II, 1.1.70-71).
hight (adjective): Called, named. Example: This maid hight Philoten . . . (Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 4.1.17-18).
hindmost (adjective): Last; in the rear. Example: "I muse my Lord Gloucester has not come: / 'Tis not his wont [habit; practice] to be the hindmost man" (Henry VI Part II, 3.1.4).
hither (adverb): Here; to this place. Example: "His word is warrant for his welcome hither" (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 2.4.94).
hizz (verb): Hiss. Example: "To have a thousand . . . / Come hizzing in upon 'em--" (King Lear, 3.6.9-10).
hodge pudding or hodge-pudding (noun): Dish consisting of meats boiled in a sheep's stomach. Example: "What, a hodge-pudding?" (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 5.5.93).
hoise (verb, HOYZ): Lift; hoist. Example: "We'll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his seat" (Henry VI Part II, 1.1.158).
holla (interjection): A shout for attention; hey, there! Holla is a variant of hollo and hallo. Example: "Holla, you clown!" (As You Like It, 2.4
hollaing (noun): Use of the interjection holla (see previous entry) to shout or draw attention; hollering. Example: "Leave [stop] hollaing, man" (The Merchant of Venice, 5.1.54).
holidame (noun): (1) Holiness or holy place; another word for halidom; (2) possibly a reference to Mary, the mother of Christ (holy dame, holy lady). Example: "Now, by my holidame. / What manner of man are you?" (Henry VIII, 5.1.144-145).
holp (verb, pronounced with a long o): Help or helped. Example: "Our own hands have holp to make . . . ." (Henry IV, 1.3.12).
holy-ales (noun): Ale-drinking parties to raise money for the church. Example: "[The song] hath been sung at festivals, / . . . and holy-ales" (Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Act I, Chorus (or Prologue), line 8).
honey-stalks (noun): Honeysuckle-clover, a clover with rounded white heads that grows in meadows and pastures. Example: "Words more sweet . . . / Than baits to fish or honey-stalks to sheep" (Titus Andronicus, 4.4.92-93).
hornbook (noun): Page of text usually printed with the alphabet, letter combinations, number tables, and perhaps a religious quotation. The page was affixed to a board with a handle and covered with a transparent layer of horn to preserve it. In earlier times, schoolchildren used hornbooks as a handy source of information. Example: "He teaches boys the hornbook" (Love's Labour's Lost, 5.1.21),
horn-mad (adjective): Angry as a raging bull; raving. Example: "If this should ever happen, thou wouldst be horn-mad" (Much Ado About Nothing, 1.1.105).
horologe (noun, HOR uh lohj): English word for horloge (OR lozh), the French word for clock. Example: "He'll watch the horologe" (Othello, 2.3.82).
hot-house or hothouse (noun): Euphemism for a house of prostitution in Measure for Measure. A character, Elbow, speaks of a brothel that was torn down. Then he says the woman who operated it opened another establishment and called it a "hot-house" (greenhouse). But it was just another brothel (Measure for Measure, 2.1.56).
house of resort (noun): Brothel. Example: "All houses of resort in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down" (Measure for Measure, 1.2.55).
howbeit (adverb, how BE it): Nevertheless; whatever the case; be that as it may. Example: "Howbeit they would uphold this . . . law / To bar your highness (Henry V, 1.2.96-97).
hox (verb): Disable a horse, cat, or dog (or any other quadruped that bears its weight on its toes) by cutting the tendons of joints in the hind legs; hamstring; cripple; render something or someone ineffective. Example:
Thou art not honest; or,hoy (noun): Small, single-masted sailing vessel. Example: "To tarry (wait) for the hoy" (The Comedy of Errors, 4.3.24).
If thou inclinest that way, thou art a coward,
Which hoxes honesty behind. (The Winter's Tale, 1.2.287-289)
huggermugger (noun): Secret act performed in confusion or haste. Example: "And we have done but greenly in huggermugger to inter him" (Hamlet, 4.5.52-53). Explanation: Claudius is telling Gertrude that they acted without thinking things through (greenly) when they buried (interred) Polonius in secret haste (in huggermugger).
hull (verb): Drift or toss on the sea. Example: "Hulling in / The wild sea of my conscience" (Henry VIII, 2.4.213-214).
hurly (noun): Hubbub; confusion; commotion. Example: "Amid this hurly I intend / That all is done in reverend care" (The Taming of the Shrew, 4.1.141-142).
hurtle (verb): Clatter; clash. Example: "The noise of battle hurtled in the air" (Julius Caesar, 2.2.26).
hurricano (noun): Hurricane or waterspout. Example: "Not the dreadful spout / Which shipmen do the hurricano call" (Troilus and Cressida, 5.2.197-198).
husband (verb): Manage. Example: "Husbanded with modesty" (The Taming of the Shrew, Induction.1.65)
huswife (noun): Promiscuous woman; disrespectful woman; hussy. Example: "Doth Fortune play the huswife with me now?" (Henry V, 5.1.33).
hyen (noun): Hyena. Example: "I will laugh like a hyen" (As You Like It, 4.1.64)
Hyrcanian beast (noun): Tiger. Example: "The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast,—" (Hamlet, 2.2.304).