17 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shakespeare

5. Shakespeare had an enormous vocabulary

Earlier we mentioned that Shakespeare created a lot of new English words. Apart from injecting new words and evolving the language, Shakespeare had a huge vocabulary of existing words in English. It is said that Shakespeare’s vocabulary was larger than most modern day English speaking people. Keep this in mind that in Shakespeare’s time there was no Google, no thesaurus, no Wikipedia and access to dictionaries was uncommon. Despite that handicap, Shakespeare’s estimated word usage is 30,000 words – a massive amount.


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An average American of today knows between 10,000 and 15,000 words. You think that’s bad? – The number actually falls down when we count the words used in every day conversations. When conversing, most American use only 400 words in a day. This estimation includes both verbal and written communication.


PHOTO: nosweatshakespeare

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