Shakespeare, like all the playwrights of his generation, used a lot of compound words in his plays - well over 3000 of them - and he invented a lot of them too. But it somehow seems wrong to include terms such as aglet-baby, bread-chopper and earth-vexing, all of which Shakespeare invented, as part of our list of true "words invented by Shakespeare". There is something a little too arbitrary about compound words, which basically allow an author to stick any two words together to create a new noun or adjective or verb.
So, we have decided to simply treat Shakespeare's compound-words separately from his regular words. Basically, our rule is that we will count as compound words those "words" which are were formed by combining two actual independent words.
However, we must admit that there are certain words, like out and up, which when they are used as the first word of a compound word, they really seem to behave more like prefixes rather than the first of two compounded words; so much so, in fact, that you may disagree with my categorizing them outside of the caste of pure invented words, and into the inferior category of "compound words".
I admit this is a bit of a conundrum; so, here is what we have decided to do: below we have decided to publish a list of those compound words invented by Shakespeare whose first word may be thought to behave more like a prefix than a word, and you the reader may decide if you want to add them to the list of 594 words we count as having been invented by Shakespeare.
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1. Master List of All Words “Invented” by Shakespeare, and links to detailed tables.
2. Still-Common Words First Appearing in a work by Shakespeare - a complete list.
3. Still-Common Compound Words First Appearing in a work by Shakespeare.
4. Common Words WRONGLY Attributed to Shakespeare.
5. Common Compound-Words WRONGLY Attributed to Shakespeare.
Did Shakespeare Say it First? Common words and expressions commonly attributed to Shakespeare.