A Way with Words

As You Like ItOne of my favorite things about working through another of Shakespeare’s comedies each summer is looking for words and phrases that the Bard introduced into our English lexicon: coinages. In this summer’s play, As You Like It, Shakespeare introduces us to several expressions that have worked their way into common parlance. Here they are, with meanings, for your enjoyment and amazement:

“bag and baggage”—used to express the idea of all of one’s earthly possessions
“forever and a day”—meaning an infinite length of time
“neither rhyme nor reason”—implying something as being without logic or planning
“seen better days”—implying that something is old or worn out
“too much of a good thing”—indicating excess
“working-day world” (now often said as “work-a-day world”)—meaning commonplace, everyday

Just think about it, William Shakespeare dreamed these phrases up in his head (or heard them on the street), wrote them down in a play, and now 400 years later we’re still saying them. How cool is that?

Filed under:Uncategorized

Leave a Reply