Talk Like Shakespeare Day: A Quick Primer On How To Talk Like The Bard

Talk Like Shakespeare Day: A Quick Primer On How To Talk Like The Bard
Ed Paschke portrait

Today is Talk Like Shakespeare Day.  The day, originated by Chicago Shakespeare in 2009, celebrates the Bard by what could be referred to as Shakespeak–a chance to throw a few “thee-s” and “thou-s” into your speech in observation of the annual holiday.

Nearly four centuries after his death in 1616, Shakespeare is a name that is still recognized worldwide.

The Bard, as many of his fans call him, is credited with contributing over 1,700 words and countless phrases to the English language—penning 154 sonnets and 38 plays–with words such as “bedazzled,” “swagger” and “new-fangled.”

“He was not of an age, but for all time,” eulogized Shakespeare’s friend, fellow poet and playwright, Ben Jonson.

Whether you want to impress or just confuse your friends, family and co-workers, use this primer to add something a little different to your tweets, conversations and emails today.

Methinks it could add a little fun to your Thursday.

  • Instead of you, say thou or thee (and instead of y’all, say ye)
  • Rhymed couplets are all the rage.
  • Men are Sirrah, ladies are Mistress, and your friends are all called Cousin.
  • Instead of using the f-word, be creative, try calling your tormentors jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous bunch-back’d toads.
  • Don’t waste time saying it, just use the letter t (’tis, t’will, I’ll do’t).
  • Verse for lovers, prose for ruffians, songs for clowns.
  • When in doubt, add the letters eth to the end of verbs (he runneth, he trippeth, he falleth).
  • To add weight to your opinions, try starting them with methinks, mayhaps, in sooth or wherefore.

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