William Shakespeare Language, Vocabulary and Dictionary
William Shakespeare Dictionary
CADE a cask or barrel CAGE a prison CAIN-COLOURED red (applied to hair) CAITIFF a captive, a slave; hence, a witch CALCULATE prophesy CALIVER a hand-gun CALLET a trull CALLING appellation CALM qualm CAN to know, be skillful in CANAKIN a little can CANARY a wine brought from the Canary Islands CANDLE-WASTERS persons who sit up all night to drink CANKER a caterpillar CANSTICK a candlestick CANTLE a slice, corner CANTON a canto CANVAS to sift: hence, metaphorically, to prove CAPITULATE make a combined force CAPOCCHIA a simpleton CAPRICIO caprice CAPRICIOUS lascivious CAPTIOUS capacious CARACK a large ship of burden CARBONADO meat scotched for broiling CARD the taper on which the points of the compass are marked under the mariner's needle CAREIRE the curvetting of a horse CARKANET a necklace CARL a churl CARLOT a churl CASTILIAN a native of Castile CASTILIANO VULGO to use discreet language CATAIAN a native of Cathay CATLING cat-gut CAUTEL deceit CAUTELOUS insidious CAVALERO a cavalier, gentleman CAVIARE the roe of sturgeon pickled; metaph. a delicacy not appreciated by the vulgar CEASE put off, made to cease CENSURE to judge, criticise CEREMONY a ceremonial vestment, religious rite, or anything ceremonial CERTES certainly CESS rate, reckoning CHACE a term at tennis CHAMBER a species of great gun CHAMBERER an effeminate man CHANSON a song CHARACT affected quality CHARACTER a letter, handwriting, to carve or engrave CHARACTERY handwriting That which is written CHARE a turn of work CHARGE-HOUSE a free-school CHARLES' WAIN the constellation called also Ursa Major, or the Great Bear CHARNECO a species of sweet wine CHAUDRON entrails CHEATER for escheator, an officer who collected the fines to be paid into the Exchequer A decoy CHEQUE a technical term in falconry; when a falcon flies at a bird which is not her proper game she is said to cheque at it CHEER fortune CHERRY-PIT a game played with cherrystones CHEVERIL kid leather CHEWIT cough CHILDING pregnant CH'ILL vulgar for 'I will.' CHIRURGEONLY in a manner becoming a surgeon CHOPIN a high shoe or clog CHRISTOM clothed with a chrisom, the white garment which used to be put on newly-baptized children CHUCK chicken, a term of endearment CHUFF a coarse blunt clown CINQUE PACE a kind of dance CIPHER to decipher CIRCUMSTANCE an argument CITAL recital CITE to incite CITTERN a guitar CLACK-DISH a beggar's dish CLAP I' THE CLOUT to shoot an arrow into the bull's eye of the target CLAW to flatter CLEPE to call CLIFF clef, the key in music CLING to starve
CLINQUANT glittering CLIP to embrace, enclose CLOUT the mark in the middle of a target COAST to advance COBLOAF a big loaf COCK a cockboat COCK-AND-PIE an oath COCKNEY a cook COCK-SHUT-TIME the twilight, when cocks and hens go to roost COG to cheat, dissemble COGNIZANCE badge, token COIGN projecting corner stone COIL tumult, turmoil COLLECTION drawing a conclusion COLLIED blackened. Othello; COLOUR pretence COLOURABLE specious COLT to defraud, befool CO-MART a joint bargain COMBINATE betrothed COMBINE to bind COMMODITY interest, profit
COMMONTY used ludicrously for comedy COMPACT compacted, composed COMPARATIVE drawing comparisons COMPETITOR one who seeks the same thing, an associate in any object COMPLEMENT accomplishment COMPLEXION passion COMPOSE to agree COMPTIBLE tractable CON to learn by heart, to deceive CONCEIT conception, opinion, fancy CONCUPY concubine CONDITION temper, quality CONDOLEMENT grief CONDUCT escort CONFECT to make up into sweetmeats CONFOUND to consume, destroy Coriolanus; CONSIGN to sign a common bond CONSORT to accompany CONSTANCY consistency CONSTANT settled, determined CONSTER to construe CONTINUATE uninterrupted CONTRACTION the marriage contract CONTRARY to oppose CONTRIVE to conspire to wear away CONVENT to convene CONVERT to change CONVERTITE a convert CONVEY to manage CONVEYANCE theft, fraud CONVINCE to conquer, subdue CONVIVE to feast together CONVOY escort CONY-CATCH to cheat CONY-CATCHING poaching, pilfering COOLING CARD used metaphorically for an insurmountable obstacle COPATAIN HAT a high-crowned hat COPE to reward, to give in return COPY theme CORAGIO courage CORANTO lively dance CORINTH a brothel CORINTHIAN a wencher CORKY dry like cork CORNUTO a cuckold COROLLARY a surplus OF THE FIELD an aide-de-camp CORRIVAL rival COSTARD the head COSTER-MONGER peddling, mercenary COTE a cottage or to quote or to overtake COT-QUEAN an effeminate man, molly-coddle COUNT CONFECT a nobleman composed of affectation COUNTERFEIT portrait A piece of base coin COUNTERPOINT a counterpane COUNTERVAIL to counterpoise, outweigh COUPLEMENT union COURT HOLY-WATER flattery COVENT a convent COVER to lay the table for dinner COWISH cowardly COWL-STAFF the staff on which a vessel is supported between two men COX MY PASSION an oath, a euphemism for 'God's Passion.' COY to stroke, fondle to condescend with difficulty COYSTRIL a kestrel, a hawk COZEN to cheat COZENAGE cheating COZENER a cheater COZIER a tailor CRACK to boast or a loud noise CRACKER boaster CRACK-HEMP a gallows-bird CRANK a winding passage CRANKING winding CRANTS garlands. A doubtful word CRARE a ship of burden CRAVEN a dunghill cock CREATE formed, compounded CREDENT creditable CREDIT report CRESCIVE increasing CRESTLESS not entitled to bear arms, lowborn CRISP curled, winding CROSS a piece of money, so called because the coin was formerly stamped with a cross CROW-KEEPER one who scares crows CROWNER a coroner CROWNET a coronet CRY the yelping of hounds A pack of hounds CRY AIM to encourage CUE the last words of an actor's speech, which is the signal for the next actor to begin CUISSES pieces of armour to cover the thighs CULLION a base fellow CUNNING skill CUNNING skilful CURB to bend, truckle CURRENTS occurrences CURSTNESS shrewishness CURTAL a docked horse CURTAL-AXE a cutlass CUSTALORUM a ludicrous mistake for Custos Rotulorum CUSTARD-COFFIN the crust of a custard-pudding CUSTOMER a common woman CUT a cheat 'To draw cuts' is to draw lots
Interpreting Elizabethan / Shakespearean Manuscripts and Original Documents
Vital, but little known, information about the Elizabethan alphabet is essential when looking at copies of original manuscripts of the period - examples of which can be found in Shakespeare's ' First Folio '. Learning the alphabet used during the Elizabethan era will no doubt clarify many questions that the differences of the Tudor / Elizabethan alphabet have raised such as "Couldn't Elizabethans spell properly?" and "Why is there so much confusion with the letters 'u' and 'v' and 'i' and 'j' ?Shakespeare translations and understanding the real meanings behind some of the Shakespeare language in the great plays and sonnets can be difficult. And this is hardly surprising when the expressions and their meanings have been obsolete since the Elizabethan era!