Shakespeare Defined - A Shakespearean Glossary

When you are trying out one of those dating services where you have to come up with a short introduction in the personals, using some terms of love from Shakespeare’s works may help you stand out a little more. To know what words to use, you will need a Shakespearean Love Glossary!

Assay – try

Aspersion – blessing by sprinkling of holy water

Bawcock – unrefined term to show affection

Benvenuto – Italian term meaning “Welcome”

Bosom – yen of the heart

Buss – a kiss

Cinque Pace – a sort of dance

Clap I’ The Clout – to hit the bull’s eye with an arrow

Claw – to cajole

Dearn – forlorn

Dig-You-Good-Den- good evening to you

Eanling – a young lamb

Encave – to be put in a cave

Eterne – eternal; everlasting

Fairy – an enchantress

Feere – a buddy; husband

Fulsome – full of lust

Germen – kernel

Green – new, young

Hent – grasp

Hoodman-Blind – Blindman’s Bluff in Shakespeare’s time

Inland – cultured, educated, well-mannered

Inward – an intimate companion

Jaunce – to flounce

Jovial – joyful; to be like Jove

Kicksy Wicksy – a not so flattering term for “wife”

Kindle – to procreate; usually used for animals

Labras – lips

Lakin – little lady; reference to the Virgin Mary

Light O’ Love – name of a love song in Shakespeare’s time

Luxury – lust

Mammets – a woman’s bosom; a doll

Man Forbid – a man under a curse

Marchpane – a sweet kind of biscuit

Minion – darling or beloved

Natural – a fool

Neif - hand

Nourish – nurse, nurture

O – a circle

Oeilliad – a lustful glance

Ouphe – a fairy

Passion – to possess feelings

Peat – a term of love usually used for a child

Penthouse Lid – eyelid

Pomander – a ball of perfume

Quaint – beautiful in a peculiar way

Quicken – to awaken, coming to life

Rapt – taken away; entranced

Rapture – bliss

Ravin – rapacious

Rive –uncommon stir

Se’nnights – seven nights

Sequestration – separation

Serviceable Vows – vows that you will serve her

Soliciting – tempting

Sorriest – full of sorrow

Sprag – quick

Succubus – a she-demon that raped a man in his sleep

Swashing – debonair, handsome

Tall – robust, gallant

Tarre – to stimulate, spur on

Tawdry-Lace – a pastoral necklace

Tempest-Tost – lost at sea as a result of storms

Too Too - excessively

Topless – ultimate, without equal

Trow – to have faith in, think

Tucket-Sonance – trumpet flourish

Union – a pearl

Unready – not dressed

Upspring Reel – an energetic dance

Vade – fade

Velure – velvet

Voluble – indecisive

Warn – to call upon

Wax – to grow

Wee – small, petite

Whoop – to cry out with surprise

Xanthippe – Socrate’s reproaching wife

Yaw – uncontrollable

Yellowness – jealousy

Zany – a jester

Shakespearean terms are colorful and meaningful. Use them to your advantage!

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