- For what, alas! can these my single arms?
- What propugnation is in one man's valour,
- To stand the push and enmity of those
- This quarrel would excite? -- Troilus and Cressida, ii, 2.
From the Latin word propugnatio, 'defence,' Shakespeare has framed the term "propugnation" to express 'power of defence.'
- But once put out thy light,
- Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
- I know not where is that Promethean heat
- That can thy light relume. -- Othello, v. 2.
From the Latin, lumen, 'light,' Shakespeare has invented this elegant verb "relume," to express 're-light,' 'light again.'
- This sight would make him do a desperate turn,
- Yea, curse his better angel from his side,
- And fall to reprobance. -- Othello, v. 2.
Shakespeare formed this word, as he formed the words "arrivance" and "iterance" in the present play, with the termination in "ance" instead of 'al' and 'ation.'
- This sleep is sound indeed; this is a sleep,
- That from this golden rigol hath divorc'd
- So many English kings. -- Henry IV, Part II, iv. 4.
- About the Mourning and congealèd face
- Of that black blood a watery rigol goes,
- Which seems to weep upon the tainted place. Rape of Lucrece, Stanza 250.
From the old Italian word rigolo, a small wheel, Shakespeare fashioned the term "rigol," to express a 'circle' or 'circlet.'
- Light thickens; and the crow
- Makes wing to the rooky wood. -- Macbeth, iii. 2.
The poet has framed the word "rooky" to express 'abounding in rooks,' 'with trees in which the rooks build,' 'where there is a rookery.' This expression has been strangely misunderstood; while, to our mind, it seems replete with picturesque and self-evident meaning.
- Because that now it lies you on to speak
- To the people; not by your own instruction,
- Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you,
- But with such words that are but roted in
- Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables
- Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth. -- Coriolanus, iii, 2.
Shakespeare fabricated the condensed word "roted" to express 'retained by rote,' 'acquired by rote and held ready for conventional utterance.'
Diana's lip is not more smooth and rubious. -- Twelfth Night, i. 4.
From the Latin word rubeus, 'ruddy,' and from the gem called 'ruby,' Shakespeare devised the exquisite word "rubious" to convey the sense of 'ruddy,' 'ruby red.'
- Those happy smilets,
- That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
- What guests were in her eyes. -- King Lear, iv. 3.
We owe to Shakespeare's need of an expressive and poetical word in this passage, descriptive of a tender daughter struggling with her tears and striving to retain patient submission amid her sorrow, the beautiful diminutive "smilets," which so well designates attempted smiles, half smiles.
- To find a place where all distress is stel'd. -- Rape of Lucrece, Stanza 207.
- Mine eye hath play'd the painter, and hath stel'd
- Thy beauty's form in table of my heart. -- Sonnet 24.
Shakespeare has fashioned the expressive word "stel'd" (partly perhaps in reference to "stell," 'a fixed place of abode,' and partly perhaps in reference to "stile," 'an implement used by artists') to imply 'fixed,' 'graven.'
- The sea, with such a storm as his bare head
- In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoyed up,
- And quench'd the stellèd fires. -- King Lear, iii. 7.
From the Latin stella, 'star,' and perhaps also in reference to the above-mentioned word "stell," the poet framed the poetical epithet "stellèd" to express 'starry,' 'stationed in the firmament.'
- Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
- The perfume and suppliance of a minute. -- Hamlet, i. 3.
Shakespeare fabricated the word "suppliance" to express concisely that which is supplied.
- With those legions
- Which I have spoke of, whereunto your levy
- Must be supplyant. -- Cymbeline, iii. 7.
And the word "supplyant" to condensely express 'contributive of supplies.'
- And I will never fail beginning nor supplyment. -- Cymbeline, iii. 4.
And the word "supplyment" to express 'continued supply.'
- Bring them, I pray thee, with imagin'd speed
- Unto the Tranect, to the common ferry
- Which trades to Venice. -- Merchant of Venice, iii. 4.
Shakespeare may have heard the word "Tranect" from some one acquainted with a local peculiarity; or he may have fashioned it himself either from the Italian traghetto, 'ferry,' or from the Latin and Italian tranare, to 'swim,' 'sail,' or 'pass over.' Inasmuch as the Italian tranare or trainare also means to draw or drag, it is possible that the Italian ferry-boat formerly was drawn through the water by means of a process still in use in some places, and which we once saw at Rotterdam, where a ferry-boat was made to traverse the stream, by a man on board laying hold of a rope strained across the canal for that purpose.
- How now! what noise? That spirit's possess'd with haste
- That wounds the unsisting postern with these strokes. -- Measure for Measure, iv. 2.
From the Latin sistere, 'to stand still,' Shakespeare formed the epithet "unsisting," to express 'unstill,' 'never resting.'
- Now, by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss
- I carried from thee, dear; and my true lip
- Hath virgin'd it e'er since. -- Coriolanus, v. 3.
It well became Shakespeare, the most passionate and delicate-souled of poets, to invent this expression "virgin'd," as implying 'held sacredly and chastely and exclusively.'
There are some words which Shakespeare has coined for the sake of humorous effect:
One Bardolph, if your majesty know the man: his face is all bubukles, and whelks, and knobs, and flames o' fire. -- Henry V, iii. 6.
"Bubukles" is facetiously compounded from the French word bube, a blotch or sore, and from the word 'buccal' (pertaining to the cheek; Latin, bucca, the cheek), to signify a cheek-blotch.
If you see this in the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known well enough too? What harm can your bisson conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be known well enough too? -- Coriolanus, ii. 1.
"Conspectuities" is fabricated from the Latin conspectus, 'sight,' 'view.'
His heart is fracted and corroborate. -- Henry V, ii. 2.
"Corroborate" is Pistol's blunder for some grand word that he intends to match with the choice expression, "fracted"; and he possibly means to say either 'corrodiate' or 'corollorate.' If he mean to say 'corrodiate,' signifying 'eaten away as by rust,' his mistake would have the doubly comic effect of saying precisely the contrary to what he intends, since "corroborate" really means 'confirmed,' 'strengthened,' 'established'; but if he uses "corroborate" for 'corollorate' (from "corollary," which, besides meaning 'a surplus of crowning quantity,' as used by Shakespeare in the "Tempest," act iv., sc. 1., means also 'a conclusion'), he intends to convey the effect of 'brought to a conclusion,' 'done for.'