Shakespeare Dictionary - E

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Generate random Shakespearean insults

Shakespeare's word

Meaning (in the sample usage)



Sample usage


1) arise the surface of into bosses or protuberances,

2 ) foaming at the mouth (uncertain etymology)


Lear 2.4

Shrew Ind.

thou art a boil, A plague-sore, an embossed carbuncle

Brach Merriman, the poor cur is emboss'd




TN 1.5

The rudeness that hath appeared in me have I learned from my entertainment


windy, puffed up, empty, frivolous


Oth 3.3

exsufflicate and blown surmises

Only used by Shakespeare, and only in this instance, presumably an invented word. One of my all-time personal favorites, a word that should be revived.

Olivier as LearWhen I was in college, struggling through my Signet volume of Shakespeare, I didn't have the time, money, or inclination to buy audio tapes of the plays. I've done so recently, and what a difference.

In part, because Shakespeare was meant to be heard (and seen), and in part, because the English language has changed, listening to King Lear, or any of the plays, while reading the text, adds a whole new dimension.

The humor becomes clearer; anger is better conveyed; the reader/listener at once can absorb so much more of the play. For King Lear this version with Sir Laurence Olivier, is excellent.

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