Shakespeare Dictionary - Q

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Generate random Shakespearean insults

Shakespeare's word

Meaning (in the sample usage)



Sample usage


curiously beautiful; pun on Latin for female member


Merch 3.4

Like a fine bragging youth, and tell quaint lies,


hand-mill for grinding corn






(also used in modern sense of 'search')


Rich III 1.4

What lawful quest have given their verdict up
quillets quibbles, niceties (wisecracks)
(all 6 instances are in the plural)
6 Oth 3.1 Prithee, keep up thy quillets.

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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