How Many Words Were In Shakespeare's Vocabulary?


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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
This investigation of the size of Shakespeare's vocabulary and its implications for authorship starts with the assumption Shakespeare did, in fact, have a superior vocabulary. McCrum et al. State that "... Shakespeare had one of the largest vocabularies of any English writer, some 30,000 words" (103). Slater reports: "It has been said, for instance, that Shakespeare has a larger vocabulary than Milton" (20). Others have claimed that Shakespeare's vocabulary was double, or even triple, that of Milton's.
thanked the writer.
Robert Williams
Robert Williams commented
It has been estimated that Shakespeare introduced some 20,000 words into the English lexicon, of which some 17,000 are still in use.
In 'Hamlet', he invented 600 words alone, never using 400 of them again.

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