Words Wrought by Writers

Email a Friend
Title page of the First Folio, by William Shakespeare

Lexicographer Paul Dickson talks about the words coined by authors throughout the ages, and presents stories behind them. His book Authorisms: Words Wrought by Writers includes words invented or popularized by William Shakespeare—like bedazzled, hurry, critical, and anchovy—which are part of our standard vocabulary today. Other writers include Sir Walter Scott, John Milton (earthshaking, lovelorn, by hook or crook, and all Hell broke loose), William Chaucer, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and others.