Archives For Language


Tag-rag (adj.)

Tag-rag means dressed; riff-raff, rabble. Tag-rag is cited in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar (JC I.ii.256). Casca says to Cassius about Caesar: “If the tag-rag people did not clap him and his him.” Felina Silver Robinson

In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar”, the character Cassius is introduced as a manipulative, jealous Roman senator of Julius Caesar.


Edict (n.)

Edict means Authority, judgement, valuation. Edict is cited in Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra. (AC III.xii.32). Caesar says to Thidias: “make thine own edict for thy pains [i.e. decide your own recompense.)

Antony and Cleopatra, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.


Gambold (n.)

Gambold means frolic, entertainment, pastime. Gambold was cited in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew (TS Introduction.ii.136). Duke Senior says to Orlando, about his father: “mine eye doth his effigies witness. Most truly imned and living in your face.”Sly says to Lord: “Is not a comonty a Christmas gambold.

Excuses are drummed up that the doctors think Sly ought to take it easy and see a play — plays are good for one’s health (Ind.ii.131-136)!


Pedantical  (adj.)

Pedantical means pedantic, exaggerated, artificial. Pedantical is cited in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost (LLL V.ii.408) Berowne says to Rosaline: “spruce affection, figures pedantical.”


Wailful  (adj.)

Wailful means plaintive, disconsolate, wistful. Wailful is cited in Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona (TG III.ii.69) Proteus says to Thurio about Silvia: “You must tangle her desires by Wailful sonnets.”

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Madrigal (n.)

Madrigal means song, pleasant tune. Madrigal is cited in William Shakespeare’s play The Passionate Pilgrim (PassP XIX.8). The pilgrim says: “By shallow rivers, by whose falls melodious birds sing madrigals.” Felina Silver Robinson

Cosmopolitan, “The Passionate Pilgrim” (1918) Christy


Traducement  (n.)

Traducement means slander, calumny, defamation. Traducement is cited in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus (Cor I.ix.22) Cominius says to Martius: “Twere a traducement, to hide your doings.”

Coriolanus, Act V, Scene III. Engraved by James Caldwell from a painting by Gavin Hamilton.