Archives For Language


Effigy (n.)

Effigy means likeness, image, or portrait. Effigy was cited in As You Like It (AYL II.vii.197). Duke Senior says to Orlando, about his father: “mine eye doth his effigies witness. Most truly imned and living in your face.”

Orlando rescuing his brother Oliver. by. Raphael West (1769 – 1850)


Ecce (n.)

Ecce means behold the evidence. Ecee was cited in Henry IV Part 1 (1H4 II.iv.163). Falstaff says to Prince Hal: “through, my sword hacked like a handsaw-ecce”

The robbery trouble has been resolved but Falstaff now must lead a troop of foot soldiers.


Kirtle (n.)

Kirtle is defined as ‘a dress’ or ‘a gown’. Kirtle is cited in two of Shakespeare’s works. 1) Henry IV Part 2 (2H4 II.iv.268). Falstaff says to Doll: “What stuff wilt have a kirtle of?”, 2) The Passionate Pilgrim (PassP XIX.II) Pilgrim says to his love: “There will I make thee…a kirtle, Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.”

Falstaff with Doll Tearsheet in the Boar’s Head tavern, illustration to Act 2, Scene 4 of the play by Eduard von Grützner

The Passionate Pilgrim


Knotty-pated (adj.)

Knotty-pated is defined as block-headed and dull-witted. Knotty-pated is cited in Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I (1H4 II.iv.223). Prince Hal says to Falstaff: “Thou knotty-pated fool.”

Robert Smirke, Falstaff Examining Prince Hal


Lazar (adj. & n.)

Lazar as an adjective is defined as Leprous. Lazar as a noun is defined as a Leper, a diseased person. Lazar is cited in Shakespeare’s Henry V (H5 II.i.73) Pistol says to Nymi “From the powdering tub of infamy. Fetch forth the lazar kite of cressid’s kind.

Pistol and Nym refusing Falstaff’s request


Paction (n.)

Paction means compact, agreement, or treaty. Paction is cited in Shakespeare’s Henry V (H5 V.ii.357) Queen Isabel says to King Henry and Catherine: “Never may ill office, or feel jealousy thrust in between the paction of these Kingdoms.”

Marriage of Henry V and Catherine by John Rous, c.1485

Isabel Catolicas, Queen, Aquesta Isabel, Castile, Woman Warrior, Isabella, Warriors Women,


Quean (n.)

Quean means bawd, jade and hussy.Quean is cited in several of William Shakespeare’s works. The first being All’s Well That Ends Well (AW II.ii,24) The Clown says to the Countess about his answer: “As fit as … a scolding quean to a wrangling knave. Cited again in Henry IV, Part 2 (2H4 II.i.45) Falstaff says to Bardolph about the Hostess: “Throw the quean in the channel!” Quean is finally cited in The Merry Wives of Windsor” (MW IV.ii.161) Ford says to Mistress Ford about her maids aunt: “A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean!”

Sir John Falstaff comes forth to speak to Mrs. Ford.