Slang Saturday: Shakespearean Slang, Episode 2

Or should I say act II?

Today I’m going to tell you about one of my favorite words that was coined by Shakespeare: multitudinous.

Whence is that knocking?
How is’t with me, when every noise appals me?
What hands are here? ha! they pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas in incarnadine,
Making the green one red. – Macbeth, Macbeth, Act II, Scene II

Multitudinous is really just about the most complicated way of saying “many,” but that’s what makes it so great. Sometimes, an overly flowery word is exactly what you need to spice up your writing.

Then again, sometimes it’s just what you need to make it sound ridiculous. But isn’t that half the fun?


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