Word families

Shakespeare often refers to the heart. But he also uses this word to help create other words, such as unheart, heart-sore, and heartless. How many such derived words are there, and how are they used? Type HEART into the search-box and you will see.

We use the term word-family to identify the set of words that contain the same basic element. They will be part of a compound word (as in heart-sore), accompanied by a prefix (as in unheart) or a suffix (as in heartless), or used in different ways (e.g. as a noun and a verb). In this section we list all the words in the canon (in the modern English version) that have family resemblances so you can see which words Shakespeare exploited in this way, and which he did not. Words that are not included (such as the and Horatio) are described on the further information page here.

When there are several family members, we group them into themes, showing the directions in which Shakespeare used a word. Where these occur, they are listed under the main heading. The names of the themes, taken along with their family members, we hope are self-explanatory, but more illustration can be found on the further information page here.
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BAA
BABBLE
BABOON
BABY
TYPE
BACCHANALS
BACHELOR
BACK
ACTION
PART OF BODY
DIRECTION
OBJECT
PEOPLE
BACON
STATE
BAD
BADGE
IMAGE
BAFFLE
BAG
MUSIC
TYPE
BAIL
BAILIFF
BAIT
ANIMAL
PLACE
STATE
BAKE
PEOPLE
NOT
BALANCE
GOOD
BALD
PART OF BODY
BALDRICK
BALE
BALK
BALL
ACTION
GAMES
PART OF BODY
BALLAD
PEOPLE
BALLAST
BALLOW
BALM
ACTION
BALSAM
BAN
ANIMAL
BAND [group]
BAND [strip]
NOT
BANDiT
BANDY
BANE
BANG
BANISH
PEOPLE
BANK
PLACE
BANKRUPT
BANNER
BANNS
BANQUET
BAPTISM
BAR
ACTION
PLACE
STATE
NOT
BARBARIAN
BARBED
NOT
BARBER
BARD
BARE
PART OF BODY
STATE
BARFUL
BARGAIN
BARGE
BARK [noise]
BARK [ship]
ACTION
TIME
NOT
BARK [tree]
BARLEY
GAME
BARM
BARN
BARNACLE
BARNE
BARON
BARREL
BARREN
STATE
BARRICADO
BARROW
BARTER
BARTHOLOMEW
BASE [place]
PLACE
STATE
NOT
BASE [status]
ACTION
BIRTH
BASHFUL
NOT
BASILISK
BASIN
BASIS
BASK
BASKET
SWORD
TYPE
BASS
BASTARD [drink]
BASTARD [son]
BASTE
BASTINADO
BAT [mammal]
ACTION
BAT [stick]
BATE [flutter]
BATE [lessen]
ACTION
PEOPLE
STATE
NOT
BATH
BATLER
BATTALION
BATTEN
BATTER
NOT
BATTLE
ACTION
STATE
BAUBLE
BAULK
BAVIAN
BAVIN
BAWCOCK
BAWD
BIRTH
PLACE
TYPE
BAWL
BAY [house]
BAY [laurel]
BAY [noise]
BAY [sea]
STATE
BAYARD
BEACH
BEACON
BEAD
BEADLE
BEADSMAN
BEAGLE
BEAK
BEAM
APPEARANCE
COSMOS
STATE
BEAN
STATE
BEAR [action]
ANIMAL
GODS
OBJECT
PEOPLE
OVERCOME
SPEECH
STATE
BEAR [animal]
ACTION
PEOPLE
YOUNG
BEARD
COLOUR
NOT
BEAST
APPEARANCE
BEAT
ACTION
NOISE
NOT
BEAUTY
STATE
BEAVER
BECHANCE
BECK
BECKON
BECOME
NOT
BED
ACTION
PEOPLE
SCENE
SPEECH
TIME
TYPE
BEDABBLE
BEDASHED
BEDAUBED
BEDAZZLE
BEDECK
BEDEW
BEDIM
BEDLAM
BEDRENCH
BEDRID
BEE
PLACE
TYPE
BEECH
BEEF
MIND
INTENSITY
BEEHIVE
BEER
BEEST
BEETLE
PART OF BODY
BEFALL
BEFIT
BEFORE
STATE
BEFORTUNE
BEFRIEND
BEG
EMOTION
PEOPLE
BEGET
BAD
GOOD
PEOPLE
TIME
NOT
BEGIN
PEOPLE
BEGIRD
BEGNAW
BEGONE
BEGRIME
BEGUILE
BEHALF
BEHAVE
BAD
GOOD
BEHEAD
BEHEST
BEHIND
BEHOLD
EMOTION
PEOPLE
BEHOOF
BEHOVE
BEHOWL
BEING
BELCH
BELDAM
BELFRY
BELIE
BELIEVE
STATEj
TIME
NOT
BELIKE
BELL
ANIMAL
EVENT
PEOPLE
BELLIED
BELLOW
BELLOWS-MENDER
BELLY
SIZE
STATE
BELOCK
BELONG
BELOVE
BELOW
BELT
BEMADDING
BEMEET
BEMETE
BEMOAN
BEMOCK
BEMOIL
BEMONSTER
BENCH
OBJECT
PEOPLE
NOT
BEND
TIME
NOT
BENEATH
BENEDICTION
BENEFIT
BE-NET
BENEVOLENCE
BENIGN
BENISON
BENUMBED
BEPAINT
BEPRAY
BEQUEATH
BERATTLE
BERAY
BEREAVE
BERGOMASK
BERHYME
BERRY
TYPE
BESCREENED
BESEECH
PEOPLE
BESEEK
BESEEM
BESEEMING
BESET
BESHREW
BESIDE
BESIEGE
BESIEGED
BESLUBBER
BESMEAR
BESMIRCH
BESOME
BESONIAN
BESORT
BESOTTED
BESPEAK
BESPICE
BESPOTTED
BEST
STATE
BESTAINED
BESTEAD
BESTIAL
BESTIR
BESTOW
BESTRAUGHT
BESTREW
BESTRIDE
BET
BETAKE
BETEEM
BETHINK
BETHUMP
BETIDE
BETIME(S)
BETOKEN
BETOSSED
BETRAY
PEOPLE
BETRIM
BETROTH
BETTER
TIME
BETTING
BETUMBLE
BETWEEN
PEOPLE
BEVEL
BEVERAGE
BEVY
BEWAIL
BEWARE
BEWASTED
BEWEEP
BEWET
BEWHORE
BEWITCH(MENT)
BEWRAY
BEYOND
BIAS
ACTION
BIBBING
BIBBLE-BABBLE
BICKERING
BID
NOT
BIDDY
BIDE
BIER
BIFOLD
BIG
PART OF BODY
STATE
BIGAMY
BIGGEN
BILBERRY
BILBOES [shackles]
BILBOES [sword]
BILL [beak, kiss]
BILL [list]
TYPE
BILL [weapon]
BILLET [lodge]
BILLET [stick]
BILLIARDS
BILLOW
BIND
BIRCH
BIRD
INSECT
OBJECT
TYPE
BIRTH
ACTION
TIME
BISCUIT
BISHOP
RANK
BISSON
BIT [amount]
BIT [horse]
NOT
BITCH
TYPE
BITE
ACTION
STATE
BITTER
BITUMED
BLAB
PEOPLE
BLACK
PART OF BODY
PEOPLE
PLANT
STATE
BLACKAMOOR
BLACKBERRY
BLADDER
BLADE
PART OF BODY
BLAIN
BLAME
STATE
NOT
BLANCH
BLANK
STATE
BLANKET
BLASPHEME
BLAST
BAD
BLAZE
BLAZON
BLEACH
BLEAK
BLEAR
BLEAT
BLEED
BLEMISH
BLENCH
BLEND
BLESS
STATE
NOT
BLIND
ANIMAL
GAME
OBJECT
STATE
TYPE
BLINK
BLISS
BLISTER
BLITHE
BLOAT
BLOCK
BLOOD
ACTION
ANIMAL
DRINK
EMOTION
EXCLAMATION
STATE
TYPE
NOT
BLOOM
TYPE
BLOSSOM
TYPE
BLOT
STATE
BLOW
ACTION
AMOUNT
INSECT
PEOPLE
NOT
BLOWZE
BLUBBER
BLUE
INSECT
PART OF BODY
PEOPLE
BLUNT
BLUR
BLURT
BLUSH
BLUSTER
PEOPLE
BOAR
ANIMAL
OBJECT
BOARD
GAME
PLACE
BOAST
BOAT
PEOPLE
TYPE
BOB
BOBTAIL
BODE
BAD
GOOD
BODKIN
BODY
ACTION
PEOPLE
STATE
NOT
BOG
BOGGLE
PEOPLE
BOHEMIAN
BOIL
PEOPLE
BOISTEROUS
ACTION
BOLD
PART OF BODY
INTENSITY
BOLIN
BOLLEN
BOLSTER
BOLT [implement]
OBJECT
THUNDER
BOLT [sift]
APPEARANCE
OBJECT
NOT
BOMBARD
BOMBAST
BONA-ROBA
BOND
FUNCTION
INTENSITY
PART OF BODY
PEOPLE
NOT
BONE
DISEASE
PART OF BODY
SIZE
NOT
BONFIRE
BONNET
NOT
BONNY
BOOK
ACTION
AMOUNT
PEOPLE
STATE
TYPE
NOT
BOON
BOOR
BOOT [addition]
NOT
BOOT [foot]
CLOTHING
STATE
BOOTY
BO-PEEP
BORDER
PEOPLE
BORE [carry]
BORE [hole]
BORESPRIT
BORN
BAD
GOOD
PLACE
STATE
TIME
NOT
BORNE
BOROUGH
PEOPLE
BORROW
PEOPLE
STATE
BOSKY
BOSOM
NOT
BOSSED
BOTCH
PEOPLE
BOTH
STATE
BOTS
BOTTLE
OBJECT
STATE
BOTTOM
OBJECT
STATE
NOT
BOUGH
BOUNCE
BOUND [join etc]
BOUND [movement]
EXTRA
BOUNTY
MIND
BOURN
BOUT
BOW [movement]
NOT
BOW [shape]
ANIMAL
OBJECT
BOW [weapon]
PART
PART OF BODY
PEOPLE
TYPE
BOWEL
ACTION
BOWER
BOWL [container]
PLACE
BOWLS
PEOPLE
BOW-WOW
BOX [container]
PLANT
TYPE
BOX [hit]
BOY
PEOPLE
TYPE
BRABBLE
PEOPLE
BRACE [object]
EQUIPMENT
NOT
BRACE [readiness]
BRACE [two]
BRACELET
TYPE
BRACH
BRAG
INTENSITY
PEOPLE
NOT
BRAID
INTENSITY
NOT
BRAIN
DRINK-AFFECTED
PART OF BODY
PEOPLE
STATE
NOT
BRAKE
BRAMBLE
BRAN
BRANCH
NOT
BRAND
OBJECT
STATE
BRANDISH
BRASS
BRAT
BRAVE
INTENSITY
SIZE
BRAWL
TIME
BRAWN
SHAPE
BRAY
BRAZE
BRAZEN
PART OF BODY
BRAZIER
BREACH
TYPE
BREAD
PEOPLE
BREADTH
AMOUNT
BREAK
GAME
PART OF BODY
PEOPLE
SPEECH
TIME
NOT
BREAKFAST
BREAST
BIRD
EMOTION
OBJECT
PLACE
BREATH
PEOPLE
STATE
TIME
TYPE
NOT
BRED
BREECH
NOT
BREED
BAD
GOOD
PEOPLE
PLACE
TIME
NOT
BREESE
BRETHREN
BREVITY
BREW
PEOPLE
PLACE
BRIAR
BRIBE
PEOPLE
BRICK
PEOPLE
BRIDE
APPEARANCE
PEOPLE
PLACE
BRIDGE
TYPE
BRIDLE
NOT
BRIEF
BRIGHT
INTENSITY
STATE
BRIM
BRIMSTONE
BRINDED
BRINE
PLACE
BRING
ACTION
PEOPLE
BRINK
BRISK
BRISTLE
BRITTLE
BROACH
BROAD
ACTION
APPEARANCE
BROCK
BROGUE
BROIL
BROOCH
BROOD
BROOK [feeling]
BROOK [stream]
TYPE
BROOM
OBJECT
PLANT
BROTH
TYPE
BROTHEL
PLACE
BROTHER
LOVE
PEOPLE
BROW
COLOUR
STATE
BROWN
BROWNIST
BROWSE
BRUISE
NOT
BRUIT
BRUNT
BRUSH
BRUTE
BUBBLE
BUBUKLE
BUCK [animal]
BUCK [washing]
OBJECT
BUCKET
BUCKLE
PEOPLE
NOT
BUCKRAM
BUD
TYPE
BUDGE
PEOPLE
BUFF
BUFFET
BUG
BUGLE
OBJECT
BUILD
STATE
NOT
BULK
INTENSITY
BULL
FOOD
PART OF BODY
PEOPLE
BULLET
BULLY
INTENSITY
BULRUSH
BULWARK
BUM
PEOPLE
BUMP
BUNCH
APPEARANCE
BUNDLE
BUNG
PLACE
BUNGLE
BUNTING
BUOY
BURDEN [music]
BURDEN [weight]
NOT
BURGESS
BURGHER
BURGLARY
BURGOMASTER
BURGONET
BURLY
BURN
APPEARANCE
INTENSITY
PART OF BODY
PLACE
TIME
NOT
BURNET
BURNISHED
BURR
BURROW
BURST
BURY
PEOPLE
PLACE
NOT
BUSH
BUSHEL
BUSINESS
BUSKINED
BUSS
BUSTLE
BUSY
BUTCHER
BUTLER
BUTT [action]
BUTT [archery]
PART
BUTT [container]
TYPE
BUTTER
FOOD
PEOPLE
PLACE
TYPE
BUTTERFLY
BUTTOCK
TYPE
BUTTON
PLACE
TYPE
NOT
BUTTRESS
BUXOM
BUY
INTENSITY
PEOPLE
BUZZ
PEOPLE
BUZZARD
BYGONE
BY-PAST
BY-PATH
BY-PEEP
BY-ROOM
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