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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LABEL
LABOUR
ACTION
INTENSITY
PEOPLE
LABYRINTH
LACE
ACTION
TYPE
NOT
LACK
PEOPLE
STATE
LACKEY
TYPE
LAD
LADDER
TYPE
LADE
LADY
EXCLAMATION
INSECT
PLANT
TYPE
LAG
LAKE
LAKIN
LAMB
PEOPLE
SEX
LAM-DAMN
LAME
LAMENT
INTENSITY
LAMMAS
LAMP
LAMPASS
LANCE
LANCH
LAND
ACTION
BEINGS
PEOPLE
PLACE
LANE
LANGUAGE
NOT
LANGUISH
LANK
STATE
LANTERN
LAP [drink]
LAP [shape]
PART OF BODY
LAPSE
EXTRA
LAPWING
LARD
ACTION
PLACE
LARGE
ACTIOM
GIFT
STATE
LARK
LASCIVIOUS
LASH
LASS
STATE
LAST [end]
GOD
INTENSITY
LAST [tool]
LATCH
LATE
ACTION
BIRTH
DEATH
LATH
LATTEN
LATTICE
COLOUR
LAUD
LAUGH
PEOPLE
LAUNCH
LAUND
LAUNDRY
PEOPLE
LAUREL
LAVE
LAVENDER
LAVISH
LAVOLT
LAW
PEOPLE
RELATIVES
STATE
TIME
NOT
LAWN
LAY [lie]
ACTION
PEOPLE
STATE
NOT
LAY [song]
LAZAR
LAZY
LEA
LEAD [bring]
PEOPLE
NOT
LEAD [mineral]
PART OF BODY
LEAF
BOOK
TYPE
LEAGUE
PLACE
LEAK
LEAN [rest]
LEAN [thin]
APPEARANCE
MIND
LEAP
GAME
INTENSITY
SEX
STATE
LEARN
INTENSITY
PLACE
NOT
LEASE
LEASH
LEAST
LEATHER
CLOTHING
LEAVE
ACTION
PEOPLE
STATE
LEAVEN
INTENSITY
LECHER
LECTURE
LEE
LEECH
TYPE
LEEK
LEER
LEES
LEESE
LEET
LEFT
LEG
NUMBER
SIZE
STATE
LEGACY
LEGATE
LEGERITY
LEGION
LEGITIMATE
NOT
LEIGER
LEISURE
LEMAN
LEMON
LEND
OBJECT
PEOPLE
LENGTH
LENITY
LENT
PEOPLE
L'ENVOY
LEOPARD
LEPER
LESS
LESSON
NOT
LET
ACTION
LETHARGY
LETTER
TYPE
NOT
LETTUCE
LEVEL
LEVER
LEVIATHAN
LEVITY
LEVY
STATE
LEWD
PART OF BODY
PEOPLE
LIABLE
LIAR
LIBEL
LIBERAL
PEOPLE
STATE
LIBRARY
LICENCE
INTENSITY
NOT
LICK
PEOPLE
NOT
LICTOR
LID
OBJECT
PART OF BODY
LIE [down]
LIE [untruth]
ACTION
PEOPLE
LIEF
LIEGE
LIEUTENANT
RANK
LIFE
LIFT
DIRECTION
PEOPLE
LIGGENS
LIGHT [move]
PART OF BODY
LIGHT [see]
ACTION
TIME
TYPE
WEATHER
NOT
LIGHT [weight]
STATE
LIKE [love]
NOT
LIKE [similar]
ANIMAL
BEINGS
BIRD
CHILD
COSMOS
FISH
FOOD
GAME
INSECT
LAW
MEDICINE
MEN
OBJECT
REGION
RELIGION
ROLE
SPEECH
STATUS
WEATHER
WOMEN
NOT
LILY
COLOUR
PART OF BODY
PLACE
LIMB
ACTION
STATE
LIMBECK
LIMBO
LIME
BIRD
COLOUR
CONTAINER
PLANT
LIMIT
NOT
LIMN
NOT
LIMP
LINE
OBJECT
WRITING
NOT
LINEN
NOT
LING
LINGER
LINGUIST
LINK
ACTION
NOT
LINSEY-WOOLSEY
LINSTOCK
LION
DISEASE
STATE
LIP
APPEARANCE
PLACE
LIQUID
LISP
LIST [physical]
LIST [wish]
LISTEN
LITERATURED
LITHER
LITIGIOUS
LITTER
LITTLE
STATE
LIVE
EXCLAMATION
HARM
HEALTH
LENGTH
PEOPLE
STATE
NOT
LIVER
STATE
LIVERY
LIZARD
LOACH
LOAD
NOT
LOAF
TYPE
LOAM
LOAN
LOATH
LOATHE
LOB [clown]
LOB [move]
LOBBY
LOCAL
LOCK [close]
ACTION
OBJECT
STATE
NOT
LOCK [hair]
STATE
LOCKRAM
LOCUST
LODESTAR
LODGE
PEOPLE
NOT
LOFTY
STATE
LOG
GAME
PEOPLE
LOGIC
PEOPLE
LOINS
LOITER
PEOPLE
LOLL
LONELY
ACTION
APPEARANCE
LONG
ACTION
ANIMAL
INTENSITY
OBJECT
PART OF BODY
STATE
TIME
LOOF
LOOK
ACTION
APPEARANCE
OBJECT
PEOPLE
NOT
INTENSITY outlook v
LOON
OLD
LOOP
OBJECT
LOOSE
ACTION
CLOTHING
STATE
NOT
LOP
LORD
LORN
LOSE
ACTION
PEOPLE
STATE
LOSEL
LOT
LOUD
LOUR
LOUSE
LOUT
LOVE
ACTION
INTENSITY
MUSIC
OBJECT
PEOPLE
PLANT
SPEECH
STATE
TIME
WRITING
NOT
LOW [noise]
LOW [position]
RANK
SPEECH
STATE
LOWN
LOYAL
NOT
LUBBER
LUCE [heraldry]
LUCK
NOT
LUCRE
LUG
ACTION
LUGGAGE
LUKEWARM
LULL
MUSIC
LUMP
LUNACY
LUNGE
LUNGS
LURCH
LURE
LURK
STATE
LUSCIOUS
LUST
INTENSITY
STATE
LUSTRE
INTENSITY
NOT
LUTE
PART
LUXURY
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SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL