Preparing for Talk Like Shakespeare Thursday

TeachHUB Blog

I heart Chicago!! In honor of Shakespeare's 445th birthday, Mayor Daley declared this Thursday, April 23 National Talk Like Shakespeare Day. Here are ten tips for getting this going at home and school (provided by for Talk Like Shakespeare Thursday

  1. Instead of you, say thou. Instead of y’all, say thee.
  2. Rhymed couplets are all the rage.
  3. Men are Sirrah, ladies are Mistress, and your friends are all called Cousin. [nerd note: sirrah is actually a form of address for a servant or underling]
  4. Instead of cursing, try calling your tormenters jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous bunch-back’d toads.
  5. Don’t waste time saying "it," just use the letter "t" (’tis, t’will, I’ll do’t).
  6. Verse for lovers, prose for ruffians, songs for clowns.
  7. When in doubt, add the letters "eth" to the end of verbs (he runneth, he trippeth, he falleth).
  8. To add weight to your opinions, try starting them with methinks, mayhaps, in sooth or wherefore.
  9. When wooing ladies: try comparing her to a summer’s day. If that fails, say "Get thee to a nunnery!"
  10. When wooing lads: try dressing up like a man. If that fails, throw him in the Tower, banish his friends and claim the throne.

I have a few additions to add to the official list:

  • If someone is rude to you, throw down a glove (or gauntlet) as an invitation to duel.
  • Say "anon" instead of soon.
  • Feel free to go off on an extended soliloque about Queen Mab, the fates or other mystical forces if the mood strikes.
  • Know a slob, refer to him/her as "Falstaff" for the day
  • If you take a wrong turn, get stuck in traffic or any other minor annoyance comes up, declare "I am fortune's fool!" It's oddly cathartic.
  • Use "art" instead of are.
  • Refrain from taking any boat trips. You may very well end up on washing ashore on an unknown land.
  • Refer to friends as "good cousin"
  • Use "morrow" instead of tomorrow
  • Not that you would ever flick someone off, but just in case, "bite your thumb" instead.

(Excuse the fact that most of my suggestions are from the "not-so-kind" Shakespeare catalog.)

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Thou shalt cherish it anon, good cousin.

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