Shakespeare’s 449th birthday was celebrated “with pomp, with triumph, and with reveling” as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel officially proclaimed April 23, 2013 as Talk Like Shakespeare Day—a day on which everyone is encouraged to express themselves through the incorporation of Shakespearean language and dialect. People from “all corners of the world” found unique and creative ways to pay tribute to the Bard. See what was said on social media, check out the national coverage of Talk Like Shakespeare Day and discover why there’s never “too much of a good thing” when it comes to Shakespeare. Join us for the party next year, when Shakespeare turns 450!
Read the proclamation
How to Talk Like Shakespeare
- Instead of you, say thou or thee (and instead of y’all, say ye).
- Rhymed couplets are all the rage.
- Men are Sirrah, ladies are Mistress, and your friends are all called Cousin.
- Instead of cursing, try calling your tormenters jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous bunch-back’d toads.
- Don’t waste time saying "it," just use the letter "t" (’tis, t’will, I’ll do’t).
- Verse for lovers, prose for ruffians, songs for clowns.
- When in doubt, add the letters "eth" to the end of verbs (he runneth, he trippeth, he falleth).
- To add weight to your opinions, try starting them with methinks, mayhaps, in sooth or wherefore.
- When wooing ladies: try comparing her to a summer’s day. If that fails, say "Get thee to a nunnery!"
- When wooing lads: try dressing up like a man. If that fails, throw him in the Tower, banish his friends and claim the throne.
Download the printable poster