If you need more information on a particular word or the context in which it is used, please see the play or sonnet in which the word appears for detailed annotations at the bottom of each page. There is only one word on this page because, according to Schmidt (Shakespeare Lexicon), Shakespeare only used one word that begins with X.
XANTHIPPE Socrate's scolding wife. Now proverbial for a scold (Schmidt). See The Taming of the Shrew (1.2)
Notes on Shakespeare
Ale (beer made with a top fermenting yeast) was the drink of choice in Shakespeare's day. Everyone from the poorest farmer to the Queen herself drank the brew made from malt, and a mini brewery was an essential part of every household. Shakespeare's own father was an official ale taster in Stratford – an important and respected job which involved monitoring the ingredients used by professional brewers and ensuring they sold their ale at Crown regulated prices. Beer, however, eventually became more popular than ale. Read on...
Shakespeare was familiar with seven foreign languages and often quoted them directly in his plays. His vocabulary was the largest of any writer, at over twenty-four thousand words. Read on...
An atomy is the smallest particle of matter (an atom). The most famous use of the word atomy in the plays is found in Mercutio's Queen Mab speech in Romeo and Juliet (1.4)
Shakespeare acquired substantial wealth thanks to his acting and writing abilities, and his shares in London theatres. The going rate was £10 per play at the turn of the sixteenth century. So how much money did Shakespeare make? Read on...