The Oxford English Dictionary, in its infinite wisdom, includes word provenance alongside definition. It always outlines the first time a word actually appeared in written English ... and one person is disproportionately represented in terms of the authorship of such mentions.

That person's name is William Shakespeare ... or perhaps her name was Emilia Bassano. Yes, many believe the Bard was actually a woman--The Atlantic recently outlined compelling evidence that suggests that this is the case.

Woman or man, the most comprehensive outline of the prolific author's invented words is in a book called The Shakespeare Key by Charles and Mary Cowden Clarke. In their words, "Shakespeare, with the right and might of a true poet, and with his peculiar royal privilege as king of all poets, has minted several words that deserve to become current in our language."

Become current, they have. It's extraordinary to note just how common many of them are--words like bedroom, bump, invitation, negotiate, useful, and upstairs.

As a writer, I am simply astounded that one person is responsible for forwarding our language so dramatically. It's a reminder of what the power of creativity can accomplish--it can change the very foundation of how we communicate.

Never underestimate the power of your sheer joyous, raucous creativity. It's innovation in motion. 

Here are 117 words you will recognize ... none of which existed before Shakespeare got her/his hands on a quill:

  1. accessible
  2. accommodation
  3. addiction
  4. admirable
  5. amazement
  6. auspicious
  7. batty
  8. bedroom
  9. belongings
  10. birthplace
  11. bloodsucking
  12. bump
  13. buzzer
  14. cheap
  15. circumstantial
  16. cold-blooded
  17. control
  18. countless
  19. courtship
  20. critical
  21. cruelhearted
  22. dauntless
  23. dawn
  24. disgraceful
  25. distrustful
  26. domineering
  27. downstairs
  28. dwindle
  29. embrace
  30. employer
  31. employment
  32. engagement
  33. epileptic
  34. equivocal
  35. eventful
  36. excitement
  37. eyedrop
  38. far-off
  39. fashionable
  40. fortune-teller
  41. freezing
  42. generous
  43. hostile
  44. hot-blooded
  45. howl
  46. hunchbacked
  47. informal
  48. investment
  49. invitation
  50. jaded
  51. laughable
  52. leaky
  53. leapfrog
  54. lonely
  55. madwoman
  56. majestic
  57. manager
  58. marketable
  59. mimic
  60. money's worth
  61. motionless
  62. neglect
  63. obscene
  64. outbreak
  65. overblown
  66. pious
  67. priceless
  68. radiance
  69. reprieve
  70. restraint
  71. retirement
  72. revolting
  73. sanctimonious
  74. satisfying
  75. savage
  76. scuffle
  77. shipwrecked
  78. shooting star
  79. skim milk
  80. stealthy
  81. stillborn
  82. successful
  83. suffocating
  84. to arouse
  85. to castigate
  86. to cater
  87. to champion
  88. to comply
  89. to compromise
  90. to enmesh
  91. to gossip
  92. to grovel
  93. to lapse
  94. to muddy
  95. to negotiate
  96. to numb
  97. to operate
  98. to outweigh
  99. to overpower
  100. to overrate
  101. to pander
  102. to perplex
  103. to secure
  104. to torture
  105. to undress
  106. traditional
  107. tranquil
  108. transcendence
  109. unmitigated
  110. unpolluted
  111. unquestionable
  112. unreal
  113. upstairs
  114. useful
  115. vulnerable
  116. yelping
  117. zany