Swagger, bump, obscene, luggage: Though the attributions change from time to time based on dating and research, the common wisdom is that William Shakespeare invented more than 1,700 words, many of which we still use today. Some of our favorites: bump, first used in Romeo and Juliet, swagger, first used in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, obscene, first used in Love’s Labor’s Lost, and luggage, first used in King Henry IV, Part I.
Nerd: If you were ever teased in high school for being a nerd, you probably have Dr. Seuss to blame — him and those pocket protectors you insisted on wearing. Seuss’s 1950 children’s book If I Ran the Zoo contains the first printed usage of the word, as a strange little animal one might like to keep locked up: “And then, just to show them, I’ll sail to Ka-Troo/And Bring Back an It-Kutch a Preep and a Proo/A Nerkle a Nerd and a Seersucker, too!”
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