National Press Club

Dickson to explain ‘lovelorn,’ ‘granfalloon,’ ‘a ha,’ and other phrases coined by famous authors, April 23

April 9, 2014 | By Nicole Hoffman |

Celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday with National Press Club member and lexicographer Paul Dickson as he discusses his latest book “Authorisms: Words Wrought by Writers” Wednesday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m.

William Shakespeare’s written vocabulary consisted of 17,245 words, including hundreds that were coined or popularized by him. Some of the words never went further than their appearance in his plays, but others, including bedazzled, hurry, critical, and anchovy, are essential parts of our standard vocabulary today.

Dickson deftly sorts through neologisms by Chaucer (a ha), Jane Austen (base ball), Louisa May Alcott (co-ed), Mark Twain (hard-boiled), Kurt Vonnegut (granfalloon), John le Carrè (mole), William Gibson (cyberspace), and many others. Presenting stories behind each word and phrase, Dickson enriches our appreciation of the English language in a book as entertaining as it is enlightening.

This event is a fundraiser for the NPC Journalism Institute. No outside books or memorabilia permitted. All sales are final.

Registration is $5 for NPC members and $10 for the public. NPC member fee is waived with the pre-order of a book, an option that appears on the ticket form. Click here to register.