will shake-spear

Shakespeare

[sheyk-speer]
noun
William ("the Bard"; "the Bard of Avon") 1564–1616, English poet and dramatist.
Also, Shakspere, Shakespear.

pre-Shakespeare, adjective
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Shakespeare (ˈʃeɪkspɪə)
 
n
William. 1564--1616, English dramatist and poet. He was born and died at Stratford-upon-Avon but spent most of his life as an actor and playwright in London. His plays with approximate dates of composition are: Henry VI, Parts I--III (1590); Richard III (1592); The Comedy of Errors (1592); Titus Andronicus (1593); The Taming of the Shrew (1593); The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594); Love's Labour's Lost (1594); Romeo and Juliet (1594); Richard II (1595); A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595); King John (1596); The Merchant of Venice (1596); Henry IV, Parts I--II (1597); Much Ado about Nothing (1598); Henry V (1598); Julius Caesar (1599); As You Like It (1599); Twelfth Night (1599); Hamlet (1600); The Merry Wives of Windsor (1600); Troilus and Cressida (1601); All's Well that ends Well (1602); Measure for Measure (1604); Othello (1604); King Lear (1605); Macbeth (1605); Antony and Cleopatra (1606); Coriolanus (1607); Timon of Athens (1607); Pericles (1608); Cymbeline (1609); The Winter's Tale (1610); The Tempest (1611); and, possibly in collaboration with John Fletcher, Two Noble Kinsmen (1612) and Henry VIII (1612). His Sonnets, variously addressed to a fair young man and a dark lady, were published in 1609

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Shakespeare
surname recorded from 1248, and means "a spearman." This was a common type of English surname, e.g. Shakelance (1275), Shakeshaft (1332). Shake in the sense of "to brandish or flourish (a weapon)" is attested from late O.E.
Heo scæken on heore honden speren swiðe stronge." [Laymon, "Brut," c. 1205]
"Never a name in English nomenclature so simple or so certain in origin. It is exactly what it looks -- Shakespear." [Bardsley, "Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames," 1901] Nevertheless, speculation flourishes.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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