8 Words Created/Inspired By Literature

Many words we use today were invented by writers or inspired by literature! Here are eight of them.

Whodunit

A word that came around in 1930 thanks to Donald Gordon’s review of Half-Mast Murder. 

Boredom

This word is believed to have been created by Charles Dickens in his novel Bleak House. 

Bedazzled

Shakespeare came up with this word and used it in The Taming of the Shrew. 

Debunk 

A creation by William Woodward in his novel Bunk. 

Mentor

Homer was the first to use this. It is featured in The Odyssey. 

Scaredy-cat

Dorothy Parker came up with this in her 1933 short story The Waltz. 

Tween

Today, we use this word to describe a kid between their childhood and teenage years, but its origin is from Tolkien. He used “tween” to describe a hobbit between the ages of 20-33.

Alligator

While other names for this reptile were previously used, it was Shakespeare who came up with the word “alligator” for Romeo and Juliet. 

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