National Talk Like Shakespeare Day | April 23
(Last Updated On: April 18, 2023)


On April 23rd each year, National Talk Like Shakespeare Day encourages us to speak like the Bard and the characters in his plays. 


William Shakespeare (April 1564-April 23, 1616) is the author of some of the world’s most celebrated plays and poems. In 2016, we honored the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. What better way to celebrate his life and art than to speak like the poet and playwright.  

We can speak like Shakespeare by substituting thou, thee, and ye for you and they. Rhyming couplets and creative insults were his particular favorites. Many of the phrases we use today we owe to Shakespeare too.

We could make you wait with bated breath for the list. We could send you on a wild goose chase to find them. For goodness sake, you might just be the laughing stock if we did!

Oh, come now. No need to fight fire with fire. Come what may we will give you the naked truth and teach you to talk like Shakespeare. We’ll snatch you out of the jaws of death and put you in a pickle too while we are at it!

What makes your hair stand on end? Did we set your teeth on edge? Well, what’s done is done.

You may be such a sorry sight, but still, the world is your oyster even if you wear your heart on your sleeve. Aye, you have seen better days! We must send you packing. It’s all Greek to you anyway!


  • Speaketh like Shakespeare and celebrate his birthday.  
  • Would you like more ways to celebrate the Bard’s birthday? Check out these 5 Ways to Celebrate Shakespeare.
  • Share on social media by using #TalkLikeShakespeareDay.
  • Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® Classroom for lessons designed for National Talk Like Shakespeare Day.


National Talk Like Shakespeare Day was first launched in 2009 by the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, which was inspired by another day devoted to talking in character – International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19).  In 2011, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn proclaimed April 23rd as Talk Like Shakespeare Day giving the theater’s efforts official recognition. 

The day also coincides with English Language Day which began in 2010 as a cultural recognition day by the United Nations.

Talk Like Shakespeare FAQ

Q. Who was Shakespeare’s wife?
A. Anne Hathaway. No, not that Anne Hathaway, though the names are spelled the same. Shakespeare’s wife was the daughter of a farmer named Richard Hathaway. Her family home (today called Anne Hathaway’s Cottage) was in the Hathaway for 13 generations before being acquired by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and is one of the most authentic Shakespeare tourists spots to visit.

Q. How many plays did Shakespeare write?
A. Shakespeare wrote 37 plays that we know about.

Q. What is Shakespeare’s “first folio”?
A. Shakespeare’s First Folio is the first collection of his plays published in 1623. The largest collection of this published work can be found at the Folger Shakespeare Library located in Washington, D.C. While the library is under construction, Shakespeare fans can learn more about his First Folio online.


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