bard·​ol·​a·​ter bär-ˈdä-lə-tər How to pronounce bardolater (audio)
: a person who idolizes Shakespeare
bardolatry noun

Did you know?

George Bernard Shaw once described a William Shakespeare play as "stagy trash." Another time, Shaw said he'd like to dig Shakespeare from the grave and throw stones at him. Shaw could be equally scathing toward Shakespeare's adoring fans. He called them "foolish Bardolaters," wrote of "Bardolatrous" ignoramuses, and called blind Shakespeare worship "Bardolatry." Oddly enough, Shaw didn't despise Shakespeare or his work (on the contrary, he was, by his own admission, an admirer), but he disdained those who placed the man beyond reproach. The word bardolater, which Shaw coined by blending Shakespeare's epithet—"the Bard"—with an affix that calls to mind idolater, has stuck with us to this day, though it has lost some of its original critical sting.

Word History


Bard (of Avon), epithet of Shakespeare + -o- + -later

First Known Use

1903, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bardolater was in 1903


Dictionary Entries Near bardolater

Cite this Entry

“Bardolater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

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