The Renaissance Shopping Basket


You are in a cluttered shop in 17th century London. You are surrounded by all kinds of strange and wonderful objects, many of which you have never heard of before. The objects have odd and unfamiliar names, having been brought from overseas by explorers and tradesmen. You must try and guess where these funny words have come from - link the countries to the words below.

  • Italian
  • French
  • Spanish and Portuguese
  • Arabic
  • Turkish
  • Indian
Food: macaroni, soup, banana, sherry, anchovy, sherbet, coffee, yoghurt, mango, curry, apricot, chocolate
Other objects: balcony, alligator, guitar, violin, bungalow, mosquito, yarn, moustache, passport, rocket, magazine, sofa, dungarees, cot,


Click here for the answers


Shakespeare's plays are full of inventive and experimental language. One of Shakepeare's poetic techniques was the use of hyphenated compounds. This is when you connect two words with a hyphen to create an imaginative new word.

These include:





Look at the list of objects above. Try to rename each word using hyphenated compounds. For example, violin might be renamed squeak-machine. What effect does this technique create? Does it give you a greater understanding of the objects? Does it make the objects appear more sensual?

Create a 'poetic dictionary' with your list of new words - but don't define each word. Once you have done this, team up with another of your class mates, and swap your dictionaries. Are you able to identify the meaning of each word? Try to fill in each other's definitions.