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nichec

Senior Member
Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
Hi, everyone:)

I watched a movie called "Inside Man" the other day. One of the actors said this sentence in the film: "....As Bard would have it....."

A quick check on the dictionary.com:
1.(formerly) a person who composed and recited epic or heroic poems, often while playing the harp, lyre, or the like. 2.one of an ancient Celtic order of composers and reciters of poetry. 3.any poet. 4.the bard, William Shakespeare

As a Shakespeare fan, I was both excited and shocked when I read this. I was shocked because I've never heard of it before......And I also found out that I can't get this last result (4.the bard, William Shakespeare) in every dictionary, for example, it's not listed in WR dictionary.

So here comes my question: Is the use of "the bard" as Shakespeare a very common thing in your experience? Is it an old-fashioned expression? Have you ever used it yourself? I would like to know the opinions of both AE and BE speakers.

As always, any input is deeply appreciated.:)
 
  • nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    Ohoh, how ignorant I am:eek::eek:

    Thank you for your posts, JamesM, Thomas Tompion, and AWordLover.:)
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    Hello again, everyone:)

    I'm wondering about the usage of "the bard" now that I know it's commonly used.

    Exactly how do we use it in a sentence?
    Is it something like:
    --And where is that from?
    --Oh, it's from the bard. What? You didn't know?
    Or
    --Who's your favorite writer?
    --The bard.
    Or.............?

    Please kindly share your point of view and /or your experience with me.
    Thank you very much.:)
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    I confess that I didn't automatically think of Shakespeare when I saw "bard" in the title. Perhaps that is because I read so much fantasy in which there are many bards.

    Could Robert Burns also be called a bard?

    Orange Blossom
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    If you are referring to Shakespeare as "The Bard", (or "The Bard" as Shakespeare) I would think you would have to capitalize it. I always have.
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    If you are referring to Shakespeare as "The Bard", (or "The Bard" as Shakespeare) I would think you would have to capitalize it. I always have.
    Hummm.....I thought so in the beginning, but then it's not capitalized in the dictionary......
     

    cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    Exactly how do we use it in a sentence?
    Is it something like:
    --And where is that from?
    --Oh, it's from the bard. What? You didn't know?
    Or
    --Who's your favorite writer?
    --The bard.
    Or.............?

    Both those usages look fine to me, although, as someone mentioned, you would put "the Bard" in capitals.
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    Hi nichec,

    If you used the term out of context, I fear that few people would know which bard you were speaking of. Any poet can be called a bard (as your definition indicates: "3.any poet. 4.the bard, William Shakespeare"). In writing, I would agree that you should capitalize "the Bard" if you are speaking of Shakespeare.

    Orange Blossom, I've heard Robbie Burns called "the bard of Scotland."
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    Thanks everyone, you are all very kind and helpful:)

    Edit: I will use "The Bard" from now on:D
     

    looking-at-the-stars

    Senior Member
    American English
    Actually, in my opinion most people I know (I'm not going to generalize beyond that) would automatically assume Shakespeare when seeing "the Bard" out of context, especially if capitalized. However if they saw "a bard" they would assume a poet.
    I too automatically thought Shakespeare when I saw this thread. It is a very common way to refer to him.
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    Actually, in my opinion most people I know (I'm not going to generalize beyond that) would automatically assume Shakespeare when seeing "the Bard" out of context, especially if capitalized. However if they saw "a bard" they would assume a poet.
    I too automatically thought Shakespeare when I saw this thread. It is a very common way to refer to him.
    Thank you very much for the input (and your kindness:))
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    There once was a bard named William,
    Who oft wrote seated on a pillion.
    If you think writing is hard
    Said William the Bard,
    Then you have not sat upon this pillion.

    (with apologies to Mr. Shakespeare)
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    There once was a bard named William,
    Who oft wrote seated on a pillion.
    If you think writing is hard
    Said William the Bard,
    Then you have not sat upon this pillion.

    (with apologies to Mr. Shakespeare)
    Thank you very much for taking your time on this thread.:)
    I assume, then, that when I want to refer to Mr. Shakespeare, I should use "the Bard". (with all my respect to him and his amazing talent as a bard)

    Edit: This is a beautiful thing:thumbsup:
     

    anothersmith

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I, too, assumed this was going to be a thread about Shakespeare when I saw the title of the thread!

    I don't hear the word "bard" (with a lower-case "b") used very often, but I frequently hear references to "the Bard."
     
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