WOTD: Gambol

Pronounced like what you might do at a casino, but not related. This is a popularly asked about word in Shakespeare. The meaning isn’t always obvious from the context and isn’t familiar to everyone’s eyes. This is a special post because this is a popular and versatile word.

gambol IPA Pronunciation: /’gĂŚm.bl/
(n.) leap, caper, antic

She’ll do the rarest gambols
– Two Noble Kinsmen (III.v)

(v.) shy away, leap away

… I the matter will re-word, which madness
Would gambol from
– Hamlet (III.iv)

(adj.) playful, sportive, spirited

such other gambol faculties ‘a has that show a weak mind and an able body
– Henry IV, Part 2 (II.iv)

Also gambold is used as a noun, which means entertainment. The most common place to find this word that I have not yet mentioned is in A Midsummer Night’s Dream when Titania tells her fairies “Be kind and courteous to this gentleman; / Hop in his walks and gambol in his eyes;” – (III.i). Referring of course to Nick Bottom, the ass. Titania is asking the fairies to entertain him.