I read Shakespeare in high school, and loved the wordplay of his sonnets and some individual words just because they sounded great rolling off the tongue.  The word “methinks” is one word that has stuck with me.  I like to think I’m a poet myself, although I could never dream to compete with The Bard.  Occasionally, however, I do wax poetic and let loose a stream of words that causes many people to look at me strangely.

Recently, someone pointed out the rarity of hearing “methinks” in everyday conversation, like I use the word.  Out of curiosity, I looked up the origin of the word and this is what I found:

Methinks:  “it seems to me.”  From the Middle English “me thinketh,” which, in turn came from the Old English “mē thincth,” from (dative of I) + thincth seems, from thyncan to seem

First Known Use: before 12th century

Alternative forms


From me (object pronoun = “to me”) + think (from Old English þyncan). In Early Modern English, used at least 150 times by William Shakespeare; in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer, me thinketh; and in Old English by Alfred the Great, me þyncþ.

Chaucer, that’s the other author I saw use “methinks” often!  And methought I was only influenced by Shakespeare!


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