Fretful Porcupine

Inspired by brain experts who suggest that the stranger a name is then the more memorable it will be, I scoured Hamlet for phrases or turns of phrase that would be odd or different or memorable but were also unique word constructions by Shakespeare.  “Fretful Porcupine” is from Act 1, scene 5 where the Ghost speaks to Hamlet about his murder:

Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.

Speak; I am bound to hear.

So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.



I am thy father’s spirit,
Doom’d for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
If thou didst ever thy dear father love–

O God!

Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.

Other possible names for this site I contemplated:

  • Politic Worms
  • Dying Voice
  • Wicked Speed
  • Vicious Mole
  • Goblin Damn’d
  • Enter Ghost
  • Famous Ape

… all of which come from Hamlet.



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