Good evening, I am in the midst of completing a time-placed stageplay and I am being exceedingly pronounced on its authenticity, in accordance with the language and word-choice, to the 1660s in London. Now, I have just realized that the word "even" was used a few times in my play with the later arisen context of the word meaning "to express something rather surprising or extraordinarily extreme": "even the power-lusty King's allies were at risk."

Now my question is, during 17th century London what word would have been used, commonly, which resonated the same context of our modern-day use of the word "even," which from what I have gathered meant, at the time, "equal" and "harmonious."

this is an example from my play with the word "even" which must be corrected:

"...and even they wouldst, shortly after, forget of what it did taste like"

  • 1
    The Book of Common Prayer, 1635: 19 Praised be the Lord daily : even the God which helpeth us,and poureth his benefits upon us. 2o He is our God,even the God of whom comethfalvation: God is the Lord by whom we escape death.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 23, 2020 at 2:11
  • You may wish to look at "power-lusty" - hyphenated words were uncommon in the 16th century. I suggest "even the King's allies, lusty of power, were imperilled"
    – Greybeard
    Sep 27, 2020 at 20:34

1 Answer 1


In the words of a man who actually wrote plays in London in the 1600s:

Make Sacred euen his styrrop.
Timon of Athen, a1616 (Shakespeare).

This example may be from earlier than your play, but it’s not even the earliest known example of even in this sense. For that, we must look almost 100 years further back:

All secretes knowe they, even the very thoughtes of mennes hertes.
The obedience of a Christen man, 1528 (Tyndale)

In other words, you can use even here without it being an anachronism.

  • Thank you most exceedingly and sincerely--you have answered me dearly. Apr 23, 2020 at 2:38

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