Artist unknown, c 1500
Proper Elizabethan language is not the modern 'snooty' English of many plays and movies, nor the drawn out cockney accent; proper Elizabethan is more akin to the speech of backwood communities, where language has not changed significantly since the founding of those communities. Language is a living thing and evolves with time: new words are created and old ones altered. This evolution is obvious when comparing Swiss German and High German (your high school German won't help you talk to the Swiss). Mainstream English, under the relentless influence of media's unifying force, is fast becoming a dry and brisk language, devoid of character and romance. This is not grammar you are taught in school, but simply the ordinary way people talked. Your excuse for incorrect usage cannot be that you were poorly educated.
Say: "How art thou", not "how are thee"
What wouldst thou have of me?
I like thy face.
I will go with thee.
Thou art a rogue.
Say: I did see him go with thee. not I didst see him... The "st" ending is only for "thou"
However, the familiar and formal forms (thou and you) get mixed in a sentence even in Shakespeare, downward or to an equal, never up. That is, you might address your servant using both thou and thee together, but he wouldn't do that to you. Anger and strong feeling, of course, cancel other conventions.
Also, when we refer to 'corn', we are referring, mainly, to barley. If not barley, then it is whatever the major grain crop in the region is (rye is common). It is never corn-on-the-cob or maize.
Englishmen speak of living in a particular street instead of on it. Shakespeare lived for a time in a house in Silver Street, or one knows a tailor with a shop in the High Street.
The main drag in an English town of any size is usually called the High Street. There are also regional variations, such as Fore Street or Silver Street. A village is more likely to be built around a village green and may not have a street at all. If traffic actually runs through it, you might say that children were playing in the lane or the road.
Your use of old fashioned words should make you sound old fashioned, not ignorant. Notice these usages.
Wherefore means Why. 'Whyfor' is a made up word. Use wherefore when you mean "why", and where when you mean "where". (Juliet did not say "Whyfor art thou Romeo?").
Mayhap is 'singular.' Don't say 'mayhaps.' (You're thinking of 'perhaps.') To avoid confusion, try 'belike'.
Stay means "to wait". If you mean to say that someone is waiting for you, and you are late (or whatever), Say: I am stayed for.
Ta'en is short for taken. Use "ta'en for" to mean "mistaken for". As in: I fear thou hast ta'en me for someone else. My brother is oft ta'en for me and I for him.
You can call a doll a poppet. You can call children poppets too.
Sweeting is a popular pet name both for lovers and for children.
A penny is a coin. One of them is always a penny, not a pence. Pence is only used for amounts of more than one penny. If you have a pocketful of 1-penny coins, you have several pennies, to the value of several pence.
|Okay.||Very well, 'Tis done, As you will, Marry shall I.|
|Wow!||Fie me! Marry! 'Zounds (God's wounds, pron: ZOONDS) I'faith! Hey-ho! God's Death! What ho!|
|Excuse me.||Forgive me, Pray pardon, I crave your forgiveness, By your leave.|
Prithee (I pray thee), If you please, An thou likest, An it please you, By your leave, An thou wilt, An you will
|Thank you||Gramercy, I thank thee, My thanks, God reward thee|
|Gesundheit!||God Save You! Air head Lightminded, Airling|
|Bottom line||In the end, At bottom, In the main, Finally, In the final analysis|
|Bathroom||Privy, Jakes, Ajax|
|Certainly!||Certes! (SIR-tees) (However, NOT "I am certes that I paid that account.")|
Note: Hello is not actually a period greeting but an exclamation of surprise. You can say instead: Good day, Good morrow, God ye good den (or just, Good den) "God save you, sweet mistress", "How now, Sir Toby Belch".
Perhaps the most obvious sound difference is that of the R sound like that of mother . The R sound is drawn out into a pirate ARRRRRRRRR. This becomes trying in words like father where the A is pronounced like apple but the R is enunciated. Father is thus pronounced F-aaaa-th-rrrrrrr .
References: Ren Faire http://www.renfaire.com/Language/index.html , A Compendium of common knowledge http://renaissance.dm.net/compendium/