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jca's avatar

What are some nouns that recently started being used as verbs?

Asked by jca (27816 points ) July 29th, 2012

Listening to the Olympic coverage on the news, they talk about athletes who “medal.” “She’s expected to medal at least once in these Games.” Medal, to me, is a noun, not a verb but I guess it’s a verb now.

Can you think of some other nouns that are now used as verbs?

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46 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Suicide
Journal
Impact

Trillian's avatar

Disrespect

DominicX's avatar

gift – hate that one with a passion. “I gifted him a box of chocolates!” Bleh.

CWOTUS's avatar

Verb. We’ve been verbing nouns with stunning regularity for my entire lifetime.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

gun (ex. Gun him down.)

gasman's avatar

From today’s Language Log, quoting Alan Duncan, England’s Minister of State for International Development:

“Nouns being used as verbs” in general is such a common practice that there’s even a term for it, “verbing” (it is, pleasingly, also the finest example of its own definition).

zenvelo's avatar

Text.
Podium (“he should podium this year”)

zensky's avatar

Google, Youtube, Facebook.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

@JLeslie people still use fax?

JLeslie's avatar

@Mr_Paradox What do you say instead?

Mr_Paradox's avatar

No, I mean people still fax things? Haven’t done that in years. Not since my company got a dedicted fiber-optic cable.

JLeslie's avatar

I faxed something two weeks ago. I guess some of us are still doing it.

ETpro's avatar

Gee. Drawing a blank here. Mind if I Google it.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

@JLeslie WOW, I know feel ultra-modern.

ragingloli's avatar

@ETpro
I think that ‘drawing’ is a verb used as a noun.

ETpro's avatar

@ragingloli Care to view the definition of drawing?

DominicX's avatar

@ETpro Of course that’s the definition, but nouns that end in ”-ing” are generally gerunds (verbal nouns), thus nouns derived form verbs.

2davidc8's avatar

I recently heard a local newscaster say that the defendant in a legal case had “lawyered up”, meaning that the defendant got himself a lawyer.

ETpro's avatar

@DominicX Sorry, but the drawing on your wall is not a verb because it has an “ing” on the end of it.

In fact, virtually all language evolved from concrete things. We assigned metaphorical meanings to those concrete things as time went on, allowing us to talk about ever more abstract concepts.

Even as unmetaphorical sounding a word as “to be” actually grew from something quite concrete. It comes from the Sanskrit bhu meaning “to grow or make grow” while the English forms “am” and “is” evolved from the same root as the Sanskrit word asmi meaning “to breathe”. So our irregular conjugation of the verb “to be” hails back to a time when humanity had no specific word for “existence”. Granted that example draws on Sanskrit verbs, but very concrete ones. Many of our current verb forms rise from a foundation of actual things, nouns, and they became verbs as humans realized that some as-yet undefined action was like a particular thing.

DominicX's avatar

@ETpro No, it’s a noun derived form a verbal noun, ultimately derived from a verb. But if it were an outright verbal noun, the tense would matter, which I guess would be in the case “I like drawing”, but it wouldn’t be in “I have a drawing done by a famous artist”. And I’m not denying any of that other stuff, although of course, those verb forms don’t come directly from the Sanskrit forms, but merely all derived from the same basic proto-form.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Do name brands count? For example, Xerox documents or Hoover the floor.

DominicX's avatar

I hear things like “beer” being turned into a verb, but only in the context of “beer me”, or “lighter me”, or “weed me”...not as awkward as my roommate telling me “milk me”...

cookieman's avatar

Photoshop
“We’ll just photoshop those wrinkles away.”
“That image looks photoshopped.”

What’s interesting is that PS’s companion software (Illustrator, InDesign, et al.) have not been verbed.

rooeytoo's avatar

People here say bath instead of bathe??? As in “I’m going to bath my dog.” Strange!

LostInParadise's avatar

I think people protest too much. The language is full of words that can be used as either verbs or nouns. In some cases, the verb form may precede the noun form. Is that preferable? Just confining ourselves to words that might be used to describe the Olympics: march, cover, judge, honor, measure, time, try, count, fight, leap, hurdle, balance, ski, skate, win and defeat, and that is just for starters.

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picante's avatar

Fluther.

Trillian's avatar

@LostInParadise I’m going to disagree with your reasoning her on the grounds of ambiguity. Just because there is not a teacher with a yardstick stopping people from using words inappropriately does not really mean that it’s ok. When you use a word to indicate something other than its actual meaning, the listener then has to figure out what you mean. Do you mean what the rest of your sentence indicates or are you in error in some way?
When people get angry and say “Well, you know what I mean.” it further muddies the waters and hinders the flow of information. When you arbitrarily take a word with a given definition and decide to replace it with a different word, or use it incorrectly, you cloud your meaning. This prevents communication from flowing.

jca's avatar

Friend.

zensky's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer When a generic noun like Hoover is used as a verb it is called a Hypernym.

LostInParadise's avatar

@Trillian , If people never broke the rules, we would still be speaking the language of Beowulf

prasad's avatar

google.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

gailcalled's avatar

I just saw someone on fluther talk about “testosteroned bodies”...that’s a new one for me (and a neologism that the English-speaking populace can live without).

JLeslie's avatar

Why? Why so negative @gailcalled? Does it not communicate what I intend? Is it not understood what I mean? It’s not like I think it is a real word or anything. You just like to stick to the dictionary I think, and don’t like when anything is said that is made up for effect. I think testosteroned is different, for example, than saying something like irregardless and not understanding why there is something wrong with it.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, even when we use words with specified meanings things can be miscommunicated. I think it is understood that testosterone is a male hormone and male hormones give guys more muscles, larger shoulders, and that male bodies have flat breasts, and are more angular than curvy, and have less body fat. Kind of A=B and B=C so A=C. The word I used is not being used outside of its actual meaning as trillian mentioned, testosteroned is not even a word, not that I know of, it is completely made up. But, ok, I can live with your disapproval.

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s another one, just in. To gold: viz; to win a gold medal.

To hormone;
To overhormone:
To have estrogened:

Why not, if anything goes actuals?

JLeslie's avatar

Oy. Hahahaha. I don’t like “to gold.” But, I don’t mind medal. What can I tell you? Inconsistent I guess. Some things sound ok even when they aren’t, and some don’t when they aren’t. I assume the ones that sound ok to a lot of people are the words that get adopted eventually into the dictionary.

jca's avatar

Trend.

zenvelo's avatar

One that bugs the shit out of me is “partner”. “I partnered with Mike to develop this presentation.” “The company wants to partner with staff on developing a coherent vacation policy.”

LostInParadise's avatar

How do you feel about the use of the word couple as a verb?

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