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On The Verbing Of Nouns

I think I read somewhere a few years ago that English is the only language in which its speakers regularly turn nouns into verbs. Take the word “nail.” It used to be just a noun – that small, iron, cylindrical-shaped object with a point on one end and a flat head on the other that you used to hold two pieces of wood together.

But in the last few decades, it has been verbalized. If you do something right or figure something out, you “nail” it.

Then there are words like “jar” and “dish.”

It seems the more digital technology progresses, the more this verbalization happens. You “google” if you search something on the Internet (regardless of the search engine you’re using). Fake photos have been “photoshopped.” You “friend” someone on Facebook.

So I thought it would be fun to get goofy with the idea of verbalizing nouns that, as of yet (and as far as I know) have not yet received the privilege of becoming verbs. Here we go.

“That really floored me….” Wait, floor is already both a noun and a verb.

Let me think…

Got it! “He beaned me on the head with a baseball.”

What? “Bean” is already a verb, too?

“Let’s ratchet this up a notch.”

Meh. This is hard.

I’ve got one! Seriously!

“I was so computered by the class, I felt dizzy when I walked out of it.”

Computer: To cause to be inundated with information.

Let’s see if I can come up with another one…

“He toothbrushed along in his sneakers.”

Toothbrush: To move in a back and forth gliding motion.

Next: “I don’t want to shirt right now.”

Shirt: To act as a mediator between two debating parties. Comes from a shirt having two opposing sleeves.

How about this one? “He lamped up the entire house.”

Lamp: To turn on multiple lights in an area.

Finally (because my brain is getting tied in knots): “She seems to just headphone her way through life.”

Headphone: To go through life engrossed in one’s own thoughts, or otherwise seeming to ignore what is going on around one.


Yeah, okay, so some of these are a bit of a stretch. I never realized how many nouns have already been verbalized until I started to really think about it!

Maybe I’ll stick to just using the words that others have already invented. You know, keep being a writer, and let others do the mental gymnastics of manipulating the English language.

What about you? Can you come up with any G-rated examples of new verbalized nouns? Share in the comments below!

Or, go through this post and tell us all the words I used that could be either nouns or verbs. I know you have nothing better to do. 😉

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