English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is uppercase a valid verb?
Could I say for example "you should use your password uppercased"?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

No, it is not a verb in any common dictionary, nor generally accepted.

Use the following instead:

You should use an upper-case password.

share|improve this answer
Agreed; it's not common or generally accepted. Then again, you can verb almost anything and still be readily understood. :) (That particular example isn't optimal to demostrate this, as it only makes the phrase clumsier. But consider e.g. "change your password to uppercase" vs "uppercase your password".) – Jonik Sep 23 '10 at 18:07
@Jonik: Yeah. There's lots of made-up verbs you can get-away with simply because humans aren't picky with language, though what's the point if you're not even making things shorter/clearer (probably the opposite here)? – Noldorin Sep 23 '10 at 19:05
The Merriam-Webster dictionary seems to have it, going by the other answer. – ShreevatsaR Sep 24 '10 at 12:56
Ok, that surprises me. Put it this was, you'd get strange looks if you used it in speech here (Britain). Also, using it as a gerund just makes it more awkward. – Noldorin Sep 24 '10 at 13:47
To me Use an upper-case password means something very different from Use your password upper-cased: the former means "choose a password with only upper-case letters", whereas the latter is "use your password, but convert all the letters to upper case". – psmears May 7 '11 at 15:30

Apparently, it is acceptable to some people:

Merriam Webster: Uppercased

share|improve this answer
"First known use: 1949", so it predates personal computers. – ShreevatsaR Sep 24 '10 at 12:34

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.