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

This is in very common use on the internet. I just read this:

"[The] hotel employee walks in, I say "uh, puppy" and she just NOPEd the [heck] out of the room."

This is often done by adding 'd to the word.

share|improve this question
They verbed it. – andyortlieb Sep 21 '11 at 17:05
possible duplicate of Can “duct tape” be used as a verb? – FumbleFingers Mar 7 '12 at 0:33
up vote 15 down vote accepted

I think the term you are looking for is "verbification":

Verbification, or verbing, is the creation of a verb from a noun, adjective or other word. Verbification is a type of functional shift. It is also a form of derivation, and may involve any of the various derivational processes.

This is a process of conversion of a word to include more word-classes for the lexicon.
This applies to any non-verb, even "proper nouns":

Proper nouns can also be verbed in the English language. "Google" is the name of a popular internet search engine. To google something now means to look it up on the internet, as in "He didn't know the answer, so he googled it."

That's a favourite, "google" is.

share|improve this answer
I'm kind of disappointed that it's such a straight-forward term. Oh well, perfect answer. – Jeremy Sep 21 '11 at 4:27
@Jeremy, the truth hurts :) – Thursagen Sep 21 '11 at 4:30
+1 for Google as the prime example. You could have just told him to google it, and see if he caught the reference. – JeffSahol Sep 21 '11 at 4:41
"Verbing weirds language." is my personal favorite. – Joachim Sauer Sep 21 '11 at 7:13

As others have said, "verbification" is common. The highfalutin Greek name of the more general concept of using a word as the "wrong" part of speech is anthimeria.

See also Calvin's opinion on the subject.

share|improve this answer
That comic was awesome. – Jeremy Sep 21 '11 at 15:16

Verbification, or verbing. See Wikipedia's entry on linguistic conversion.

share|improve this answer

When any lexeme changes its word class without affixation, the process is known as ‘conversion’.

share|improve this answer

Actually, I believe the word you are looking for is anthimeria. From

In rhetoric, anthimeria, traditionally and more properly called antimeria (from the Greek: ἀντί, antí, “against, opposite” and μέρος, méros, “part”), is the use of a word as if it were a member of a different word class (part of speech); typically, the use of a noun as if it were a verb.

share|improve this answer

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.