One thing I love about English is that verbs can be easily created just by adding the suffix "-ing" and adjectives by adding "-ly".

How would you call this phenomenon?


  • Googling, Youtubing

  • Pants-shittingly

  • 6
    Verbing weirds language. Nov 19, 2013 at 13:19
  • 1
    Is your question about what you call the words which result [as per question title], or what you call the process itself [as per question body]?
    – Andrew Leach
    Nov 19, 2013 at 20:09
  • 1
    "Pants-shittingly" You just earned a +1 for expanding my vocabulary. Nov 19, 2013 at 22:49
  • @DrydenLong – Your vocabulary has not improved; only your grammatical techniques. Nov 19, 2013 at 23:34
  • 1
    @Andrew Leach - I was asking about the words itself, but a word for the process could be interesting too. I think I didn't pay enough attention to what I was writing when I asked this question.
    – juanzack
    Nov 20, 2013 at 11:53

2 Answers 2


verb + -ing is called a gerund:

As applied to English, it refers to the -ing form of a verb when it is used, as a verb, to form a noun phrase (for example, the verb learning in the sentence "Learning English is an easy process for some")

These are not verbs; they are nouns. You can't say "I Googling the definition" or "You should Googling it." It is a noun, as in "Googling is useful."

Also, adding -ly does not make it an adjective; it makes it an adverb. There is no special term for adverbs ending in -ly, although most of them do.

About the "made up" part - you're not really making new words; you're just taking made-up words and adding -ing or -ly, so there's not really anything special about this. If you consider Google a normal verb, then there's nothing special.

  • 4
    Adding -ly to a noun does make an adjective. Adding -ly to an adjective makes an adverb. Nov 19, 2013 at 14:21
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    Whoops. Thanks for pointing this out, I confused verbs with nouns for some reason. Also, as JSBձոգչ wrote, adding "-ly" to a noun does make an adjective.
    – juanzack
    Nov 19, 2013 at 15:48
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    Yes, and it's also not true that any verb with -ing is a gerund. There are at least 5 quite different kinds of English lexical items that have that form, and they work and mean very different things. Gerunds are one of them, for sure. But many of these are derived nouns. Nov 19, 2013 at 16:36
  • "Googling" isn't exactly a noun. What about the sentence: "I am Googling the definition"? You couldn't call it a noun in that context. Nov 19, 2013 at 23:34

It's being productive:

productive adjective
1 ...
Linguistics (of a prefix, suffix, or other linguistic unit) currently used in forming new words or expressions:
many suffixes are common and productive

I suppose the phenomenon itself might be production, but I've never come across the word in a Linguistics sense.

  • 1
    @fixer1234 If I flag that comment as Too Chatty or Not Constructive, it will disappear instantly.
    – Andrew Leach
    May 16, 2017 at 18:35

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