Consider the following sentence.

The movie Freaky Friday depicts two people exchanging bodies with each other.

In that sentence, the verb exchanging seems volitional. However, the movie depicts two people incidentally exchanging (for lack of a better word) bodies.

I cannot think of an equivalent incidental verb. Words such as trade and swap both seem to express volitional acts.

Is there an incidental verb equivalent to exchange?

Thank you.


  • 1
    You could use the passive. That's one of the things it's good for. – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 20 '15 at 16:17
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    @StoneyB Exactly my thought. Nothing much else emerges from a list of synonyms. But you could try: Two people with transposed bodies. – WS2 Jan 20 '15 at 16:38
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    Google claims over 30,000 instances of "two people switch bodies", but only 278 for "two people exchange bodies". I know which verb I'd use, and apparently a lot of other people think the same. – FumbleFingers Jan 20 '15 at 16:46
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    Exchange does not, of course, need to have the volitional caveat. An ion exchanger and a heat exchanger are non-sentient. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 20 '15 at 17:46
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    English verbs should not be held responsible for the belief that the human incorporeal mind/personality/soul/self part is separable from the human corporeal meat part, let alone exchangeable. English doesn't have special verbs for things that are impossible; for this you need theology. – John Lawler Jan 20 '15 at 18:40

You may feel that interchange is less volitional.

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