Like "Petition": I signed a 'petition,' and carried it onward to 'petition' for support of lower wages & more suffering etc.

  • 2
    Obligatory Calvin quote: "Verbing weirds language". But your example is not a good one, since both the noun and verb senses of petition are very old, and it is by no means clear which came first. Mar 28, 2015 at 17:01
  • 2
    It's morphological conversion, in this case verbing a noun. It's been answered before. See Morphological .... Mar 28, 2015 at 17:02
  • 1
    "Verbify" is also used. Mar 28, 2015 at 17:05
  • 1
    @MariusHancu - You sure it isn't "veribificationing"?
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 28, 2015 at 17:17
  • 1
    "Verbalizing:" Let's monetize the system. Let's incentivize the market. Mar 29, 2015 at 5:42

1 Answer 1


A verb derived from a noun with the same pronunciation is "denominal". There is a difference in English between the stress patterns of verbs and nouns: nouns (and adjectives) can have two contiguous unstressed syllables, but "real" verbs cannot. Compare the noun "advocate", with stress only on the first syllable, with the verb "advocate", with stress on the first and third syllables. The noun has two contiguous unstressed syllables, "-vo" and "-cate", but the verb has only a single unstressed syllable, the "-vo".

However, verbs that have the same pronunciations as nouns, denominal verbs, are atypical in this regard. If the noun has two contiguous unstressed syllables, then so must the verb. "calendar" - to note an event on the calendar. "colander" - to put food through a colander.

The sense of derivation here, for denominal verbs, has nothing to do with the history of words.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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