In a conversation I just had I used the word "videotape" to mean recording a video on a cell phone. It occurred to me that this is probably not the word youngsters use today, but I couldn't think of a suitable alternative (other than "record," which seems too formal to me).

Google didn't provide any enlightening answers and I didn't see anything related on this site.

  • What words or expressions for "recording a video" are commonly used by kids in casual conversation? I'm mostly interested in American English.
  • 2
    record isn’t really that formal. We use it all the time- Hey did you record that for me? But as jo99blackops says “video” is the go to word now: Did you bring you bring your camera? No, I’ll just video it with my phone. Or even: I’ll just get it with my phone.
    – Jim
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 5:03
  • Your question is not clear. Are you looking for a verb (to replace "record") or a noun (that contains your recorded video)?
    – user140086
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 6:43
  • @Jim "get it" sounds suitably informal and natural. I realized "take a video" also works. Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 14:55
  • I'm seventeen, and recall having video tapes when I was young.
    – Angelos
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 22:28
  • @Nothing I don't know where the dividing line is for my question, but 17 is above it and 13 is below it. I'm 30. When I was 19, when you must have been 6, it was already strange to buy a new VHS player. I bought one at that time, and the inexpensive device I bought was a combination DVD/VHS/record player. Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 0:13

5 Answers 5


As others wrote, I think "video" is what you're looking for.

Speaking only from personal experience, "video" is in common use in the U.S., at least among the young (say, 2-30 years old), who know little about videotaping and never use the term. "Did you video it?" is common and clearly understood, as is "I videoed it" and "We'll video Christmas morning."

Thankfully, the monstrous word "videoing" has not seemed to gain similar currency. Few would say, "Please move; I'm videoing," instead saying, "Please move; I'm shooting a video."

This is, again, anecdotal, but is drawn from interactions with teens and young adults on east and west coasts as well as Texas.

  • I'm 30 and video sounds completely wrong to me. I've decided "take a video" is probably what I want. Commented Nov 14, 2015 at 18:43
  • At least for a word I would use. What younger people say is of course another thing. Commented Nov 14, 2015 at 18:46

In my shop we shoot digital video with a camera; more generically (embracing other methods such as screen-grabbing motion footage), we capture it. We also speak of shooting or capturing the subject.

Video which is constructed from scratch in software by manipulating digital still images is built and rendered.

Yeah, it's still "footage" even when it's measured in bytes, because taken at the level where people deal with it rather than software it's still a linear sequence of "frames".

  • Thank you. Your answer is very interesting though it's not really what I'm looking for. "Footage" actually never meant anything specific to me other than recorded video, though the word does bring up images of rolling film. Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 3:02
  • @Stoney B Your informative answer raised another issue for me. Should we metricated folks stop using footage for your linear sequence of "frames"? Metric and imperial units of measure for length aren't well matched: 1 metre = 3.28 feet, and 1 centimetre = 0.39 inch; so changing footage to meterage seems odd. I think we need an entirely new term: frameage perhaps? Except, of course, it's not new. It's here in a technical discussion on KVRAudio.
    – NMI
    Commented Sep 2, 2017 at 13:21
  • @NMI Do metricated compact cars get better gas kilometerage than metricated limousines? Commented Sep 2, 2017 at 14:30
  • @Stoney of course not! They achieve lower figures for fuel consumption. Oh, have it your way. Mileage is still in vogue, along with mile post, ten-foot pole (as in "I wouldn't touch it with one"), and numerous other linguistic anachronisms. It's no wonder the generation gap is so wide. We've taught the youngsters terms that accompany a system of measurement that has been officially out of use here in Australia for more than forty years.
    – NMI
    Commented Sep 3, 2017 at 2:29

In casual conversation, I have heard the word video used in the manner which you are describing and I think this is what you are looking for.

Google definition:

verb: video; 3rd person present: videos; past tense: videoed; past participle: videoed; gerund or present participle: videoing

1. record on videotape. "he declined an invitation to be videoed"

I hope this helps!

  • Thanks. You may be right but it sounds so wrong to me. The "tape" at the end adds meat to the word and makes it an action. Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 3:04
  • While we're on the subject, now that (nearly) all phones have keypads, what do kids say instead of "drink and dial"? Commented Nov 14, 2015 at 20:20
  • @David I don't think there is such a catchy modern phrase. I don't know why. I'm 30 and for as long as I can remember any reasonable phone had buttons instead of a dial, but you can still dial a number on a smartphone, it just has come to mean pressing the number out. Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 0:38

Consider, capture.

: to record in the form of stored data Webster's New World College Dictionary

Did you capture the incident with your phone?


The ODO (not OED) gives video as a verb, but it notes that it is chiefly BRITISH.

But that is the word I would use nowadays. Did you video the incident?

  • It sounds like it could be British. Should probably indicate I'm mostly interested in American. Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 14:47

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.