Is there a specific verb in English (perhaps come into the language from the northern Canadian wetlands?) which would describe the process of an area becoming bog / marshland / swamp (combined or separate)?

I tried the Google options for each (a la "verb for to become swamp") and didn't get anything which would match.

The opposite, at least when an anthropogenic process and intended, exists, and is 'to drain':

  • cause the water or other liquid in (something) to run out, leaving it empty or dry.

Edit (Clarifications): I should note -- as the comments already did -- that appreciably, 'bog', 'marsh', and 'swamp' all describe different wetlands. I am most interested in 'bog', but I reasoned that either of the other two processes could also be helpful if described as a verb.

  • In English, you can verbify almost every noun. Why not verbify 'marshland'? Why not say 'marshlandise', 'marshlandify' or 'marshlanden'? Commented May 17, 2020 at 21:04
  • @GEdgar - How about "swamp the drain"?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 17, 2020 at 21:09
  • 2
    Another place to ask, possibly: earthscience.stackexchange.com
    – GEdgar
    Commented May 17, 2020 at 21:19
  • How about boggify? Keep in mind that marshlands and swamps are different, and no doubt different in formation.
    – Xanne
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 0:10
  • 1
    @DecapitatedSoul I'm not sure you can verbify verb. Commented May 18, 2020 at 0:50

1 Answer 1


How about inundate? From M-W:

inundate: to cover with a flood, overflow

Synonyms include drown, flood, submerge, submerse, swamp. Inundate is more general than flood.

Marshlands, bogs, and swamps are all the result of an area being inundated by water for one reason or another, e.g., tides, seasonal flooding of low-level areas, precipitation, etc.

To inundate is the opposite of your to drain.

  • 1
    An inundation -- from floods at least -- would be temporal, not permanent. Is there a way to reflect this as well? I've only seen "inundate" thus far with respect to riverine overflows (e.g., Mississippi).
    – gktscrk
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 4:48
  • Same meaning “to swamp” but that dies not convey the meaning of “becoming a swamp”.
    – user 66974
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 5:04
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    @gktscrk Marshes, bogs, and swamps are all wetlands, whereas wetlands, as defined by the U.S. EPA, are areas where water covers the soil, or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time. Wetlands can be temporal or permanent, with the water coming from some combination of flooding and rain. Commented May 18, 2020 at 12:07
  • I think that's a fair point, @RichardKayser. It's not, however, necessarily a word you could use without other descriptors to describe what is going on, but that is indeed the process.
    – gktscrk
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 12:09
  • @Hachi I'm not sure to swamp and to inundate have exactly the same meaning. I do agree though that to swamp does not have the meaning of becoming a swamp, whereas to inundate does have the meaning of becoming an inundation, and inundations can result in wetlands, including swamps. Commented May 18, 2020 at 12:40

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