I have got a title composition from AI "Swirlings of simple Things". Also in the Leo online dictionary is Swirling listed as a noun (https://dict.leo.org/englisch-deutsch/swirling).

But I wanted be sure, can swirling be used as a noun?

Many thanks for your help in advance!

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  • 1
    Grammatically, you can use any present participle as a noun. But "Swirlings of Simple Things" is a very strange phrase; I have no idea what it means. Commented Jul 8 at 21:02
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    You might get suggestions from stackexchange literature, but I think this an Off Topic "matter of opinion" for ELU. Commented Jul 8 at 22:03
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    Wiktionary gives this as a noun, with the plural form swirlings. But it's unusual in the plural. Commented Jul 8 at 22:04
  • 1
    Sounds like a gerund, a verb used as a noun.
    – Elliot
    Commented Jul 8 at 22:56
  • 1
    If you're creating a title, you can do whatever you want. Titles don't have to be grammatical.
    – Barmar
    Commented Jul 9 at 0:05

1 Answer 1


If you can use the definite or indefinite articles with it, it's a noun.

It refers to the flattening of all pretty people features into a single, cyborgian look -- a swirling of Hollywood archetypes, social media beauty ideals, and facial filters. (Business Insider)

The word " whirl " is often associated with rapid, spinning movements, as in the motion of a spinning top or the swirling of water. (Forbes)

Nouns also inflect for number, which swirling does.

At times she paints a little like Van Gogh -- great swirlings of cloud, as in one of the Dutchman's late, mystical visions of the night sky (Independent)

Here a whirlpool boils with mud and immense swirlings of water, spouting up the slimy sand of Cocytos. (Theoi)

Nouns also have genitive forms, which, though rare, swirling does indeed have.

Intermittently step back and evaluate the vortex effect’s progress. Make adjustments as required to refine the swirling’s shape, intensity, and heading. (ITS)

According to these common tests for nouns, there is in fact a noun in use with the spelling swirling.

  • Quite a nice comprehensive answer with great usage examples for an unusual word!
    – user8356
    Commented Jul 9 at 16:47

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