5 Nouns We've Turned Into Verbs

Thursday, September 52 min read

As children, we learned that nouns describe a person, place, or thing. Verbs, on the other hand, are supposed to represent actions. It's simple enough, but these days, the distinction between these two parts of speech isn't so clear.

Now we're used to hearing millennials discuss the difficulties of "adulting" and turning seemingly straightforward nouns into actions.

It may seem that we've suddenly allowed the internet to ruin the English language for us, but verbing — the practice of turning nouns into verbs — is not new. In fact, it's part of the magic of the English language. Think "dress," "style," "table," "mail," "medal," and more. Here are five nouns we've turned into verbs over the last decade.


In the early days of Facebook, we used to request that someone be our friend on the social media site. But "send me a friend request" is just too long and makes it seem as if there's a long bureaucratic process. So instead, you meet someone and say, "Friend me."


Remember the good old days when "ghost" simply referred to a spooky spirit that popped up in graveyards and around Halloween? These days, the term "ghost" can refer to ending a relationship abruptly by cutting off all communication without explanation. You can ghost someone else, or be ghosted by your crush or friend.


Your heart pumps blood, flutters, and skips a beat once in a while. But instead of loving something, you might heart it instead. You heart a new Instagram post, your best friend, or a latte. Whatever floats your boat!


Bookmarks can refer to physical markers that keep your spot in a book when you're reading, but these days you also have a bookmark option on your computer, which allows you to save certain websites. Now you can bookmark a webpage to peruse later.


We watch Netflix to relax and binge-watch shows. A few years ago, "Netflix and chill" even became a type of date. But if someone asks what you did for the weekend, instead of saying you watched a season of Grey’s Anatomy, you might say you Netflixed. Short and sweet! This is just one of many examples of company names becoming verbs. A few others you might recognize: Google (as in "Google it") and Uber (as in "Uber around").

Photo credit: NeONBRAND/ Unsplash

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