Nouns as verbs II (Animals)

More nouns converted into verbs, this time with animals!

  • a hare: to hare – hared – hared
  • a rat: to rat on (someone) – ratted – ratted
  • a rabbit: to rabbit on – rabbitted – rabitted
  • a dog: to dog (someone) – dogged – dogged
  • a snake: to snake – snaked – snaked
  • a fish: to fish for – fished – fished
  • a clam: to clam up – clammed – clammed
  • a parrot: to parrot (someone) – parrotted – parrotted
  • a chicken: to chicken out – chickened – chickened
  • a duck: to duck – ducked – ducked
  • to make a duck
  • a worm: to worm – wormed – wormed
  • a monkey: to monkey around – monkeyed – monkeyed
  • a badger: to badger (someone) – badgered – badgered
  • a beaver: to beaver away – beavered – beavered
  • an earwig: to earwig – earwigged – earwigged
  • a ferret: to ferret (someone) out – ferretted – ferretted
  • a hawk: to hawk – hawked – hawked
  • a leech: to leech off (someone) – leeched – leeched
  • a warbler: to warble – warbled – warbled
  • a weasel: to weasel (oneself) into – weaselled – weaselled
  • a goose: to goose (someone) – goosed – goosed
  • a wolf: to wolf-whistle – wolf-whistled – wolf-whistled
  • an ape: to ape (someone) – aped – aped
  • to go ape
  • a bug: to bug – bugged – bugged
  • a crow: to crow – crowed – crowed
  • a frog: to leap-frog over (someone) – leap-frogged – leap-frogged
  • a swan: to swan around – swanned – swanned

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Nouns use as verbs I

More nouns which are also used as verbs

We’ve seen how many parts of the body can be made into verbs. This happens with inumerable nouns, too.

The following are just a random assortment. Quite a few of the verbs have a fairly restricted sense: for example “to floor” (someone) means “to astonish” (someone) i.e. they fall on the floor with astonishment.

While others are more obvious: “to shelter” means to find safety beneath a shelter.

Some border on slang: for example “to sock” (someone). I surmise that it means to hit someone with a sock filled with sand. However I could be wrong.

All you need to do is to put to……..and google it.

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Body Parts

The English language is peculiar because many nouns / substantives can be converted into verbs. Sometimes this is obvious; at other times the meaning is completely obscured. However there is always a link between the noun and the verb.

This doesn’t usually happen in other languages to this extent. Often the noun is some type of tool, so the activity becomes the verb: for example: a shovel – to shovel (shovelled, shovelled).
Parts of the body are also “verbalised”: a hand – to hand (handed, handed). However in the case of “hand”, a simple preposition forms a “phrasal” verb: to hand in; to hand out; to hand on. Other examples are more rstricted to expressions: foot – to foot the bill.
There is no hard and fast rule except that sometimes the results can be surprising, as in the expression “the player spooned the ball over the bar.”

body part turns into a verb (usually regular)

  • face: to face – faced – faced
  • head: to head – headed – headed
  • eye: to eye – eyed – eyed
  • eye up: to eye up – eyed up – eyed up
  • mouth: to mouth – mouthed – mouthed
  • shoulder: to shoulder – shouldered – shouldered
  • nose: to nose – nosed – nosed
  • chest: to chest – chested – chested
  • back: to back – backed – backed
  • back up: to back up – backed up – backed up
  • stomach: to stomach – stomached – stomached
  • elbow: to elbow – elbowed – elbowed
  • thumb: to thumb – thumbed – thumbed
  • finger: to finger – fingered – fingered
  • hand: to hand – handed – handed (hand in; hand out; hand over)
  • palm: to palm – palmed – palmed
  • leg: to leg – legged – legged
  • knee: to knee – kneed – kneed
  • foot: to foot – footed – footed
  • toe: to toe – toed – toed
  • heel: to heel – heeled – heeled
  • sol: to sole – soled – soled
  • skin: to skin – skinned – skinned
  • scalp: to scalp – scalped – scalped

He’ll have to face the music one day
The player headed the ball into the back of the net
They headed South
The policeman eyed us
He mouthed the answer
He shouldered the responsibility
The captain nosed the ship through the canal
The player chested the ball down
I can’t stomach that player
He elbowed his way through the crowd
I thumbed through the pages of the magazine
He fingered the precious stone
Can you hand me the salt?
We handed out leaflets advertising the event
He handed over his passport to the police
She palmed the money; she didn’t hand it in
The thief legged it
She kneed him in the groin
He’s going to foot the bill
Members have to toe the line
Can you hand me it, please?
Can you hand out the books, please?
Can you hand over your guns?
Can you hand round the sandwiches?
…and there are more………


It doesn’t take much to speak in a sophisticated way. All you need to do is to add a bit of decoration. We decorate our language with adjectives, adverbs and so on. Sometimes it’s very simple; sometimes complicated. But this decoration can produce humour and so forth, so you have to study what you can add to a sentence. Sometimes you can add things at the beginning, before or after verbs or at the end. Try it and don’t worry about making mistakes because it’s part of the process of sophistication.
Some examples of simple Sentence Sophistication. Obviously there are hundreds and hundreds more.

I live in the suburbs
I work for Microsoft
I eat there every Saturday
I read when I have any spare time
It can be paid per hour
It can be paid per week
It can be paid per month Continue reading

This will BREAK your heart!


  • Be careful it doesn’t break (intransitive)
  • Be careful you don’t break it (transitive)
  • These glasses break easily
  • You’ve broken another one
  • Finally somebody broke the silence
  • He broke the world record
  • She broke the ice with a joke
  • They broke the law (rules)
  • When do the children break up? (finish school for the holidays)
  • Jealousy breaks up many marriages
  • The Russian Empire broke up in 1991
  • His car broke down on the motorway
  • He broke down and confessed
  • I must break this material down into its constituent parts
  • Plastic takes years to break down
  • She’s had a nervous breakdown
  • Ronaldo broke away down the left wing
  • Catalunia wants to break away from Spain
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French words retaining their french pronunciation

The Norman Invasion and Conquest of England (1066) resulted in the use of the French language being used alongside Anglo-Saxon. The rulers were Norman speakers. So their language filtered down into the language of those conquered.

1.The theatre company is gradually increasing its repertoire

2. There was a strong smell coming from the abattoir

3. The building of a new reservoîr is in the pipeline

4. The concept of a lady in her boudoir would cause laughter these days

5. We took an aperitif first, and then entered the dining-room

6. After winning the lottery, he employed a chauffeur to drive him about

7. She looked very elegant indeed in a black chiffon dress

8. After the consommé, they brought caviare and finally petit-fours and liquers

9. This ballet was a part of the late Renaissance

10. They walked down the boulevard with a côterie of journalists

11. A coquettish brunette with a perfect coiffure and wearing a negligée entered

12. We listened to a lecture given by a champagne connoisseur in the canteen

13. The dentist showed his pique when I showed him a photo of my chateau

14. I counted fifty bullet-holes in the buildings façade

15. A platoon of soldiers set out to reconnoître the area

16. The restaurant was full, so we had to wait until there was an empty table

17. Despite three defeats in a row, the manager remained sanguine about promotion

18. I joined the champions entourage and managed to get a scoop

19.We are lucky to have good connections and can get entrés to most social events

20. Many now consider his form of cooking rather autre

21.I’m afraid the situation has got out of hand and has become a fait accompli

22. She almost always played the role of femme fatal in films

23. She was famous as a femme du monde in her early years

24. We attended the village fête on Saturday, and I won a coconut

25. When I entered the room, it was just like déjà vu

26. We had coq au vin for our main course and gateau for sweet

27.Real Madrid are Atlético’s bête noir

28. She wore a fleur-de-lis in her hair and was full of joie de vivre

29. She has a very laissez-faire attitude to her children’s education

30.We live in the country of course but keep a maison de ville in London

31. I asked the maître d’hôtel to keep me a table in the corner

32. He lives in an unconventional household; himself, his wife and her friend are a ménage a trois

33. My wife can make a wonderful meringue and I pâte de fois gras

34. My son has finally found his mêtier; he’s joined the police force

35. We thought we had found water but it was only a mirage

36. I was looking for something pithy, le mot just to finish the article

37. The first thing the young diplomat learns is how to show obeisance to Royalty

38.The artist gradually achieved what today we would term his oeuvre

39. The audience clambered for an encore at the end of the concert

40. A new pâtisserie has opened next to the wine bar

41. He belongs to Millet and his milieu

42. He has a massage every morning before playing a round of golf

43. Can you write a précis of the lecture and hand it in on Monday morning

44. The actors delivery was very puissant, and he deserved success

45. Go to the rôtisserie and buy a couple of roast chickens

46.The film was basically a collection of delightful vignettes


I can drive
This sentence means you have taken driving lesons and have reached a level of proficiency which has enabled you to pass an exam which allows you to apply for a licence issued by the authorities which in turn gives you the right to pilot a motor vehicle on the public highway. It also acknowledges that you have learnt all the practical skills or, in other words, yoou know how to drive

I can drive but I can’t drive at the moment
This sentence means you have reached proficiency and have obtained a licence but certain circumstances make it impossible or unadvisable to drive at the present time

I can see the castle                I can hear the music
These sentences mean that your geographical position enables you to see or hear something

I can understand her
This sentence means you can literally understand what she is saying

I can understand her predicament
This sentence means that you have empathy with the situation

It can lift an elephant
This sentence implies that the machine has been designed to fulfil a certain task

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