Non Sequitors: Verb-ing Nouns

For those of you who know I used to be an English major, keep your mouth shut and don’t comment on my bastardization of the English language. Just don’t. (Please?)

To verb a noun. What does that mean? Why would you destroy grammar in such a terrible fashion? Here’s why – because it’s hilarious. Not only is it hilarious, it can bring a new level of descriptiveness to a feeling or an event.
The first noun I ever verb-ed is perennially my favorite. The noun I used was Charlie Brown. To describe the moment that I verb-ed this noun requires some embellishment, so enjoy the story. One day, a gray and drizzly day, the kind that frizzles the hair and dampens the soul, I sat staring with great melancholy out my window. I felt strange, sad, friendless, lonely and blue. I felt just like Charlie Brown.

And so, I was Charlie Brown-ing. It’s like bumming out, but with a much brighter t-shirt and a much rounder head. And it seems silly, but it really was the most accurate description for how I felt. The fact that Charlie Brown is despairingly pathetic is what endears us to him. (Although I doubt the mood I was in endeared me to anyone in the slightest.)

The more I thought about Charlie Brown, his persona and character, the more I realized that Charlie Brown is not just a feeling, Charlie Brown is an action. Charlie Brown disheartens those around him, he spreads his gloom. He sighs and bemoans his unrequited love of a redhead. Who can be happy around that? So, when I’m feeling particularly gloomy and have a perverse need to make others feel the same way, I Charlie Brown it. A happy, light hearted conversation? I Charlie Brown-ed that conversation.

As ludicrous an idea and concept as it may be, it makes sense, and it makes me smile.

What other nouns would you verb?

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2 responses to “Non Sequitors: Verb-ing Nouns

  1. Don’t even get me started on Charlie Brown.

    I remember there being a “Calvin and Hobbes” strip where Calvin was explaining how he verbed words, but I don’t remember which words he verbed.

    Here’s a noun I would like to verb: New York. Definition- to ignore people around oneself, to pretend that one is invisible.

    Scenario. Man comes up to me in a Las Vegas airport and attempts to strike up a friendly conversation. I pretend not to hear him. I totally just New Yorked that dude.

  2. I love Calvin & Hobbes. And verb-ing New York like that is FANTASTIC.

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