>> What word means "to verb"? Is there a dictionary term that >> describes the use of "verb" in: >> "In the English language, every word can be verbed"? >As either Calvin or Hobbes (Calvin & Hobbes = a US comic strip >(trying not to be provincial here)) put it, "Verbing Weirds Language."The phenomenon doesn't have a special name in English linguistics, but verbing is a good self-demonstrating mnemonic name, so why not use it?
There is a name for verbing and nouning and otherwise changing the Word Class (or, as word class was called in Latinate grammar, part of speech) without benefit of suffix. It's called Zero Derivation. That means that, instead of taking the usual route of adding a derivational suffix to change word class, one adds Zero, like the Zero that marks the past tense on He cut the ribbon.
I.e, instead of
English goes to the other extreme (it's an analytic language, not an inflected (or synthetic) one like Russian). We don't make a big fuss in English any more about the difference between a verb and a noun. Both are overwhelmingly regular in conjugation or declension (what there is of either). And we get most of our grammar from collocations, particle and auxiliary choice, and word order, instead of inflection.
So English is more like Chinese than most other Indo-European languages in this regard, though of course the details are quite different.
"Verbing Weirds Language" only if you're expecting it to work in a
This is a special case of the more general truth that Language Weirds.