A Language Lesson from Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher’s Verbiage
In 2007, Ashton Kutcher co-created MTV’s hilarious practical joke
show “Punk’d.” This word came to describe the action of making televised
practical jokes on celebrities: “Ashton punk’d Mila Kunis.” (Ashton played
a joke on Mila Kunis.)
Verbing: Turning a Noun into a Verb
“Punk’d” is an example of the concept of “verbing.” Verbing is when
you take a noun (person, place or thing), and turn it into a verb (action
word). “To punk” becomes a verb to describe the action of playing a
practical joke on someone, unlike its noun “punk,” which is generally used
to describe a worthless person.
Some examples of nouns that now have verb forms include: to showcase,
to input, to host, to impact, and to share.
4,000+ New English Words
Each year, the Oxford English Dictionary adds about 4,000 new words.
The concept of verbing is certainly trending. (The word “trending” is an
example of verbing!) Internet lingo and the rapid and viral nature of social
media play a large role in spreading new examples of verbing.
Here are some familiar examples of verbing from the world of social media:
• to tweet
• to google
• to blog
• to friend/defriend
• to pin
… and the list goes on!
The team at Ginger Software works hard to stay on top of new slang words
and, of course, the latest examples of verbing from the world of social
What are your favorite examples of verbing?