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Today's Word



Dec 18, 2023
This week’s theme
Verbing the noun

This week’s words

Illustration: Anu Garg + AI

Previous week’s theme
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with Anu Garg

A while back I came across this use of the word librarian as a verb: “Let me librarian that for you.(Permalink)

It brought a smile for several reasons. The creativity in the usage. The elasticity of language. And, above all, the implied synonymy of ‘librarian’ and ‘Google’. I believe it’s fair to say that the value of a librarian is the same as that of a Google (current market valuation $1.7 trillion).

OK, fine, I’ll admit that the comparison is a stretch. I did it just to make a point. The real value of a librarian (also, a teacher) is incalculable -- they help us navigate the sea of knowledge and information with the grace and ease of a seasoned captain.

How do you feel about the word librarian as a verb? If you have any reservations, I’m assuming instead of “Let me google this” you actually say, “Let me employ the Google search engine to search for this.”

What are your favorite examples of using a word in a novel part of speech? Share below or email us at words@wordsmith.org. As always, include your location (city, state).

Meanwhile, enjoy this week’s words that have developed meanings in multiple parts of speech. They firsted as nouns and then verbed over time.



noun:1. A coat of arms.
 2. A description of a coat of arms in heraldic terminology.
 3. An ostentatious display.
verb tr.:1. To paint, depict, or adorn in great detail.
 2. To describe a coat of arms in heraldic terminology.
 3. To proclaim or display, widely or ostentatiously.

From Old French blason (shield), of unknown origin, influenced by the word blaze. Earliest documented use: noun 1325, verb 1533.

“On one of the three existing slabs there is an inscription about the burial of the prince with the blazon of St George the Victor.”
Victor Tvircun; Creating the Legend; Cogito (Bucharest, Romania); Jun 2023.

“The weather balloon blazoned with the letters MIT that erupted up through the turf in the middle of a Harvard-Yale football game is unforgettable.”
Wendy M. Grossman; A Cow on the Roof; New Scientist (London, UK); May 31, 2003.

See more usage examples of blazon in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. -Steve Biko, anti-apartheid activist (18 Dec 1946-1977)

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