The Verbing of Certain Food Nouns
The verbing of nouns (and, indeed, other parts of speech) is
a phenomenon that has gained momentum in recent years, though
it can be traced back to ancient Greek. Some deplorable examples include
the fact that Olympic athletes now "medal", mountain climbers
"summit", and apartments can be "applianced." I heard
an even more deplorable
(though perhaps debatable) example of the verbing of a preposition
from a southern Californian referring to the recreational
activity of "4-bying". This is the sport of driving 4-wheel-drive
vehicles over desert terrain, flattening plants that may have
taken centuries to establish themselves, and hapless reptiles.
(The construction "4-by-4" is mathematically dubious, since
"by" often connotes multiplication; "4-by-4" is commonly written "4x4".
But 4x4=16; 16 of what?)
Alas, it is impossible to stop the march of usage, so I surrender to
the verbing of several food nouns.
Waffle: to be indecisive, to change one's mind.
(Some recipes for waffles.)
The Loma Prieta earthquake in northern California, in which a two-level
freeway collapsed, verbed the noun pancake.
Pancake: to collapse catastrophically, compressing anything
between floors or levels.
I propose verbing the noun "French toast".
French toast: to suffer a sunburn that is invisible under
normal clothing, usually as a result of topless sunbathing
on the Riviera.
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