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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

September 24, 2008 at 4:30 PM

Buffet, Cellar and Other Nouns Masquerading As Verbs

Maybe you’ve noticed this, too: A preponderance of nouns finding a second life as verbs.

No longer do we win a medal at the Olympics. That’s too cumbersome. Now we just “medal.”

“Michael Phelps medaled a heckuva lot.”

“Gee, wish I could medal in rhythmic gymnastics.”

“If getting cool tattoos were an Olympic event, chef Matt Dillon definitely would medal.”

I mention this because of a startling discovery I recently made whilst Googling something entirely unrelated (maybe this happens to you, too). Old Country Buffet has added a page to its site explaining “How to buffet.”

Not buffet yourself against the weather, mind you. Buffet, as in, eat copious amounts of food over several visits to the buffet table.

(In Japan, buffet-style meals often are calling “viking,” hinting at the Scandinavian smorgasbord tradition. But I digress).

Karen-Viking.jpg

These types of changes have happened for years, of course, as language evolves and grows. Picnic comes to mind. We wine people even as we sip it (and before said sipping, we cellar that bottle). But thus far, I haven’t heard anyone declare they want to basket some bread or jam their toast (though we do jam to the beat).

What food-related nouns have you noticed becoming verbs as of late?

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