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Think of an animal that's also a verb.

No spoilers from me.

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@ColinTheMathmo duck! ferret! fly! badger! buffalo (famously in linguistics)! monkey (around)! cow!

There must be a trick here

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@derwinmcgeary No trick ... it's just something that some people find an interesting curiosity.

Not everyone does, while others are fascinated.

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@ColinTheMathmo I'm actually reminded of an event from my schooldays: we were the only state school to do debate competitions, and one of our opponents from a rather posh school objected to our badgering with the phrase "I'm a boy, not a fox, don't hound me!".

Needless to say, I have never been near a fox hunt with hounds to this very day...

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@ColinTheMathmo but this particular game certainly didn't fox me either 🤓

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@derwinmcgeary That's excellent! Thank you.

Also, it's not hard to come up with a few examples. The challenge is then to come up with *interesting* examples, for some definition of "interesting" that it's up to you to define.

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@derwinmcgeary So far I have about 40 examples ... I'm idly wondering how many there are. Some have caught me by surprise.

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@nigeldgreen Nice one ... I didn't have "Seal".

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@ColinTheMathmo "fox" could be a verb, sure. Also "fish".

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@tpfto I had the second, but the first is nice. I have 20 to 30 or so now. It's ... interesting.

Odd, but interesting.

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@ColinTheMathmo also on the smaller side of things, there's "bug", "fly", and "tick".

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@ColinTheMathmo cat: 1. (nautical, transitive) To hoist (the anchor) by its ring so that it hangs at the cathead.

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@zudlig Ooh, that's new to me. I wasn't aware of the nautical term ... thank you!

(My wife has just gone ... (pause) ... Oh of course! Yes!)

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@ColinTheMathmo fish
fly
hare
carp
duck
badger

Near misses: burro(w), be(e)

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@jsiehler Carp is new ... thank you! I'm not keeping track of near misses, the waters are muddy enough as to whether we should include "Horse" or "Monkey".

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@ColinTheMathmo @jsiehler you only ever see "horse" with "around" or "about" as a verb; similarly, "rat" would often be accompanied by "on" or "out".

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@tpfto @jsiehler It's a variant as to whether you accept those verbs that require an auxiliary preposition. Some purists say not, others say why not? So I list them, but make a note.

And yes, I have both Hawk and Parrot.

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@ColinTheMathmo I presume you already had "hawk" or "parrot"?

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@ColinTheMathmo ..and before I forget, "ram", "hog", "weasel", and "whale".

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@tpfto I have Ram, Hog, and Weasel.

"Whale" as a verb?

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@tpfto It's not in the dictionaries I've consulted.

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@ColinTheMathmo I was thinking of definition 2 in merriam-webster.com/dictionary, but now I find out there's definition 3. At least I learned something new today.

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@tpfto OK, so "To Whale" is to engage in whaling. Fair enough.

I'm trying to think of other cases, but I'm too tired and need sleep. I'll return to this.

Thank you!

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@ColinTheMathmo quail, kangaroo, hedgehog, squid, porpoise, ray, crab, snail, bear, snake

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@ghewgill Many of those I don't know as verbs: Kangaroo, Hedgehog, Squid, Ray, Snail.

What does it mean "To Snail"?

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@ColinTheMathmo According to Wiktionary they're all verbs, eg. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/snail#V Maybe not commonly used as a verb, but the definition exists :)

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@ColinTheMathmo bear, bug, carp, crab, crane (ones neck), crow, egg (on), fly, goose, gopher, gull, horse (around), hound, kite (checks), nag, parrot, peacock, rail (at), ram, rat (out), skunk, slug, swan, weasel (out)

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@lahosken Some of those are fun, but some I don't know. What animal is a "Rail"? What does it mean "To Kite", "To Peacock", "To Skunk", or "To Gull"?

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@ColinTheMathmo

Enjoy:

Rail: allaboutbirds.org/guide/browse

To kite (checks): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Check_ki (to write bad checks, as if they had nothing backing them but air)

To peacock: merriam-webster.com/dictionary
(to strut and show off)

To skunk: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/skunk#V (to beat badly at a game; or (of beer) to spoil)

To gull: merriam-webster.com/dictionary (to deceive)

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@ColinTheMathmo And then I wrote a little script to ask wordnet about many words. It found a few hundred verby animals, some of which were cute:

does (haha), kid, seal, eagle (golf), drum (a fish), knot (a sandpiper), monkey, drill (related to mandrills), bat, beaver, perch, ape, grub, smelt, monitor, fawn, quail, torpedo, beetle, lark, grouse, steer, rook, clam, ferret, char, pout (a fish), drone, tick, badger, yak, snipe

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@lahosken I did have a lot of those, but not all. Some are a bit "hmm", but that's always the way with these sorts of word games.

How did you script wordnet?

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@lahosken OK ... I've read a little more about WordNet and have an idea how I'd do it, so no need to reply ... thx.

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@ColinTheMathmo You already figured it out, but for other folks finding this (and for myself six months from now) I took some notes: lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us/n

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@ColinTheMathmo
I don't think I've seen slug, skunk in the thread. Pig (out) looks like one of the near-misses to me, but a quick dictionary peek suggests that it works standalone.

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@ColinTheMathmo
I'm familiar with it in the sense of beer going bad, especially through hop compounds degrading from UV light. But I looked it up, and there are other uses including "defeat overwhelmingly".

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