[Ads-l] verbing nouns

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 7 17:50:10 UTC 2021

"Primary" as a verb has come up several times here. The OED3 entry for
"primary" v., sense 3 (trans.) "to oppose in a primary election," has cites
back to 1958, and intransitive "primarying" goes back even earlier.

I provided the earliest known cites used by the OED for both transitive and
intransitive "primary" in a 2008 post:


On Thu, Jan 7, 2021 at 9:45 AM James Landau <
00000c13e57d49b8-dmarc-request at listserv.uga.edu> wrote:

> In an article on Forbes.com
> https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackbrewster/2021/01/06/they-will-get-primaried-trump-allies-threaten-republicans-who-wont-object-to-electoral-college/?sh=651746581855
> <quote>During remarks at the “Save America March” on Wednesday,
> Trump said he wants to “primary the hell out of the ones” who do not object
> to the Electoral College.“Any senator or any congressmen — meaning on this
> side — that does not fight tomorrow, I'm telling you, their political
> career is over,” Eric Trump told Fox News on Tuesday night, promising any
> Republican who does not object to the results “will get primaried." <end
> quote>
> I saw this on at least one other on-line news article.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> In an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about quarterback Carson Wentz
> being a "diva"
> Marcus Hayes "This diva needs to grow up" page C1 right-hand column jump
> to page C4 column 2
> <quote>Mariah, Beyonce, and Madonna have more than 30 Grammy Awards, and
> even they don't diva like this."  '<end quote>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> about the saying "my memory isn't what it used to be, even if it ever
> was", used in yesterday's ADS List, didn't anyone notice that saying is an
> Irish bull, "an apparently logical but actually illogical saying"?

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