language change and slang Live English

Open Dictionary word of the week: door

door (verb)

if a cyclist gets doored, they crash into the door of a stationary vehicle that someone has carelessly opened

Getting hit by a car or doored is a fairly common experience for city cyclists and pedestrians.

(Submitted from United Kingdom)

I love a verbing of a good, solid noun. And a door is pretty solid – especially when it opens into your face while you’re travelling at speed. I’ve never been doored, but I’ve learnt that it’s a very common problem and I imagine that here in the UK especially it’s going to become a lot more common over the next few weeks while everyone takes to the streets with sideburns and a bike – I’m referring, of course, to the fabulous Bradley Wiggins and his gold medal win for cycling, because it has to be mentioned at the moment if cycling is being discussed. In an attempt to learn more about dooring I came across a blog called Bike Snob NYC and in a post wonderfully titled: I Wanna Be Adoored (wonderful for all you Stone Roses hags, you know who you are) there’s a comment that seems to me to pose the solution to this problem of dooring:

(mikeweb said…)

As I believe was mentioned here before, in Netherlands (and other cycling enlightened places) during drivers Ed classes, drivers and passengers are taught to open the door with their “off” hand: left hand for right doors, and vice versa. This means that you have to turn your body so you’re almost forced to look behind as you open the door.

So, there it is. Problem solved … why do we not do this? From now on I’m going to open my car door with my “off hand”.

As far as verbing nouns goes, it’s a very popular topic here on the blog. Jonathan Marks wrote an interesting and thorough post on the subject which ends with the eternal question: “Have you sheeted?” See why here. Then there’s Michael Rundell’s post ‘English likes to verb‘ which brings to our attention the newspaper headline: Foot heads arms body. Which makes no sense until you’ve sorted your verbs from your nouns. And if you’re wondering how and why some of these verbed nouns are or aren’t making it into dictionaries, Michael Rundell’s three part article How do words get into the dictionary?, is a great read.

What’s your favourite verbed noun?

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Laine Redpath Cole

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