Often in English, I'll add an "er" or "ed" to the end of a noun to create an impromptu slang verb. How would you do the same in French?

For example, how would you say "He was water-bottle'ed out of a job!" (as in some off the cuff, clever remark where the made-up verb only makes sense in the moment)?

Maybe a more tangible but still relevant example is "I would like to Skype." Would that be "Je voudrais à Skype"?

  • In this case skyper works out of the box. Je skype, tu skypes, il skype, …. But it won't work so smooth with any kind of noun out there. Water-bottle'ing… hum well, it won't be straightforward. Would you dare, you could maybe freestyle it as minéralisé... Jul 25, 2013 at 20:20
  • This question doesn't seem to demonstrate a very good understanding of what is being asked. The English in your second example isn't converting a noun to verb, rather Skype in the English sentence is a verb. Also, please try to provide examples that don't involve slang when asking a theory-based question. It makes it very hard to answer. Jul 25, 2013 at 20:21
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    @Patrick: Skype would be a verb originally? Sure everything is a verb in English but still. Jul 25, 2013 at 20:24
  • @StéphaneGimenez In the sentence 'I would like to Skype', 'to Skype' is acting as a verb. Originally, upon creation, the word 'Skype' may not have been a verb, but due to the evolution of language, it is now commonly used as a verb in colloquial English. Jul 25, 2013 at 20:26
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    @Patrick: Same as in French (except that it becomes Skyper), I don't see what's bothering you. Jul 25, 2013 at 20:28

2 Answers 2


The Wiktionnaire has a list of such denominal verbs. They are essentially constructed via the noun+er process. However, it is not mandatory, see a previous question, e.g. the construct a+X (terrain name)+ir, which means “to land on X” produced alunir and plus gave plussoir (which is not standard).

Now, as a rule of thumb, noun+-er is certainly good and will almost certainly always be understood, but remember that most of its results would be considered non-standard neologisms (or barabarismes, for standard normative authorities).


In most cases, adding er does the job.

— Tu me donneras des nouvelles quand tu seras en voyage ?
— Oui, j'aurai un PC, on pourra se "skyper".

However, this approach is prone to engender barbarisms (Faute contre le langage soit dans la forme, soit dans le sens du mot (mot créé ou altéré, dévié de son sens, impropre) rather than neologisms (Création de mots, de tours nouveaux et introduction de ceux-ci dans une langue donnée). Handle with care.

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