Names that are both Nouns and Verbs

Making his debut as a Test Cricketer for England today is Josh Tongue, which reminded me that the England team of ten years ago had a terrific number of players whose surnames were one-syllable words that were both nouns and verbs: IR Bell, JE Root and AN Cook, plus IJL Trott, GP Swann and ST Finn, if you don’t mind homonyms.

The Test team that is playing Ireland right now has the aforementioned JC Tongue and JE Root, plus HC Brook and, if you are accepting homonyms, MJ Leach* and MJ Potts. In addition to those names, OJD Pope’s surname is a noun but not a verb, BA Stokes’ is a verb but not a noun, and SCJ Broad’s is a modifier. And a noun, of sorts, I suppose.

I couldn’t, off the top of my head, recall an American baseball team with as many as three players with surnames that are both verbs and nouns, even counting homonyms, but I went ahead and looked up the (SF) Giants Opening Day lineups and was reminded of Denard Span, who was in the team with Brandon Belt, Matt Cain and Joe Panik for a couple of years, and you could count Hunter Pence if you tried really hard, and I suppose Matt Moore and even Will Smith. The 2017 Giants had J.T. Snow, Barry Bonds, Pat Rapp, Jim Poole and Jacob Cruz, which is pretty good.


*Technically, there is a noun leach in the English language, but it is obsolete, being a Norman word for a strip of meat. However, as it fell out of use before orthography was standardized, I think you may as well accept the homonym leech.

One Response to “Names that are both Nouns and Verbs”

  1. Jed


    …And I feel like even if pope isn’t a verb, it ought to be one.


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