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Noun Verber

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So, you're a Filmmaker. You're sitting down with a Scriptwriter between the Watercooler and the Coffeemaker, trying to decide on a name for your epic story about a guy who verbs nouns. Yeah, he verbs them till they're adjectives. Wait, that's it! He's the Noun Verber!

This isn't a very popular trope for the actual titles of movies or TV shows, but it's an old standby for fantasy and science fiction authors who need a name that sounds detached from the real world and yet is immediately understandable. For some reason, a very common verb for this is "stalk." The most common noun is probably "death."

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Of course this construction is extremely common in Real Life too. Firefighter, cab-driver, wine-maker, ironmonger, car dealer, Ambulance Chaser, ditch-digger, lion-tamer, news-reader, coal-miner, watchmaker, computer programmer, bartender, gas-fitter, dishwasher, childminder, wine-taster, greengrocer, snack-dispenser, bricklayer, dressmaker, chess-player, piano-tuner etc. etc.

Compare Luke Nounverber, when the same principle is applied to character names, Verber Creature, the same principle applied to how a species is called, and The Noun Who Verbed. See also We Will Use WikiWords in the Future.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Hero and villain names often follow this trope, with such names being almost as common as Something Person. Also, once upon a time, Captain America's comic was subtitled "Commie Smasher".
  • Marvel supervillain Death Stalker.
  • Hellblazer: Doesn't explicitly blaze hells but should probably qualify for this trope.

    Film — Live-Action 
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    Literature 

    Game Books 

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 

    Radio 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering is positively brimming with Nounverbers, such as the famous Planeswalkers. Many of their nounverbers verb nouns with verbs that don't even make sense. How does one weave smoke? Or braid it? How does one grin gristle? Why would some elves who live in the wild want to slay it? What's so great about a creature who can see something six feet away? And who would ever want to buy spirits from a giant monster?
  • Dungeons & Dragons also has its fair share of monsters that are nounverbers, most famously the Mind Flayer.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has a few Chaos Legions that fit this trope - Word Bearers & World Eaters, for example.
    • As does the Imperium, such as the Blood Drinkers and Flesh Tearers. Yes, those are the good guys (relatively speaking, of course).
    • Many Chaos forces use the [noun/adjective]verber template:
      • Bloodthirsters and Bloodletters are the greater and lesser daemons of Khorne (Bloodletters riding Juggernauts, giant evil rhinos made of living metal, are called Bloodcrushers instead), while Blood Slaughterers are huge tick-like Walking Tanks. Earlier editions included siege weapons such as the Blood Reaper, Death Dealer, and Doom Blaster. If you're sensing a theme here, Khorne is empowered by the spilling of blood, from his faithful's enemies or themselves.
      • Chaos warmachines include the Forgefiend (giant robot centaur with guns instead of arms and head), Maulerfiend (melee version of the Forgefiend), and Heldrake (living metal dragon).
      • Nurglite forces can include Plaguebearers, Eyestingers, Spoilpox Scriveners, and Sloppity Bilepipers, and favor a huge scythe called a Manreaper.
    • The Tyranids have a Carnifex variant known as a Screamer-Killer.
    • The orks, being a straightforward lot, tend to give their troops, weapons and vehicles names that are as subtle as a choppa to the face: Tankbustaz are anti-armor specialists, the Lifta-Droppa lifts and drops a vehicle (preferably on its allies), the Deffrolla is a big spiky cement roller affixed to a battlewagon (itself a combination of tank, bunker and pickup truck), and then there's the wonderfully evocative Bonebreakaz, Braincrushaz, Bonecrunchaz, Gutrippaz, Spleenrippaz, Gobsmashaz, Lungburstaz, and other Bowelburnaz.

    Video Games 
  • Darkstalkers
  • World of Warcraft might be the number one addict of this trope. If you can make nounverbers and put two words together into a made-up compound word, congratulations, you're at least as good as the whole Blizzard creative team.
    • Granted, they need thousands and thousands of names for all the mobs in the game, but that doesn't make the trope any less annoying when you start paying attention to it.
    • Somewhat justified by the theme-park nature of the game, in that the name you see may not be the "proper" name of the creature/person, but merely a description. For example the warlock pet called a "voidwalker". This is obviously a description of the creature given to it by warlocks who summon the creatures, as the voidwalkers themselves don't speak any intelligible language. Contrast with other warlock pets like the felguard (which is clearly a rank title). Occasionally though the game will be very annoying and not actually show the creature doing the thing they are named after.
    • When it's a name (like Kael'thas Sunstrider), it's clearly intended as a translation from a fantasy language. Not helping matters though, Blizzard never made these languages. Still it's a naming convention rather than this trope.
  • FATE: There are many examples of these in its randonly-generated monster names. Each part of the names is picked at random from a list.
  • Landstalker
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  • In the opening sequence of Interactive Fiction game Zork: The Undiscovered Underground (a prelude to Zork: Grand Inquisitor done in the style of golden-age Infocom), desperately trying to get out of a dangerous assignment, the player character rattles off the names of a half-dozen Noun Verbers better qualified for the job. He is cut off as he asks about "Kolchak the—"
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
    • Note that this is due to the American translation. The original name of the game was "Kaze no Takuto" which translates to "Baton of Winds".
    • Not that 'Baton of Winds' is that dramatic of a title.
  • The weapons in the Mega Man (Classic) series often follow this format, such as Air Shooter, Flash Stopper, Crash Bomber, Dust Crusher and Ice Slasher.
  • In the Interactive Fiction game The Gostak, the darftunder tunds darfs.
  • Street Fighter (wouldn't it be weird if they actually fought streets?)
  • Road Fighter, which also doesn't involve fighting roads.
  • Kart Fighter, which doesn't involve fighting karts but rather the characters of Super Mario Kart fighting.
  • Dragon Fighter, which does involve fighting dragons.
  • Power Blazer, the Japanese version of Power Blade.
  • Road Blasters
  • Bad Street Brawler
  • Jewel Master
  • Stick Hunter: Exciting Ice Hockey
  • Dragonstomper
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The U.S. Military has often utilized Code Talkers, Native American servicemen and women who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher. The most famous of these were the Navajo Code Talkers who served in the Pacific theater during World War II.
  • Jon Stewart made a Letterman appearance where he claimed this was George Bush's favorite speech pattern. "I A B — I'm a B A-er. I make decisions — I'm a decision maker!"
  • The slang term "motherfucker".
  • There is a particularly venomous species of scorpion in the Middle East called, like several other things on this page a death stalker.


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