You may recall last summer when “Google” was added to both the Oxford English Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary as a verb. I hear Google used as a verb quite frequently, for example: “Why don’t you go Google it if you don’t know what it means?” When it was added to dictionaries, Google made it clear that their trademarked name was not to be used as a verb because they feared it would turn into a general term for performing a web search. At this point, I don’t think there’s anything they can do to stop people from using “Google” as a verb.

So while they’ve discouraged the use of Google as a verb, they’ve actually made YouTube a verb themselves on one of their official blogs. The article is titled “How to YouTube” and correct me if I’m wrong, but YouTube was definitely the verb in that sentence! So perhaps it’s okay for them to use their own trademarks as verbs, but not everybody else?

Youtube verb

Googlified points out a YouTube definition from Urban Dictionary (slang dictionary) where it’s defined as:

  • v. when one looks for a particular kind of video on the website.

Used in a sentence, it would look something like: “I YouTubed “old commercials” and found a ton of classics.”

Whether Google likes it or not, I think YouTube is on its way to becoming an “official” verb, which then got me thinking about other Internet terms that have become verbs over time. The first one that came to mind was Photoshop. And like Google, Adobe has said that the Photoshop trademark should never be used as a verb – too late though! They even give correct and incorrect examples on their website:

CORRECT: The image was enhanced using Adobe® Photoshop® software.

INCORRECT: The image was photoshopped.

I do see why companies are a bit skeptical over the use of their trademark though, particularly recently when I read on a blog “Checkout this image, I photoshopped it in Paint.” Hmm… last time I checked, you could only Photoshop something in Photoshop. :)

So what other examples are there? I could only think of Photoshop, but I know there’s got to be more…