Sunday, May 07, 2006



The word "plate" is a verb in three discrete, unrelated areas of human endeavor:

1) metalwork (e.g., "gold plated")

2) the restaurant business ("to plate the food"; "the entree was nicely plated")

3) baseball (to drive in a run: "Delgado's double plated Jose Reyes" -- fairly recent slang referring to "home plate.")

Huh... weird.

To which one might add the homonym, plait, which as a noun means a fold (as in skirt plaits, an alternative to skirt pleats) or a hairdo, and as a verb means to braid or to fold.


usrqktoe -- u.s. regimental quick toe -- a new military parade move (usually done in full dress uniform with gold rope plaits on the shoulder)
Oh, that ain't the half of it ... literally. Check OED; it's got 11 pretty diverse meanings -- excluding the baseball meaning, but including a surprising slang meaning that was utterly new to me. (Is this a G-rated blog?)

The old core verb meaning was 'to cover with plates' (for protection -- like armor-plating, or decoration, etc.) That covers a bunch of the variants, including your first one, but your other two seem to both be 'to put something onto a plate', right? (Plating a run seems like a minor extension to the notion of getting somebody's shoe onto home plate, I'd figure.) We constantly make verbs of that sort -- to table (in one of its meanings), to floor, to land, to ground, to tree, to tape (in the old audio/video sense), and so on all have some of that going on.

And man, do we love to make new verbs. As Calvin said to Hobbes, 'verbing weirds language.'

Verb on!
I adore baseball season. Yea!
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