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Averse to versing

A few years ago when my kids started playing various Mario Bros. games, they started using a “new” word: versing. As in, “the Giants are versing the Dodgers”. They even turned it into past tense. “We versed the girls in soccer in PE today.”

This is heebie jeebies, nails on a chalkboard kind of stuff for me. And I didn't get where it was coming from until I started watching them “verse” each other on the Wii. For example, in the Shrek SuperSlam game, the announcer says, “Shrek versus Donkey!” Instead of thinking of versus as a preposition, the kids were hearing it as a verb.

It makes perfect sense to me if you think of it purely from a context standpoint. Kids are pretty smart after all. Especially mine. 😉

I still correct them whenever they use it, but give it another decade and “versing” may enter the Oxford English Dictionary as a new word. According to a recent Grammar Girl facebook survey, kids in English-speaking countries all over the world are using “versing”.

It also has an entry in the Urban Dictionary, use #2, and I found references to it on blogs back to at least 2005.

And here I thought it was just my kids and their friends. Hah! Nintendo has unintentionally created a new word for a whole generation.

I can't decide if that's cool or sad.

[tweetmeme source=”Gwen_Hernandez” only_single=false]

Tell your friends!


  1. KM Fawcett


    And all this time I thought it was my kids who made it up.

    “I get to verse Dad next.”
    “Mom, do you wanna verse me at Wii?”

    • Reply

      I know! After I heard all the neighborhood kids doing it, I thought maybe it was a Virginia thing. Apparently not. It’s weird how these kinds of trends are universal. I think it has a lot to do with how we learn and understand language.

      On this one, I’ve pretty much given up. 🙂

  2. Pingback: James Preller’s Blog » Blog Archive » “Versing” Replaces “Playing”

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