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Exercise #169 - Human Body Action Verbs

Energize your writing with action verbs! This is an easy exercise to help train your brain to think in terms of action verbs. Focusing on actions the human body can perform, provide one (or 2 or 3) verbs per letter of the alphabet. For example:
  • arch
  • bounce, burp, belch
  • cartwheel, call out
  • dither, dunk
  • exit, enter, expand
  • fling, fart, fall
  • gallop, galumph, grit (teeth)

Keep going! Get to Z if you can...

1,2,3, GO!

I'm going to try and write at least 2 for every letter. We'll see how that works. :) Good luck to all partaking in this exercise! Post what you come up with in the comments section!

  •  apply, anchor
  • bend, bruise
  • cry, clamp
  • dry, dance, dally
  • eat, energize (not really an action verb, per se, but I'm not going to get all frigid about rules here)
  • frump (I know, most think of this as a noun, but really! It's an amazing verb! Use it today!), fly
  • grow, grasp
  • hiccough, high-five
  • illustrate, interact
  • jump, join
  • kill, kneel, knit, knock
  • lean, love (totally an action verb, guys... right?), leer
  • meander, maim
  • nail, nurture, negotiate
  • open, ogle, ovulate
  • prime, prattle, print
  • question, quip
  • stomp, strain, salivate, slump
  • test, tail, target, triple
  • unite, use, uncover
  • visit,validate
  • wain, wander, waste away, write
  • xerox, x-ray
  • yawn, yodel, yank
  • zap, zonk, zoom
And there we have it! An alphabet full of action (and not so action-y) verbs. There were several letters like x and q that I had a hard time with. You just don't use too many words in general that start with x... Did anyone have any luck with those? I felt like mine were cop-outs. haha


P.S. I'm looking at schools abroad for my Master's degree!!!! Squee! It won't be happening until 2012 or so, but it's gonna happen. Man alive, I'm excited!


    Unknown said…
    Great blog! So glad I found it today. To add to the list: hop, huff
    Oberon said…
    ...i invite you to join globalove think tank.
    Congrats on being a fellow Blog of Note! I absolutely love language, etymology, etc.. great blog!
    Kirsten said…
    I wish I'd known about your blog when I was teaching eighth grade English; these exercises are really cute and fun!
    Investor said…
    queue for q and have no idea for x. Good brain exercise.
    Anonymous said…
    i gave up at "g" lol.
    lea said…
    Nice brain exercise. It really make me think. Shake for s.
    Unknown said…
    Hi there! new to the blog community, but I can't tell you how dead-on your suggestion of using active, relatable verbs in our work is. I'm something of a wordsmith myself, but I work as an actor and acting teacher, and I'm constantly encouragin my students to find the active words in the text and perform them physically. It's a wonderful way to connect your mind and body (and in this case you writing). keep up the good work
    Unknown said…
    also, for Q i would suggest quiver, quell, and quarrel. and for X, I think you should cut yourself some slack and allow for words that start with "ex"
    film izle said…
    quell, and quarrel. and for X,
    Harlen Anne said…
    Hard exercise, but the words bring up images of your body actually doing those things.
    abdicate, balance, curl, drum, explore, flip, grip, hug, intervene, juggle, kick, loiter, make, numb, offset, punch, quicken, reach, strive, tickle, use, volunteer, widen, zip
    Tracey said…
    For X, what about xerox as in I will xerox the handout for you?
    Maryann said…
    great exercise to make you stop and concentrate on using good strong verbs
    argue, babble, cringe, dart, exercise,, freak, grab, hop, itch, jiggle, kick, lounge, mingle, nap, ogle, pry, quit, rest, shiver, tumble, undress, visualize, whirl, xbox, yell, zing
    Jenn said…
    I read that the best way to really paint a picture for your readers is to describe the action going on in the scene, so this exercise was awesome. My new favorite human action verbs from this exercise are: babble, grimace, leer, muse, nod, quiver and whirl. :)

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