I heard in a movie (Kung Fu Panda 3)

How does it feel? (referring to a battle armor) Do the hinges hinge?

"Hinge"'s definitions on ODO are:

[WITH OBJECT] 1. Attach or join with or as if with a hinge.

1.1 [no object], with adverbial of direction (of a door or part of a structure) 1.2 hinge on [no object] Depend entirely on.

This does not include the usage in the movie, which is intransitive. What does that line mean?


In America, we have a tendency to "verbalize" nouns - to take a noun and use it as a verb. It's very common in pop culture, and Kung Fu Panda 3 is certainly pop culture.

The question was asked if the noun performed as that noun should perform. Does the hinge hinge? Does it behave as one would expect a hinge to behave? No one asks if a door "hinged". They ask if it opened. In order to open, it had to have functioning hinges.

It's similar to when you hear people ask if you "Googled" something. Google is a service, not a thing that you do. Technically, you use Google to perform an internet search. But most Americans aren't proper enough to ask, "Did you perform an internet search for pop culture on the Google search engine?"

They'll just ask, "Did you Google pop culture?"

  • To verbalize means "to express (ideas or feelings) in words, especially by speaking out loud." I think you mean to verb as in "any English noun can be verbed, but some are more resistant than others".
    – Andrew
    Apr 25 '18 at 21:45
  • I'm not sure this is really an American thing. Shakespeare was the first to use "hinge" as a verb in Timon of Athens: "hindge thy knee". (The difference here is that he used it transitively.)
    – Laurel
    Apr 26 '18 at 1:15
  • One of the beautiful things about America is our ability to quickly adopt the best parts of other cultures and countries. Grammar sticklers might disagree on this specific issue, but it does allow for quick and easy conveyance of concepts. While a non-English speaker might struggle with our flippant use of our own native tongue, most Americans quickly pick up the colloqualistic application of nouns used as verbs. Apr 27 '18 at 15:24

There is no such intransitive verb as hinge which means "to behave as a hinge". It is meant to be an intentionally sophomoric use of language. It takes license, creating the verb hinge by analogy with verbs like "spring", "snap", "cushion", "print".

Do the springs spring?

Do the snaps snap?

Does the zipper zipper?

Do the cushions cushion?

Does the printer print?

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