Earlier this morning I was talking to a friend about something she wanted to do with her hair. I asked her "Are you going to bun your hair up?" and she said "bun up? I've never heard that before". She said she's heard "put your hair up in a bun", but never "bun up your hair".

So, I did a quick research on google with the tag books and I found "bun your hair up" on a blog and 2 books, and I was wondering what you guys think, is it natural to say that?:

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    It's common to verbify nouns. The dictionaries I looked at don't recognize bun or bun up in a verbal sense, but nobody could mistake the meaning in the contexts you give. It sounds idiomatic to me (although not all that common), even if there isn't lexicographic evidence to support its use. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 21 at 15:00
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    What @JasonBassford said. I doubt I've ever actually heard the cited usage before, but it still seems perfectly natural to me, with the preposition up. Without that preposition it's still perfectly comprehensible (since there would always be an explanatory context), but I might interpret it as a slightly facetious / deliberately quirky usage. Compare I'll plate up a meal if you're late for tea, or The stupid builder bricked up my doorway, where the preposition would [almost?] always be present. – FumbleFingers May 21 at 15:15
  • It's worth noting that the first excerpt you are citing here was published by a self-publishing outfit, iUniverse. Self-published erotica shouldn't carry the same weight as classic literature or contemporary journalism. Your phrase is understandable albeit a bit non-standard. – J.R. May 21 at 19:56

While it is quite possible to say "bun up your hair". I've never heard this exact phrase before and the natural alternative is "put your hair up into a bun".

The only concern I'd have with "bun up your hair" is that it could be misheard as "bung up your hair" or "bum up your hair". So given the choice, I'd stick to "put your hair into a bun" and not verb the word "bun"

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