7

We already know that OK is a word whose origins are obscure, but I don't want to focus on this matter here; rather I'm fascinated by the grammatical function it has:

1) OK as an adjective: "Lunch was OK."

2) OK as a verb: "Can you OK this for me?"

3) OK as a noun: "I need your OK on this."

4) OK as an adverb: "We did OK."

As an unexperienced non-native, my vocabulary is very limited, so I'm wondering if there is at least another English word which, like OK, serves, or can serve, as adjective, verb, noun and adverb. Is there?

Note, I'm not asking for a list of these word, which, even if it existed, it wouldn't serve to anything, but only for a positive or negative answer.

10

You said you weren't asking for a list, but I think making a list is the easiest way to answer this question. Filtering part-of-speech.txt, I found the following entries which matched A, [Vti], N, and v simultaneously:

Ojibway         Adjective, Adverb, Verb (transitive), Noun
ad-lib          Verb (usu participle), Adjective, Adverb, Noun
aggregate       Adjective, Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Adverb
air-mail        Adjective, Noun, Adverb, Verb (transitive)
back            Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (usu participle)
backhand        Noun, Adverb, Verb (transitive), Verb (usu participle), Adjective
bad             Adjective, Noun, Adverb, Verb (usu participle)
best            Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (transitive), Verb (usu participle)
better          Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive)
bias            Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive)
bitter          Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle)
blind           Adjective, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Verb (intransitive), Noun
blindfold       Verb (transitive), Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (usu participle)
broadcast       Verb (usu participle), Verb (intransitive), Verb (transitive), Noun, Adjective, Adverb
broadside       Noun, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Adjective
champion        Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (transitive), Verb (usu participle)
clean           Adjective, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Adverb, Noun
clear           Adjective, Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle)
close           Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Adjective, Adverb, Noun
closer          Noun, Verb (usu participle), Adjective, Adverb
cod             Noun, Verb (usu participle), Adjective, Adverb
collect         Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Adverb, Adjective, Noun
cool            Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle)
counter         Noun, Adverb, Adjective, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive)
crescendo       Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (intransitive), Verb (usu participle)
crisscross      Verb (usu participle), Adjective, Noun, Adverb
dam             Noun, Verb (usu participle), Interjection, Adverb, Adjective
damn            Interjection, Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle)
darn            Verb (usu participle), Noun, Interjection, Adjective, Adverb
dash            Verb (usu participle), Verb (intransitive), Noun, Interjection, Adjective, Adverb
double          Adjective, Noun, Verb (intransitive), Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive)
down            Plural, Adverb, Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Noun, Verb (usu participle), Adjective
dry             Adjective, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Noun, Adverb
dryer           Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Adjective, Adverb
even            Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle)
express         Verb (transitive), Adjective, Noun, Adverb, Verb (usu participle)
fair            Adjective, Adverb, Verb (intransitive), Noun, Verb (usu participle)
fast            Adjective, Adverb, Interjection, Verb (intransitive), Noun, Verb (usu participle)
fine            Noun, Verb (transitive), Verb (usu participle), Adjective, Adverb
firm            Adjective, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Verb (intransitive), Noun
flat            Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (intransitive)
flush           Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Noun, Adjective, Adverb
forehand        Adjective, Noun, Adverb, Verb (usu participle)
forward         Adjective, Noun, Adverb, Verb (transitive), Verb (usu participle)
foul            Adjective, Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Adverb
free            Adjective, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Noun
freelance       Noun, Verb (usu participle), Adverb, Adjective
fresh           Adjective, Noun, Verb (usu participle), Adverb
fucking         Adjective, Adverb, Interjection, Verb (intransitive), Noun
full            Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Verb (usu participle)
goldurn         Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (transitive)
grave           Noun, Adjective, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Adverb
home            Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (intransitive), Verb (usu participle)
hugger-mugger   Noun, Adjective, Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Adverb
huggermugger    Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive)
hurry-scurry    Noun, Adverb, Adjective, Verb (intransitive)
hurry-skurry    Noun, Adverb, Adjective, Verb (intransitive)
jolly           Adjective, Adverb, Verb (transitive), Noun, Verb (usu participle)
last            Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive)
left            Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle)
licht           Noun, Adjective, Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Adverb
light           Noun, Adjective, Verb (usu participle), Adverb, Verb (intransitive)
like            Adjective, Plural, Adverb, Conjunction, Noun, Verb (transitive), Verb (usu participle)
long            Adjective, Noun, Adverb, Verb (intransitive), Verb (usu participle)
loose           Adjective, Noun, Adverb, Verb (transitive), Verb (usu participle)
low             Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle)
near            Plural, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Noun, Adjective
ok              Noun, Verb (usu participle), Adjective, Adverb
okay            Adjective, Adverb, Verb (transitive), Noun, Verb (usu participle)
out             Adverb, Plural, Interjection, Noun, Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Verb (usu participle), Adjective
part            Noun, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Verb (intransitive), Verb (transitive), Adjective
pat             Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Noun, Adverb, Adjective
plain           Adjective, Noun, Adverb, Verb (usu participle)
plumb           Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (usu participle)
plump           Adjective, Verb (usu participle), Verb (intransitive), Noun, Adverb
pop             Verb (usu participle), Verb (intransitive), Verb (transitive), Noun, Adverb, Interjection, Adjective
post            Noun, Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Adjective
prompt          Adjective, Adverb, Verb (transitive), Noun, Verb (usu participle)
quiet           Adjective, Noun, Verb (usu participle), Adverb
retail          Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive)
right           Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle), Interjection
rough           Adjective, Noun, Adverb, Verb (transitive), Verb (usu participle)
round           Adjective, Noun, Plural, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive)
second          Adjective, Noun, Verb (transitive), Adverb, Verb (usu participle)
sharp           Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (transitive)
sheer           Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (intransitive)
shilly-shally   Verb (intransitive), Noun, Adjective, Adverb
shillyshally    Verb (usu participle), Adverb, Adjective, Noun
short           Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle)
slack           Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle)
smart           Adjective, Verb (usu participle), Noun, Adverb
smooth          Adjective, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Noun
solo            Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (intransitive), Verb (usu participle)
sound           Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (intransitive), Verb (transitive), Adjective, Adverb
square          Noun, Adjective, Verb (usu participle), Adverb
steady          Adjective, Verb (usu participle), Adverb, Noun, Interjection
still           Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive)
stone           Noun, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Adjective
subject         Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive)
summer          Noun, Adverb, Verb (intransitive), Verb (transitive), Verb (usu participle), Adjective
thwart          Verb (usu participle), Noun, Adjective, Plural, Adverb
tiptoe          Verb (usu participle), Noun, Adverb, Adjective
traverse        Verb (usu participle), Adverb, Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Noun, Adjective
trim            Adverb, Verb (transitive), Noun, Adjective, Verb (usu participle)
true            Adjective, Verb (transitive), Noun, Verb (usu participle), Adverb
up              Noun, Verb (usu participle), Adverb, Plural, Adjective
upgrade         Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Noun, Adjective, Adverb
upright         Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (transitive)
upstage         Adverb, Adjective, Verb (transitive), Noun, Verb (usu participle)
war             Adverb, Verb (usu participle), Noun, Adjective
well            Adverb, Adjective, Interjection, Noun, Verb (usu participle)
wholesale       Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (usu participle)
worst           Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb (transitive), Verb (usu participle)
wrong           Adjective, Noun, Adverb, Verb (transitive), Verb (usu participle)
zigzag          Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive), Verb (usu participle)

You can judge for yourself the quality of the data. It might not be perfect, and you could argue that some of the entries don't really belong in this answer. However, I'm not going to edit it by hand; I think it's sufficient to see that the answer is Yes, there are other such words.

Still, if I want this answer to be complete, I think I need to pick a word from the list and demonstrate that it actually fits the pattern. The most obvious one to my eye is damn:

Adjective: "Argh! I hit my damn thumb again!"
Adverb: "He was running damn fast."
Verb: "And for his sins, he was damned to Hell."
Noun: "I don't give a damn."

There are other swears which are rather flexible in terms of parts of speech; I'll leave the list as an exercise to the reader.

  • 1
    Ha. What on earth is a shilly-shally? ;) Filtering that list was a great idea; it's an interesting read and a great way to answer the question :) +1! – WendiKidd Jul 19 '13 at 23:58
  • @WendiKidd I found a definition here. The most interesting part (to me) is the etymology: "Reduplication of the question shall I?" It reminds me of words like willy-nilly! – snailcar Jul 20 '13 at 0:26
4

This is my first day here and I am not sure this is acceptable on this forum. But what about the f-word? It serves as a noun, verb, adjective and adverb too! But then, most cuss words are used as different parts of speech; so I don't think it really matters.

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