The Word of the Day on Monday, Feb. 25th 2019, for Words With Friends (a popular Scrabble-like game for smart phones), was PAWN. Now Words With Friends (WWF) usually give a brief definition, and sometimes no definition, for their Word of the Day. This time they gave a lengthy definition, or rather several definitions, for PAWN.

Here it is.





1. a chess piece of the smallest size and value, that moves one square forward along its file if unobstructed (or two on the first move), or one square diagonally forwards when making a capture. Each player begins with eight pawns on the second rank, and can promote to become any other piece (typically a queen) if it reaches the opponent’s end of the board.

2. a person used by others for their own purposes.

3. an object left as security for money lent

1. to deposit (an object) with a pawn broker as security for money lent.

No surprise here. After all, chess is popular game!


But it got me thinking. How many of the pieces, usually given as nouns, can also be used as verbs. The list may surprise you.

We have PAWN (+ED, +ING, +S) as shown above.


We  also have QUEEN (+ED, +ING, +S)
1. to promote a pawn in a chess game to a queen.


And KNIGHT (+ED, +ING, +S)
1. to raise one to the level of knighthood, esp. by a queen or king.


Here are three more pieces.

KING (+ED, +ING, +S)
1. to reign as king.
2. to promote a checkers piece to a king (in checkers you can only promote to a king).

to appoint as a bishop (the head of a diocese)


ROOK (+ED, +ING, +S)
1. to deprive of by deceit.
2. to take money or property from by fraudulent means.

… and a bonus piece

Some non-chess players claim that CASTLE is the word for the pieces in the corners at the start of the game. Technically, the word CASTLE is only used as verb among the chess players, publications and lexicon.

But if we grant the non-players the permission to use CASTLE as a noun, then we would have another noun-verb.
In case you need a reminder, here is the definition.

1. a move involving a player’s unmoved king and one of the player’s original unmoved rooks. It consists of moving the king two squares towards a rook on the player’s first rank, then moving the rook to the square over which the king crossed. It is considered a king move.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s