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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 193

with its noun, injunction.To steam-roller early displaced to steam-roll. 68 As for to operate, the Journal of the American Medical Association wars upon it in vain. More and more, surgeons report that they operated a patient, not on him.
  This last example, however, violates one tendency almost as clearly as it shows another. In general, the English habit of hitching a preposition to a verb is carried to even greater lengths in America than it is in England. The colloquial language is very rich in such compounds, and some of them have come to have special meanings. Compare, for example, to give and to give out, to go back and to go back on, to beat and to beat it, to light and to light out, to butt and to butt in, to turn and to turn down, to show and to show up, to put and to put over, to wind and to wind up. Sometimes, however, the addition seems to be merely rhetorical, as in to start off, to finish up, to open up, to beat up (or out), to try out, to stop over (or off), and to hurry up. To hurry up is so commonplace in America that everyone uses it and no one notices it, but it remains rare in England. Up seems to be essential to many of these latter-day verbs, e. g., to pony up, to doll up, to ball up; without it they are without significance. Sometimes unmistakable adverbs are substituted for prepositions, as in to stay put and to call down. “Brush your hat off” would seem absurd to an Englishman; so would “The Committee reported out the bill.” Nearly all of these reinforced verbs are supported by corresponding adjectives and nouns, e. g., cut-up, show-down, kick-in, come-down, hand-out, start-off, wind-up, run-in, balled-up, dolled-up, bang-up, turn-down, frame-up, stop-over, jump-off, call-down, buttinski.
  The rapidity with which words move through the parts of speech must be observed by every student of American. The case of bum I have already cited: it is noun, adjective, verb and adverb. The adjective lonesome, in “all by her lonesome,” becomes a sort of pronoun. The verb to think, in “he had another think coming,” becomes a noun. Jitney is an old American noun lately revived; a month after its revival it was also an adjective, and before long it will be a verb. To lift up was turned tail first and made a substantive,