26 April 2013

Five Minute Friday ~ Friend

Some claim that "friend" became a verb with the advent of Facebook back in the early 1900s.

I'm not finding that to be true.

According to most of the etymological dictionaries I've checked, friend was first used as a verb way back in the 14th century. That's like 6-700 years ago. No wonder Solomon fusses about there being nothing new under the sun! Sadly, though, its original meaning as a verb is now considered archaic. Most dictionaries these days that list friend (v) as simply meaning adding someone to your list of contacts on a social networking site. Nothing more... nothing less. A few sites list friend (v) as an archaic term meaning to befriend (be a friend... get it?) 


Facebook has kidnapped a beautiful word and I think we should steal it back...

I like thinking about the archaic version of friend as a verb because it implies an action. Yes, I understand the beauty of being able to just being... but a friend's significance is that s/he IS someone who DOES.... 

When I "archaically" friend someone, in my mind, I'm committing - and it is no small commitment -  to being and doing (as best I can) a potential whole lot of things determined by what my friend needs and wants, actions such as (not exhaustive and listed in no particular order than how they tumble from my mind, tip-toe through my fingers and materialize onto the screen)

  • listening, 
  • sharing, 
  • believing, 
  • trusting, 
  • helping, 
  • laughing with, 
  • crying with, 
  • forgiving,
  • being forgiven by,
  • inviting, 
  • visiting,
  • cooking meals for and with, 
  • walking beside, 
  • sacrificing for, 
  • being patient with, 
  • enjoying,
  • choosing, 
  • enduring with and for, 
  • caring, 
  • confronting, 
  • encouraging, 
  • freeing from my expectations, 
  • sometimes carrying, 
  • sometimes being carried by, 
  • accepting, 
  • loving... 

Anyone else want to join a covert op with the goal of reclaiming archaic friend (v)?

If you want to add your voice to this free write conversation, head over to Lisa Jo's, read the rules and start tapping away! Hope to see you there...


  1. Speak on sister, so true.

  2. I hear your cry and gladly join your covert operation. what a great post!

  3. Facebook has kidnapped a beautiful word and I think we should still it back - BRILLIANT!

    Here from FMF. Love this. Have a great weekend!

    1. glad you appreciated it. and so glad you popped by to say hi today.

  4. Oh snap. I'm about to go friending all over the place this week. Thanks for the reminder....such a rich word to be lived. :)

    1. and that's a great way to put it... a rich word to be LIVED!

      thanks for popping by!

  5. Haha, I like the idea of "kidnapping" friend back. Maybe with all of these definitions it's no wonder why people are having a hard time fulfilling the duties of friendship! Let's steal it!!

    1. being a real friend is no small commitment, is it?



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