eli5 – why is a building still called a building when it’s built?


This has always confused me

In: 0

A lot of nouns in English use the gerund (-ing) form of the verb that describes them. Like “frosting”, “seasoning”, “blessing”, “drawing”, etc. It is just one of many peculiarities of English.

Why is a cowboy called a cowboy when cows are girls and bulls are boys? It should be cow-*girls* and bull-*boys*.

Why does a woman have a pair of panties, but just one bra?

(other Gallagher classics)

Because “Building” is both an action verb and a noun -just like “painting” -I used to tell my grandson when he was learning to read that the people who created the English language -word spelling and usage -did not know what they were doing and now we are just stuck with it

Why is this given the “Economics” flair when it’s an English language question?

ELI5 Answer from a homeowner: Because if you own a home you are going to pour money into it fixing it for the rest of the time you own it?