This is an answer I posted to Stack Overflow: Linguistics that was so much fun to write that I feel like sharing it with my blog audience. The question is: What is the past tense of ‘yeet’?
I have a field sighting of the form “yoten” to report.
In January I was involved with the organizing for the big pro-Second-Amendment demonstration in Richmond, VA. One of the central concerns of the organizers, in view of the extreme hostility of the media against firearms rights, was to keep the demonstration strictly nonviolent.
Among the many memes and images posted on social media to express concurrence with this goal was a sort of cartoon of plucky musket-bearing rebels in Revolutionary War costume. The caption read:
“Yeet not unless ye be yoten upon!
You can’t tell gun-culture folks to be passively nonviolent; they’ll just laugh at you. You can preach an ethic of alert nonaggression, and that’s what this memester did. That fits their values, and works.
So we see “yeet” being used for the act of firing a weapon (no surprise; I already knew videogamers used it that way before this). We also have “yoten” as past tense in perfective aspect.
Subsequently someone else else posted a chart of the full conjugation of “yeet”. It did include “yote” as the simple past, and in general was a meticulous and knowing parody of the Germanic strong verb.
Watching culture being invented is a marvellous thing!
I concur with previous answers that the strong-verb system is not as yet entirely nonproductive in English. We should not expect new production of ablaut to obey historical rules for OE verb classes, but rather to template itself on surviving strong verbs.
I offer in this connection the following models: “speak/spoke/spoken”, “freeze/froze/frozen”, and “break/broke/broken”.
I further note that I have previously observed a tendency for such irregular inflections to flourish where humor is intended, and if the message of “Yeet not unless ye be yoten upon!” was serious the form of it was intentionally funny.
In another subculture that I am involved with, the name of a now obsolete minicomputer called a “VAX” was pluralized to “vaxen”, not “vaxes”, allegedly because the machine was as slow as an ox. This joke became productive: today, people in that culture may pluralize “box” (used in the sense of a computer, e.g a Unix box) as “boxen”.
The meme was successful. Enough armed gunfolks showed up to overmatch an infantry division, and the day was entirely peaceful.