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> Is "stone" really an action at its core?  (Of course in "stoning" it is a
verb,
> but I think that is not the origin.)

Perhaps.  First you have a rock and then you do something with it and it
gets turned into a stone (building stone, grave stove, paving stone, etc.)
In a context like this "stone" could mean transform from a more primitive
form.

Regards,
   Rick Parker