This blog post was inspired by Shawn MacKenzie who taught me the word “portmanteau.”
I knew bits of my vocabulary included portmanteaus – like smoke and fog make smog. But I didn’t know they were called portmanteaus.
Here’s the Wikipedia explanation of a portmanteau. And surprise! Wikipedia is a combination of Wiki and encyclopedia.
In case you are wondering what a “wiki” is (I was) – a website developed collaboratively by a community of users, allowing any user to add or edit content.
On to the portmanteaus!
Delmarva – from Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. I grew up here!
I don’t get this one because they don’t share a border – Pennsyltucky, from Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Must be cultural. Can anyone explain this one?
Liger, which is a cross between a male lion and a female tiger. And to complicate things, a tiglon or tigon is a cross in which the male is a tiger.
Wholphin – From whale and dolphin. I’m sorry, what? These guys are participating in way too much underwater sexting (from sex and texting).
Labradoodle. From Labrador Retriever and Poodle.
Blogs – so many of us write them; do we know from whence they come? From web and log.
Netiquette – net and etiquette. I’ve blogged about this a few times, eh?
A relatively new thing, quite addictive – Pinterest, from pin and interest.
Food and such
Brunch – from breakfast and lunch.
And from having too many mimosas at brunch – breathalyzer, from breath and analyzer.
A spork is a cross between a spoon and a fork. This spork thing – I think it’s sort of stupid. If I want a spoon, I grab a spoon; if I want a fork, I grab a fork.
Prevacid, from prevent and acid – in case you plan on visiting a really bad arfé or a nasty all-you-can-eat brunch.
Slanguage, from slang and language.
Chillax – from chill and relax. I thought my son coined this one. He does it so well.
Amtrak, from American and track.
Intel, from integrated and electronics.
One of my faves
Snark or snarky – from snide and remark.
Chortle – from chuckle and snort (coined by Lewis Carroll!). And a huge jump (time-line wise) from Carroll to …
Cyborg – From cybernetic and organism
Going old school
Motown – a combination of motor and town. The Supremes, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Martha and the Vandellas, Jr. Walker and the All Stars.
The Temptations. Didn’t they use funkadelic? From funky and psychedelic? See The Temptations, a great YouTube video, from Ed Sullivan’s Really Big Shooo.
See a list
Would you like a list of portmanteaus? Wiki comes through again!
Middle French, portemanteau, from porter, to carry plus manteau, mantle. First known use: 1579.
Do you have a favorite portmanteau or two?