Saturday, January 19

Portmanteau Power




image courtesy of stock.xchng



Today’s lesson is about Portmanteu Words. Have you ever heard of them?



First of all, “Portmanteu” is pronounced as:


port—MAN—tow 



What a strange-sounding word, right?



That’s because this word was originally borrowed from French. Now, it’s an old-fashioned word that we use for a large suitcase that has two parts that fold together. It looks like this:



 This photo by puuikibeach is available at <a ref="http://www.flicker.com/photos/puuikibeach/6339304142/">under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ph/"> Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 



Because of the bag's distinct form, in the year 1882, British writer Lewis Carol used the same name in his book “Through the Looking-Glass.”



Through the Looking Glass is the sequel to his very famous book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.






In the second book, Lewis Carol first used the expression “Portmanteau Word” to mean “two meanings packed up into one word.”



And so,


Portmanteau Word = a word that combines the sound and meaning of two words




How Portmanteaus are Born



One good example of a Portmanteau Word is “brunch.” Brunch means a late morning meal. It’s a combination of a late breakfast and an early lunch.



This way:


Brunch = Breakfast + Lunch


Ex.


I usually have brunch on Saturdays.

I usually brunch on Saturdays.



Another good example is the word “smog.” Smog is a type of air pollution. It looks like a mixture of smoke and fog. This is why it’s another Portmanteau Word:



Smog = smoke + fog



Finally, we have “spork.”


Spork = Spoon + fork



This picture is more than enough explanation:



image courtesy of stock.xchng



As you can see, Portmanteau Words are very interesting because many new words (neologisms) come from a blending or combination of 2 different words. Afterwards, they become part of standard English.



Let’s have more examples…



You know those names that we use to call unusual English, right? Well, they’re also Portmanteau Words:


Ex.


Japlish = Japanese + English

Konglish = Korean + English

Chinglish = Chinese + English

Russlish = Russian + English

Germlish = German + English

etc.



Besides that, from celebrity news, you can hear cases of “name-meshing.”



“Name-meshing” happens when you make Portmanteau Names out of the combination of two names, especially those of well-known people.



Here are a few examples:



Jelena = Justin Bieber + Selena Gomez

Haylor = Harry Styles + Taylor Swift

Brangelina = Brad Pitt + Angelina Jolie

TomKat = Tom Cruise + Katie Holmes

Billary = Bill + Hillary Clinton

etc.




Portmanteaus and Technology



Finally, because Portmanteau Words are good at adding new words to the English Vocabulary (we call new words “neologisms”), many Portmanteau Words can be found in the area of technology.



In fact, the word “Internet” is a Portmanteau Word:


Internet = international + network



Also WiFi:


WiFi = wireless + fidelity



Here are other Net words or technology terms that are also Portmanteau Words:



Portmanteau


2 Original Words
Blog
(1) web + (2) log

Emoticon
(1) emotion + (2) icon

Freeware
(1) free + (2) software

Malware
(1) malicious + (2) software

Microsoft
(1) microcomputer + (2) software

Modem
(1) modulator + (2) demodulator

Netiquette
(1) Internet + (2) etiquette

Netizen
(1) Internet + (2) citizen

Pixel
(1) pic + (2) element

Sexting
(1) sex + (2) texting

Wikipedia
(1) wiki + (2) encyclopedia





50 Portmanteaus in English



There are many Portmanteau Words in different parts of the English language.



If you still haven’t had enough, here are 50 more:



Portmanteau

2 Original Words
Beatles
(1) beat + (2) beetles

Beefalo
(1) beef + (2) buffalo

Bionic
(1) biology + (2) electronic

Bootylicious
(1) booty + (2) delicious

Breathalyzer
(1) breath + (2) analyzer

Camcorder
(1) camera + (2) recorder

Chillaxing
(1) chilling + (2) relaxing

Chork
(1) chopstick + (2) fork

Chortle
(1) chuckle + (2) snort

Croissandwich
(1) croissant + (2) sandwich

Cyborg
(1) cybernetic + (2) organism

Dancercise
(1) dance + (2) exercise

Docudrama
(1) documentary + (2) drama

Edutainment
(1) education + (2) entertainment

Eurasia
(1) Europe + (2) Asia

Faction
(1) fact + (2) fiction

Fantabulous
(1) fantastic + (2) fabulous

Fanzine
(1) fan + (2) magazine

Frappucino
(1) frappe + (2) cappucino

Ginormous
(1) giant + (2) enormous

Globish
(1) global + (2) English

Guesstimate
(1) guess + (2) estimate

Humongous
(1) huge + (2) monstrous

Infomercial
(1) information + (2) commercial

Liger
(1) lion + (2) tiger

Motel
(1) motor + (2) hotel

Olionaire
(1) oil + (2) millionaire

Outpatient
(1) outside + (2) patient

Paratroop
(1) parachute + (2) troop

Prissy
(1) prim + (2) sissy

Feminazi
(1) feminist + (2) Nazi

Rockumentary
(1) rock + (2) documentary

Seascape
(1) sea + (2) landscape

Simulcast
(1) simultaneous + (2) broadcast

Sitcom
(1) situation + (2) comedy

Skort
(1) skirt + (2) short

Skyjack
(1) sky + (2) hijack

Smash
(1) smack + (2) mash

Smirting
(1) smoking + (2) flirting

Soundscape
(1) sound + (2) landscape

Splatter
(1) splash + (2) spatter

Stagflation
(1) stagnant economy + (2) inflation

Tangelo
(1) tangerine + (2) pomelo

Telegenic
(1) television + (2) photogenic

Travelogue
(1) travel + (2) monologue

Tween
(1) teen + (2) between

Wallyball
(1) wall + (2) volleyball

Webinar
(1) web + (2) seminar

Wholpin
(1) whale + (2) dolphin

Wurly
(1) wavy + (2) curly hair 





Finally…



As a reminder, I have to tell you that some of the Portmanteau Words that I have cited above are not as widely accepted. Of course, like what I said, others have already become part of standard English.  



It depends partly on how recent the new word has been created. If the word has been around longer, chances are that it has become an authentic, widely-used member of the English Vocabulary. It varies from case to case though.



For instance, the Portmanteau “Refudiate,” which was first used by American politician Sarah Palin became New Oxford American Dictionary’s “Word of the Year” in 2010.



In response to some criticism about her invention of the new word, Palin posted on Tweeter:



"Refudiate," "misunderestimate," "wee-wee'd up." English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!

Sarah Palin
Sarah PalinUSA








Hope You Learned Something! 

Keep on learning !













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