"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Monday, April 30, 2012

Portmanteau Words

In doing some research, I ran across the word: portmanteau. I am familiar with the term, but did some extra reading on it.

According to Wikipedia, the definition of portmanteau (plural portmanteaux or portmanteaus) or portmanteau word is “a combination of two (or more) words or morphemes into one new word. A portmanteau word typically combines both sounds and meanings, as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog.  More generally, it may refer to any term or phrase that combines two or more meanings. In linguistics, a portmanteau is defined as a single morph which represents two or more morphemes.”

The article went on to talk about the many brand names out there that are a portmanteau word. I guess I didn’t realize there were so many.

Amtrack is the portmanteau of America and track. Comcast is the portmanteau of communication and broadcast, and cinema and maximum is Cinemax. Here are a few more: Verizon is the portmanteau of veritas and horizon. Panera is pan, the Latin word for bread, and era, the Latin word for time. The brand of water softening solution, Calgon, is the portmanteau of the words calcium and gone. That one has been around for a long time! 

Of course, there is the name meshing – Brangelina (Brad and Angelina) Tomkat (Tom and Katie) A new fad? Nah, sixty years ago, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball created Desilu Productions. Does that mean Eric and I would be: Erilor or Loric?

There are thousands of these words! Here are a few more familiar portmanteau words:
Texarkana – The area including the Texas/Arkansas border near Louisiana.
Turducken – The dish made by inserting a chicken - into a duck - into a turkey and cooking it. I’ve seen this on one of the food channels. Sounds good! Anyone ever had turducken?
Snart - On the TV show, 30 Rock, Tina Fey coined this one. It’s the combination of two bodily functions. I’ll let you figure that one out.  

I love playing with words!

Got any favorite portmanteau words? Invent any?

Would love to hear them!

Between you, me and the gatepost,



Gwendolyn Gage said...

I didn't know that Amtrack, Comcast and Cinemax were portmanteaux. That's a new term for me too. Very cool. I have heard of the celebrity name meshing. Love Erilor! LOL! It sounds like a character in a fantasy novel. :-) I guess mine would be Davindolyn??? Too fun!

Brandi said...

Portmanteau. I learned a new word today. Thanks, Loree! My hubby James and I would be Jandi or Brames, lol!

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Loree - I love this post! Could it be a recurring meme? ^_^ My attempt at a portmanteau word is "Plist." (Plot + Twist = Plist.)

Sandra Orchard said...

Oh, yes, when hubby and I were newlyweds and I'd stroke his freshly shaved face, I called it "smooft" for smooth and soft. :) What a fun memory. Hadn't thought of that in a long time!

Keli Gwyn said...

What a fun post, Loree. I love playing with words. I'll have to think up some portmanteau words now.

Charlotte Sannazzaro said...

Hubby and I are always making up new words by changing around the first consonants... perhaps not quite portmanteaux. There seems to be a lot of these in online world, e.g. "tweeps". Sandra I love smooft - both the word and what it means.

A portmanteau is also a suitcase, right?

inluvwithwords said...

Thanks for the fun post on word play!

Lynda R Young said...

I hadn't known the name for these types of words. Now I do :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

LOL! I thought I new what this word meant, but I was wrong. (I thought it was a satchel they used years ago.)

Thanks for the fun lesson, Loree.

Susan :)

Loree Huebner said...

Gwen: Erilor does sound like a character in a fantasy novel! lol!
I like Davindolyn too. Sounds like a strong last name in a historical novel.

Brandi: The name meshing is fun. I like Jandi. It could be the name of a character in a suspense novel...does it give you any ideas? Actually Jandi Brames would be a great character name! lol!

Victoria: LOVE the plist! How's the plist in your novel coming along??? tehehe...

Sandra: Love the smooft! A close smooft shave. haha Enjoy your break, Sandra, and I hope to see many pics from your Alaskan cruise.

Keli: Glad you enjoyed it, Keli. Words are awesome!

Charlotte: You are right! I looked it up on Wikipedia and apparently a portmanteaux "is type of bag commonly found in England and other parts of Europe, and was extremely popular in the 19th century for travel."

Inluvwithwords: You're welcome, Inluv! Glad you enjoyed it.

Lynda: It's fun to learn something new everyday!

Susan: You did know it, Susan. It is a satchel too.

Gwen, Brandi, Victoria, Sandra, Keli, Charlotte, Inluv, Lynda, Susan, thank you all for stopping in. Great comments!

Jessica R. Patch said...

How fun, Loree! I can't think of any off the top of my head, but if I do I'll come back and chime in! I love messing around with and reading about words too!

Rhonda Schrock said...

Interesting! I love word plays. Looks like there's a lot of them around that I never thought about. Now you'll have me looking. :)

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

This is such fun! I didn't realize Panera = pan and era. To be honest, I didn't realize most of these names were portmanteaus. Very cool.

Melanie N. Brasher said...

Love this, Loree! I learned something new today. :)

Melissa Tagg said...

Ooh fun! I'm sitting in an airport after a night of not a lot of sleep, so my brain isn't working just yet. But it's fun to have learned a new word!

Loree Huebner said...

Jessica: I love messing around w/words too.

Rhonda: I know! Ever since Sunday, I've been looking at words and brands too.

Cynthia: I thought the Panera one was cool.

Melanie: Yay for learning something new! Hope the move is going good, Melanie. Been thinking about you.

Melissa T: Not much sleep? My brain doesn't work too good then either. Ooooh, so jealous. Sounds like your trip was great! Can't wait to hear about it.

Jessica, Rhonda, Cynthia, Melanie, and Melissa, thanks for dropping in. I love reading your comments!

Carol Riggs said...

Neat! This is fascinating. And a good way to invent coined words in our manuscripts!! I love playing with words like this. :)

Loree Huebner said...

Carol: I think it's a great way to come up with new words. I love it too. Thanks for popping in!

Misha Gericke said...

Never knew the name for word combinations.

Turducken sounds intertesting... ^_^