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,