Portmanteau: a word formed by blending sounds from two or more words and combining their meanings. All the cool kids are doing it now but that doesn’t mean it’s good, right?
Hijacking perfectly good words
Take ‘neutraceuticals’ for example. It combines two perfectly good words into one dismal one.
- Nutrient: a chemical that an organism needs to live and grow.
- Pharmaceutical: chemical substances intended for use in medical diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease.
- Neutraceutical: supplements that are “not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease”, but designed to promote ‘wellness’.
So nutraceuticals are in fact, neither nutri nor ceutical.
- Bromance: brother, romance – a platonic friendship between two men
- Frenemy: friend, enemy – an enemy disguised as a friend or to a friend who is also a rival
- Staycation: stay, vacation – a holiday spent at home
- Twi-hards : Twilight, Die-hard – used to describe fans of the Twilight series
- Refudiate: repudiate and refute, coined by Sarah Palin
- Octodamus: octopus, Nostradamus- used to describe Paul the psychic octopus
- Insania: insanity, mania – coined by Peter Andre
- Scandal-gate: (any scandal, Watergate)
- Gleek: Glee,geek – fans of the TV show Glee
- Bridezilla: bride, Godzilla- a demanding bride-to-be
- Brangelina: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie
- Mockumentary: mock, documentary
- Guesstimate: guess, estimate
- Scrooge: screw, gouge – coined by Charles Dickens
- Squiggle: squirm, wiggle
- Chortle: chuckle, snort – coined by Lewis Carroll
- Portmanteau: from the French porte (carry),manteau (coat) – hence a coat hook
fizzin Pepsi’s used this 100-letter portmanteau in their 1973 TV and film advertising
Good post, but did you intend to post this on Bad Language instead?
Matthew Stibbe says
Yes, indeed. I use Live Writer and occasionally mispost from one blog to the other. Matthew
Haha, I thought exactly that. We must be able to come up with some aviation examples though, don't you think?
Matthew Stibbe says
Yes, we must be able to! 🙂 Here are two for starters. Gulfstream PlaneView or Dassault EASy are two examples of marketing over substance in aviation.