You searched for “portmanteau”

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Mimsy, chortle, and galumph: Alice in Wonderland and the portmanteau

Let’s go glamping. Oh, wait, don’t know what I’m talking about? Vogue introduced glamping – a portmanteau of ‘glamorous’ + ‘camping’ that came into use in the mid 2000s – into the high fashion lexicon in October of 2011 with its suggestion to go pitch a tent and sleep in the woods, decked out in Céline and Hermès. A portmanteau, in the linguistic sense, is a word formed by blending elements from two or more distinct words to create o…

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What do you call a librarian on Tumblr?

What do you call a librarian on Tumblr?

…reblogged us, adding ‘This is Tumblrilliant!’ (why, thank you very much) handily gave us another example of the portmanteau word. For that is what Twitterati, netiquette, and tumblarian have in common, and it is a trend which is often seen across social media. The term ‘portmanteau word’ (or simply ‘portmanteau’) has an intriguing derivation. Although ‘portmanteau’ had long been in use in other senses, it seems to have first appeared,…

Zebra crossings: what zonkeys tell us about our love of hybrid words


…s later, when the same type of hybrid was born at the Colchester Zoo in the UK in 1971, it received yet another portmanteau coinage, and was called a zedonk. With horses, things get even more complex: we have not only the obvious zorse, but also (depending on the breed), the zetland (from Shetland), the zony (from pony), and the list goes on. Most zebra hybrids have a zebra sire and a donkey or horse dam, but the reverse does occur occasionally….

hate words

Which words do we love to hate?

…at the language is being debased if they hear that someone had a fabulous, wonderful, terrific day. A ginormous portmanteau is not everyone’s bag Ginormous also raised sufficient ire to be on the list, with several people complaining that it is a portmanteau word (or, as one commenter phrased it: ‘just a made-up combination of two words’). It is worth noting that few people have the same objection to motel, brainiac, brunch, camcorder, or chortle…

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Video: what do you call a new word made by combining two other words?

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The Burds and the Bees

A word from...

…h her politics or her persona, it is odd to so excoriate her for what amounts to a minor and relatively amusing portmanteau (a portmanteau is, among other things, a new word created by blending elements of two existing words – in this case refute and repudiate). She may not have quite the same linguistic flair exhibited by Lewis Carroll when he coined bandersnatch and chortle, but it hardly seems worth all the sound and fury. The former Alaskan g…

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From muggle to whizzpopper: invented words in children’s literature

…ound there (1871). In Carroll’s story Humpty Dumpty explains one kind of neologism to Alice: what he called the portmanteau word (a neologism in itself), in which two meanings are packed into one word. In the poem Jabberwocky, for instance, the word slithey combines lithe and slimy while mimsy brings together flimsy and miserable. This explanation is necessary since Carroll’s sophisticated coinages tend to be the result of playing with the rules…

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The language of fandom: from Twihards to Tolkienites

The language of fandom

…ne linguistic construction, while others adhere to completely different formations, but some patterns do arise. Portmanteau words are common for fandoms geared toward younger members. Diehard fans of Twilight have become ‘Twihards’, self-professed geeks who enjoy the television series Glee are ‘Gleeks’, and those who get a metaphorical high from the adventures of boy wizard Harry Potter are known as ‘Potterheads’. For fans of a creator’s entire l…

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