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You searched for “portmanteau”

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

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…

What do you call a librarian on Tumblr?

What do you call a librarian on Tumblr?

…sion policy) but that obviously doesn’t prohibit us using it out and about on Tumblr. And when TheCommonLibrarian 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 der…

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


…But I don’t know what else you would call it.” (1953 N.Y. Herald Tribune 2 Sept. 1/7). Less than two decades 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…

Which words do we love to hate?


…shment, and once upon a time fabulous was used only to describe things that related to fables – few would argue that 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 wor…

The Burds and the Bees

A word from...

…sed a number of times by others, in both intentional and unintentional error. Yet no matter whether one agrees with 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 Carro…

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Farmily album: the rise of the felfie

…ear, is rapidly proving itself to be an unstoppable propagator of new words. Coming up with the perfect blend Almost all of these new coinages which base themselves on the word for a photographic self-portrait are ‘blends’ or portmanteau words, formed by replacing the initial ‘s’ of selfie with the opening letter or sound of some word indicating what kind of self-portrait is being shared with the world—what body part is the focus of the image, wh…

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20 words that originated in the 1920s

…le’ quite so much as ‘filthy’ and ‘disgusting’, somebody dressed in rags.” Metoh itself probably reflects a compound of Tibetan mi, meaning ‘person’, and dom (pronounced ‘tome’) meaning ‘black bear’. sexpert (n.) A colloquial portmanteau for an expert in sex, sexpert dates as far back as a 1924 novel called Sailors’ Wives. millisecond (n.) Although often used colloquially for a very short interval of time, the first known use of millisecond is ra…

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The language of fandom: from Twihards to Tolkienites

The language of fandom

…meone will have already given it a name. There is no clear rhyme or reason as to why certain fandom names follow one 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 metaphorica…