#EngClass: Portmanteau

Cronut.jpg
A cronut (croissant + donut). Pic from Wikipedia.

Have you ever heard or used the word ‘portmanteau?’

A portmanteau (/pɔːrtˈmæntoʊ/) or portmanteau word is a blend of words, in which parts of multiple words or their sounds are combined into a new word. A portmanteau is also called blending word. For initial information of blending words, check out https://englishtips4u.com/2012/06/27/engclass-blending-words/

There are many portmanteau words that have been widely used, such as ‘smog’ (from ‘smoke’ + ‘fog’), ‘netizen’ (from ‘internet’ + ‘citizen’), or ‘workaholic’ (from ‘work’ + ‘alcoholic’).

If we categorize them, we will find that there are portmanteau words for:

  1. Animals.
    A new breed is usually named with a portmanteau word.
    E.g.:
    A ‘liger’ is the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger.
  2. Popular culture.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Brangelina’ is a portmanteau of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s name.
    – ‘Bromance’ is a portmanteau of ‘brother’ and ‘romance,’ usually used to describe a tight friendship between two men.
  3. Vehicle.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Motorcycle,’ from ‘motorized’ + ‘bicycle.’
    – ‘Taxicab,’ from ‘taxi’ + ‘cabriolet’ (a type of horse carriage). Now, taxicab is more commonly known as simply ‘taxi’ or ‘cab.’
  4. Cuisine.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Brunch,’ from ‘breakfast’ + ‘lunch.’
    – ‘Cronut,’ from ‘croissant’ + ‘doughnut.
  5. General use.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Brexit,’ from ‘Britain’ + ‘exit.’
    – ‘Hangry,’ from ‘hungry’ + ‘angry.’
  6. Internet and computing.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Email,’ from ‘electronic’ + ‘mail.’
    – ‘Internet,’ from ‘international’ + ‘network.’
    – ‘Skype,’ from ‘sky’ + ‘peer-to-peer.’
  7. Organizations/companies.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Pinterest,’ from ‘pin’ + ‘interest.’
    – ‘Microsoft,’ from ‘microcomputer’ + ‘software.’

 

@Rnfadillaa: I just knewwww netizen means internet citizen. Thanksss @EnglishTips4U.
@laptamy: How about Frienemy? Is it a portmanteau too?
Yes, ‘frenemy’ comes from ‘friend’ + ‘enemy,’ used to describe someone with whom we have a love-hate relationship.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 18 April, 2018.


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