Sunday, January 24, 2010

What are portmanteau words?

Portmanteau is a French word meaning "suitcase" and was first used in English by the writer Lewis Carroll in the novel "Through the Looking Glass", where one of the characters, explaining the meaning of a word says: "...a portmanteau: there are two meanings packed up in one word".
This is a very productive way of creating new words. You probably have heard about "Brangelina" and you surely know that it means both Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, the mythical Hollywood couple who, unfortunately, are said to be divorcing these days.

What about "Bollywood"? Yes, that's a blend between Bombay and Hollywood, and you use it to talk about the blooming film industry in India.
Some more examples are:

  • Channel + tunnel = Chunnel
  • Smoke + fog = smog
  • Breakfast + lunch = brunch
  • Camera + recorder = camcorder
  • Web + log = blog
Do you know any  other portmanteau words? Post your answers!

1 comment:

  1. These days is famous:
    Internet + Pad = iPad (the newest Internet' Panel)

    Others portmanteau words:
    Swiss + watch = swatch
    Chocolate + alcoholic = chocoholic
    Binary + digit = bit
    Electronic + mail = Email
    Fanatic + magazine = fanzine
    International + network = Internet

    and so on!


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