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A portmanteau (/pɔːrtˈmænt/ (About this soundlisten), /ˌpɔːrtmænˈt/) or portmanteau word (from English "portmanteau", a kind of luggage; in French: mot-valise) is a blend of words[1] in which parts of multiple words are combined into a new word,[1][2][3] as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog,[2][4] or motel, from motor and hotel.[5] In linguistics, a portmanteau is a single morph that is analyzed as representing two (or more) underlying morphemes.[6][7][8][9]

A portmanteau word is similar to a contraction, but contractions are formed from words that would otherwise appear together in sequence, such as do and not to make don't, whereas a portmanteau is formed by combining two or more existing words that all relate to a single concept. A portmanteau also differs from a compound, which does not involve the truncation of parts of the stems of the blended words. For instance, starfish is a compound, not a portmanteau, of star and fish, as it includes both words in full.

Origin

The word portmanteau was introduced in this sense by Lewis Carroll in the book Through the Looking-Glass (1871),[10] where Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice the coinage of unusual words used in "Jabberwocky".[11] Slithy means "slimy and lithe" and mimsy means "miserable and flimsy". Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice the practice of combining words in various ways:

You see it's like a portmanteau—there are two meanings packed up into one word.

In his introduction to The Hunting of the Snark, Carroll again uses portmanteau when discussing lexical selection:[11]

Humpty Dumpty's theory, of two meanings packed into one word like a portmanteau, seems to me the right explanation for all. For instance, take the two words "fuming" and "furious". Make up your mind that you will say both words, but leave it unsettled which you will say first … if you have the rarest of gifts, a perfectly balanced mind, you will say "frumious".

In then-contemporary English, a portmanteau was a suitcase that opened into two equal sections. According to the OED Online, a portmanteau is a "case or bag for carrying clothing and other belongings when travelling; (originally) one of a form suitable for carrying on horseback; (now esp.) one in the form of a stiff leather case hinged at the back to open into two equal parts".[12] According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (AHD), the etymology of the word is the French porte-manteau, from porter, "to carry", and manteau, "cloak" (from Old French mantel, from Latin mantellum).[13] According to the OED Online, the etymology of the word is the "officer who carries the mantle of a person in a high position (1507 in Middle French), case or bag for carrying clothing (1547), clothes rack (1640)".[12] In modern French, a porte-manteau is a clothes valet, a coat-tree or similar article of furniture for hanging up

A portmanteau word is similar to a contraction, but contractions are formed from words that would otherwise appear together in sequence, such as do and not to make don't, whereas a portmanteau is formed by combining two or more existing words that all relate to a single concept. A portmanteau also differs from a compound, which does not involve the truncation of parts of the stems of the blended words. For instance, starfish is a compound, not a portmanteau, of star and fish, as it includes both words in full.

The word portmanteau was introduced in this sense by Lewis Carroll in the book Through the Looking-Glass (1871),[10] where Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice the coinage of unusual words used in "Jabberwocky".[11] Slithy means "slimy and lithe" and mimsy means "miserable and flimsy". Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice the practice of combining words in various ways:

You see it's like a portmanteau—there are two meanings packed up into one word.

In his introduction to The Hunting of the Snark, Carroll again uses portmanteau when discussing lexical selection:[11]

Humpty Dumpty's theory, of two meanings packed into one word like a portmanteau, seems to me the right explanation for all. For instance, take the two words "fuming" and "furious". Make up your mind that you will say both words, but leave it unsettled which you will say first … if you have the rarest of gifts, a perfectly balanced mind, you will say "frumious".

In then-contemporary English, a portmanteau was a suitcase that opened into two equal sections. According to the OED Online, a portmanteau is a "case or bag for carrying clothing and other belongings when travelling; (originally) one of a form suitable for carrying on horseback; (now esp.) one in the form of a stiff leather case hinged at the back to open into two equal parts".[12] According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (AHD), the etymology of the word is the French porte-manteau, from porter, "to carry", and manteau, "cloak" (from Old French mantel, from Latin mantellum).[13] According to the OED Online, the etymology of the word is the "officer who carries the mantle of a person in a high position (1507 in Middle French), case or bag for carrying clothing (1547), clothes rack (1640)".[12] In modern French, a porte-ma

You see it's like a portmanteau—there are two meanings packed up into one word.

In his introduction to The Hunting of the Snark, Carroll again uses portmanteau when discussing lexical selection:The Hunting of the Snark, Carroll again uses portmanteau when discussing lexical selection:[11]

In then-contemporary English, a portmanteau was a suitcase that opened into two equal sections. According to the OED Online, a portmanteau is a "case or bag for carrying clothing and other belongings when travelling; (originally) one of a form suitable for carrying on horseback; (now esp.) one in the form of a stiff leather case hinged at the back to open into two equal parts".[12] According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (AHD), the etymology of the word is the French porte-manteau, from porter, "to carry", and manteau, "cloak" (from Old French mantel, from Latin mantellum).[13] According to the OED Online, the etymology of the word is the "officer who carries the mantle of a person in a high position (1507 in Middle French), case or bag for carrying clothing (1547), clothes rack (1640)".[12] In modern French, a porte-manteau is a clothes valet, a coat-tree or similar article of furniture for hanging up jackets, hats, umbrellas and the like.[14][15][16]

An occasion

An occasional synonym for "portmanteau word" is frankenword, an autological word exemplifying the phenomenon it describes, blending "Frankenstein" and "word".[17]

Many neologisms are examples of blends, but many blends have become part of the lexicon.[11] In Punch in 1896, the word brunch (breakfast + lunch) was introduced as a "portmanteau word."[18] In 1964, the newly independent African republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar chose the portmanteau word Tanzania as its name. Similarly Eurasia is a portmanteau of Europe and Asia.

Some city names are portmanteaus of the border regions they straddle: Texarkana spreads across the Texas-Arkansas-Louisiana border, while Calexico and Mexicali are respectively the American and Mexican sides of a single conurbation. A scientific example is a liger, which is a cross between a male lion and a female tiger (a tigon is a similar cross in which the male is a tiger).

Many company or brand names are portmanteaus, including Microsoft, a portmanteau of microcomputer and software; the cheese Cambozola combines a similar rind to Camembert with the same mould used to make Gorgonzola; passenger rail company Amtrak, a portmanteau of America and track; Velcro, a portmanteau of the French velours (velvet) and crochet (hook); Some city names are portmanteaus of the border regions they straddle: Texarkana spreads across the Texas-Arkansas-Louisiana border, while Calexico and Mexicali are respectively the American and Mexican sides of a single conurbation. A scientific example is a liger, which is a cross between a male lion and a female tiger (a tigon is a similar cross in which the male is a tiger).

Many company or brand names are portmanteaus, including Microsoft, a portmanteau of microcomputer and software; the cheese Cambozola combines a similar rind to Camembert with the same mould used to make Gorgonzola; passenger rail company Amtrak, a portmanteau of America and track; Velcro, a portmanteau of the French velours (velvet) and crochet (hook); Verizon, a portmanteau of veritas (Latin for truth) and horizon; and ComEd (a Chicago-area electric utility company), a portmanteau of Commonwealth and Edison.

Jeoportmanteau! is a recurring category on the American television quiz show Jeopardy! The category's name is itself a portmanteau of the words Jeopardy and portmanteau. Responses in the category are portmanteaus constructed by fitting two words together.

Portmanteau words may be produced by joining together proper nouns with common nouns, such as "gerrymandering", which refers to the scheme of Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry for politically contrived redistricting; the perimeter of one of the districts thereby created resembled a very curvy salamander in outline. The term gerrymander has itself contributed to portmanteau terms bjelkemander and playmander.

Oxbridge is a common portmanteau for the UK's two oldest universities, those of Oxford and Cambridge. In 2016, Britain's planned exit from the European Union became known as "Brexit".

Many portmanteau words receive some use but do not appear in all dictionaries. For example, a spork is an eating utensil that is a combination of a spoon and a fork, and a skort is an item of clothing that is part skirt, part shorts. On the other hand, turducken, a dish made by inserting a chicken into a duck, and the duck into a turkey, was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2010.

Similarly, the word refudiate was first used by Sarah Palin when she misspoke, conflating the words refute and repudiate. Though initially the word was a gaffe, it was recognized as the New Oxford American Dictionary's "Word of the Year" in 2010.[19]

The business lexicon is replete with newly formed portmanteau words like "permalance" (permanent freelance), "advertainment" (advertising as entertainment), "advertorial" (a blurred distinction between adver

Similarly, the word refudiate was first used by Sarah Palin when she misspoke, conflating the words refute and repudiate. Though initially the word was a gaffe, it was recognized as the New Oxford American Dictionary's "Word of the Year" in 2010.[19]

The business lexicon is replete with newly formed portmanteau words like "permalance" (permanent freelance), "advertainment" (advertising as entertainment), "advertorial" (a blurred distinction between advertising and editorial), "infotainment" (information about entertainment or itself intended to entertain by its manner of presentation), and "infomercial" (informational commercial).

Company and product names may also use portmanteau words: examples include Timex (a portmanteau of Time [referring to Time magazine] and Kleenex),[20] Renault's Twingo (a combination of twist, swing and tango),[21] and Garmin (portmanteau of company founders' first names Gary Burrell and Min Kao).

Two proper names can also be used in creating a portmanteau word in reference to the partnership between people, especially in cases where both persons are well-known, or sometimes to produce epithets such as "Billary" (referring to former United States president Bill Clinton and his wife, former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton). In this example of recent American political history, the purpose for blending is not so much to combine the meanings of the source words but "to suggest a resemblance of one named person to the other"; the effect is often derogatory, as linguist Benjamin Zimmer states.[22] By contrast, the public, including the media, use portmanteaus to refer to their favorite pairings as a way to "...giv[e] people an essence of who they are within the same name."[23] This is particularly seen in cases of fictional and real-life "supercouples". An early known example, Bennifer, referred to film stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Other examples include Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) and TomKat (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes).[23] "Desilu Productions" was a Los Angeles, California-based company jointly owned by couple and actors Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. Miramax is the combination of the first names of the parents of the Weinstein brothers. On Wednesday, 28 June 2017, The New York Times crossword included the quip, "How I wish Natalie Portman dated Jacques Cousteau, so I could call them 'Portmanteau'".[24]

Holidays are another example, as in Thanksgivukkah, a portmanteau neologism given to the convergence of the American holiday of Thanksgiving and the first day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah

Holidays are another example, as in Thanksgivukkah, a portmanteau neologism given to the convergence of the American holiday of Thanksgiving and the first day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah on Thursday, 28 November 2013.[25][26] Chrismukkah is another pop-culture portmanteau neologism popularized by the TV drama The O.C., merging of the holidays of Christianity's Christmas and Judaism's Hanukkah.

In the Disney film Big Hero 6, the film is situated in a fictitious city called "San Fransokyo", which is a portmanteau of two real locations, San Francisco and Tokyo.[27]

The French linguistic term mot-valise, literally a "suitcase-word", is a relatively recent back-translation from English, attested only since 1970.[citation needed]

Although the French language in France is regulated by the Académie française (which has had a conservative attitude to neologisms), it produced a number of portmanteau words such as franglais (frenglish) and has used the technique in literature (Boris Vian) or to create brands such as Transilien (transports franciliensAlthough the French language in France is regulated by the Académie française (which has had a conservative attitude to neologisms), it produced a number of portmanteau words such as franglais (frenglish) and has used the technique in literature (Boris Vian) or to create brands such as Transilien (transports franciliens, Île-de-France transportation system).[note 1] Recent portmanteau examples are Douzelage (from douze [twelve] and jumelage [twinning]) and japonaiserie (from japonais ["japanese"] and niaiserie ["inanity"]).

The French language in Quebec, Canada, also has a regulatory body, the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF). It tends to produce neologisms to replace anglicisms. It created the portmanteaus courriel (e-mail) from courrier (mail) and électronique (electronic), and clavardage (online chatting) from clavier (keyboard) and bavardage (chatter), for example.

Modern Hebrew abounds with European mechanisms such as blending: Along with CD, or simply דיסק‎ (Disk), Hebrew has the blend תקליטור‎ (taklitor), which consists of תקליט‎ (taklít, Phonograph record) and אור‎ (or, light). Modern Hebrew is full of portmanteau blends, such as the following:[28]

  • ערפיח‎ (arpíakh, smog), from מגדלור‎ (migdalór, lighthouse), from מגדל‎ (migdál, tower) and אור‎ (or, light)
  • קרנף‎ (karnàf, rhinoceros), from קרן‎ (kéren, horn) and אף‎ (af, nose)
  • רמזור‎ (ramzór, traffic light), from רמז‎ (rémez, indication) and אור‎ (or, light)

Sometimes the root of the second word is trunca

Sometimes the root of the second word is truncated, giving rise to a blend that resembles an acrostic:

  • תפוז‎ (tapúz, orange (fruit), from תפוח‎ (tapúakh, apple) and זהב‎ (zaháv, gold), as well as תפוד‎ from תפוח‎ and אדמה‎ (adamah, soil) but the full תפוח אדמה‎ is more common in the latter case.

Irish

A few portmanteaus are in use in modern Irish, for example:

  • BrexitA few portmanteaus are in use in modern Irish, for example:

    • Brexit is referred to as Breatimeacht (from Breatain, "Britain", and imeacht, "leave") or Sasamach (from Sasana, "England," and amach, "out")[29][30]
    • The resignation of Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) Frances Fitzgerald was referred to as Slánaiste (from slán, "goodbye" and Tánaiste)[31][32]
    • Naíonra. an Irish-language preschool (from naíonán, "infants," and gasra, "band")[33]
    • The Irish translation of There is a tradition of linguistic purism in Icelandic, and neologisms are frequently created from pre-existing words. For example, Tölva ("computer") is a portmanteau of tala ("digit; number") and völva ("oracle or seeress").[36]

      Indonesian

      In Indonesian, portmanteaus are often used as both formal and informal acronyms and referrals. Many organizations and government bodies use them for brevity. Journalists often create portmanteaus for particular historical moments. Examples include:

      Formal and journalism uses:

      • Golput: voters who abstain from voting, from Golongan Putih, "blank party" or "white party".[37]
      • Jagorawi: a motorway linking the cities of Jakarta, Bogor and Ciawi.
      • Jabodetabek: the neighboring cities of

        In Indonesian, portmanteaus are often used as both formal and informal acronyms and referrals. Many organizations and government bodies use them for brevity. Journalists often create portmanteaus for particular historical moments. Examples include:

        Formal and journalism uses:

        • Golput: voters who abstain from voting, from Golongan Putih, "blank party" or "white party".[37]
        • Jagorawi: a motorway linking the cities of Jakarta, Bogor and Ciawi.
        • Jabodetabek: the neighboring cities of Jakarta, consisting of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, and sometimes Cianjur (Jabodetabekjur).
        • The Suramadu Bridge connects the cities of Surabaya and Madura
        • "Malari": refers to "Malapetaka 15 Januari" – a social riot that happened on 15 January 1974.
        • Military units, e.g. Kopassus army special forces unit, from Komando Pasukan Khusus, "special forces command". Another example is the Kopaska Alay = anak layangan: unfashionable people
        • Copas = Copy paste: copying other people's work without permission
        • Ropang = roti panggang: toasted bread
        • Nasgor = nasi goreng

        Japanese

        A very common type of portmanteau in Japanese forms one word from the beginnings of two others (that is, from two back-clippings).[38] The portion of each input word retained is usually two morae, which is tantamount to one kanji in most words written in kanji.

        The inputs to the process can be native words, Sino-Japanese words, gairaigo (later borrowings), or combinations thereof. A Sino-Japanese example is the name 東大 (Tōdai) for the A very common type of portmanteau in Japanese forms one word from the beginnings of two others (that is, from two back-clippings).[38] The portion of each input word retained is usually two morae, which is tantamount to one kanji in most words written in kanji.

        The inputs to the process can be native words, Sino-Japanese words, gairaigo (later borrowings), or combinations thereof. A Sino-Japanese example is the name 東大 (Tōdai) for the University of Tokyo, in full (kyō daigaku). With borrowings, typical results are words such as パソコン (pasokon), meaning personal computer (PC), which despite being formed of English elements does not exist in English; it is a uniquely Japanese contraction of the English personal computer (ナル・コンピュータ, pāsonaru k

        The inputs to the process can be native words, Sino-Japanese words, gairaigo (later borrowings), or combinations thereof. A Sino-Japanese example is the name 東大 (Tōdai) for the University of Tokyo, in full (kyō daigaku). With borrowings, typical results are words such as パソコン (pasokon), meaning personal computer (PC), which despite being formed of English elements does not exist in English; it is a uniquely Japanese contraction of the English personal computer (ナル・コンピュータ, pāsonaru konpyūta). Another example, Pokémon (ポケモン), is a contracted form of the English words pocket (ポケット, poketto) and monsters (モンスター, monsutā).[39] A famous example of a blend with mixed sources is karaoke (カラオケ, karaoke), blending the Japanese word for empty (, kara) and the Greek word orchestra (オーケストラ, ōkesutora). The Japanese egg-shaped key chain pet toy fad from the 1990s, Tamagotchi, is a portmanteau combining the two Japanese words tamago (たまご), which means "egg", and uotchi (ウオッチ) "watch". The portmanteau can also be seen as a combination of tamago (たまご), "egg", and tomodachi (友だち), which means "friend".

        Some Anime titles also are portmanteaus, such as Hetalia (ヘタリア). It came from Hetare (ヘタレ), which means "idiot", and Itaria (イタリア) which means Italy. Another example is Servamp, which came from the English words Servant (サーヴァント) and Vampire (ヴァンパイア).

        In Brazilian Portuguese, portmanteaus are usually slangs, some of them include:

        • Cantriz, from cantora (female singer) and atriz (actress), which defines women that both sing and act.[40][41]
        • In European Portuguese, portmanteaus are also used. Some of them include:

          • Telemóvel, which means mobile phone, comes from telefone (telephone) and móvel (mobile).[46]
          • Cantautor, which means Singer-songwriter, and comes from cantor (singer) and autor (songwriter).

          Spanish