Date: Fri, 24 Feb 95 00:12:20 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: portmanteaux (mo')
[Here's some more ginsu knife cookery with words. First I'll mention 2.5 of them:
1) Texarkana - many people will know there is an area on the Texas Arkansas
border called "Texarkana." Some will even know that there are two distinct
cities with that name (yup. one in Texas, one in Arkansas and both in
Texarkana). But how many people know that in the Digital Edition of Webster's
Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (that used to come with every NeXT computer),
Texarkana is defined as:
city NE Tex. adjacent to Texarkana, Ark. pop 31,271
I guess that's not a tautology, but which one has a population of 31,271?
2) kipe - I doubt this is an intentional portmanteau so much as a verbal
mid-stream horse change (from kind to type) but I don't suppose intent is
required for portmanteaux. Notwithstanding the prevalence of this word (I've
heard many people say it, some unknowingly) I think the unintentional
portmanteau is rarer since it must truly be found rather than crafted.
2.5) exuberant - as in "they were charging exuberant prices" - from exorbitant
and exuberant. ... I can see that raised eyebrow and skeptical glance...
well, okay, perhaps it isn't really a portmanteau, but the idea was to have a
setting that clearly required one word and then insert a different but similar
word to blend the meanings... Well, it helped establish me as a precocious kid, anyway.
Okay, here's some real ones...
From: Robert.Reynolds@directory.Reed.EDU (Robert Reynolds)
--- You wrote:
Tim Szeliga (nws.gov):
I wanted to reply to you "ex post hasto".
ex post facto + post-haste,
meaning, almost literally, "I want it mailed yesterday!"
--- end of quoted material ---
The Latineologism reminded me of an attorney acquaintance (they have no
friends) who, in a tight moment in court, said
"I want to make a motion 'el cathedro'," causing the judge to ask what he
meant. He whispered that it meant "What in the name of God do I do now?"
From: Anu Garg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Debbie Williams (wln.com) has informed about a dictionary she discovered,
_The Portmanteau Dictionary_ in the library where she works. She added,
"From the great Northwest we have SeaTac (submitted by Mr. Jeffrey Stone)
a blend of Seattle-Tacoma." Under the place names category we have many more
Mario Rups (brook.edu):
Friend of mine from Maine always claimed there were two sorts of people to
be found in that state: Mainiacs and Summer Complaints.
Brad Bigelow (radiomail.net):
These notes reminded me of the small (and now non-existent) town in Nebraska
where my grandfather was born: Ohiowa--founded by families from Ohio and Iowa.
Jim Walker (mv.com):
Taxachusetts which is inhabited by Massholes.
Charles Bennett (osf.org):
I grew up in Kenmore, NY, a suburb of Buffalo. As youth we referred to
ourselves as KenMorons.
Larian Johnson (more.net):
Consider my inlaws home, Arkanfar. That's when Arkansas is far away.
Brent D. Hauck (ksu.edu):
Some folks around these parts refer to our college town as
Manhappenin', since the college is located in Manhattan, KS & it sure is
a "happenin'" place.
And here are some other assorted portmanteaux:
Gerry Pang (nhrc.navy.mil):
Someone here was described as a sleasel - combination of sleazy and weasel!
(for some unknown reason, I wonder if Tailhook is a portmanteau. - anu)
Anna Welborne (nd.edu):
seku-haru from the words Sexual Harassment (which, when pronounced in
"Japanese" is sekujuaru harasumento) wapuro from Word Processor (waro purosesu)
I love this thread! It's so creative!
Jim Walker (mv.com):
gription - combination of grip and friction.
Wendy R Hawkins (intel.com):
Ok. Now I can't resist throwing in a family favorite referring to the activity
of our children as Christmas bears down upon us: "Christmas caroming".
David Powers (flinders.edu.au):
idiopathy: found in a student's "show cause" letter describing the idiocy and
apathy leading to his predicament.
Bill Nelson (ti.com):
When my brother, Dale, was small he always refered to something that was to
happen on the following morning as "tomorning" as in "I'll pick up my room
Robert Court (cityscape.co.uk):
A word used quite widely by economists here in the UK is stagflation.
It describes the economic condition where both stagnation and inflation
occur at the same time.
John Cipolla (neu.edu):
At the end of a recent discussion a colleague asked to bring up an
Colm Ryan (alcatel.fr):
Here's a popular portmanteau from German: Gestapo (Geheime Staats polizei).
And how about Sysadmin for system administrator, and Sysop for System operator,
in the computing domain?
Ann T. Mosconi (dla.mil)
My dad is fond of telling us he's going to "unlax". I believe this is his
word for Unwind and Relax. And my grandmother has come up with "regusting"
for something that is repulsive and disgusting. I might not have thought of
this but for the above reference, but this is very widesprevalent [oops, just
made one up :^)] in Spain where many common double names are combined e.g.
Maribel = Maria Isabel
Finally, a large number of people sent Spanglish (Spanish), Hinglish (Hindi),
Konglish (Korean), Japlish, Jinglish (both Japanese) and so on, used to
indicate informal English used by people in their respective countries.
Joung-woo John Kim (usc.edu) added, "I wonder if the unnatural Korean
used by Americans should be called Englirean."
from Lake Erie,
1. jog.gle \'ja:g-*l\ \'ja:g-(*-)lin\ \-(*-)l*r\ vb or jog.gling [freq. of
1jog] : to shake slightly : to have or go with a shaking or jerking motion
- jog.gler n
2. joggle n : JOG
3. joggle n [dim. of 3jog] 1: a notch or tooth in the joining surface of a
piece of building material to prevent slipping 2: a dowel for joining two
adjacent blocks of masonry
4. joggle \'ja:g-(*-)lin\ vt or jog.gling : to join by means of a joggle so
as to prevent sliding apart
"The wind didn't come from the orchard today
Further than that
Nor stop to play with the hay
Nor joggle a hat"
Interestingly, in juggling lingo "joggle" is used as a portmanteau
(jog+juggle) for juggling while jogging.
© 1995 Peter Langston