April 08, 2009

Portmanteau or Blending in English language

Portmanteau is a blend of two words that makes a new word combining elements of both words.  In the internet, media and literary creations like Novels this has become a trend and many such words have gained wide expectance solely for their easy usability.  Now twitter is one of the highly used website and as twitter message happens to be as small as 140 characters, blending or shortening has become the norms.  As all the messages are available in the public time line those blended words by and by have become accepted terms.  Twiout, twiton, twitsend, have entered into the vocabularies of twitter users (twitterians.) Blending not only beautifies but also takes less space in other words takes less of characters and speaks the things effectively.  Portmanteau word was first used by Lewis Caroll in ‘Alice through the looking Glass’ in 1872.
By and by those words have made inroad into popular dictionaries and have blended in such a way that some go pass as original words.  Let’s look some of those terms.
Advertainment: Advertisement and Entertainment.
Aerocade: Aero plane and motorcade.
Ampicillin: Amino and Penicillin.
Bash: Bang and smash.
Because: by and cause.
Bit: binary and digit.
Bleep: blackout and beep.
Blotch: blot, botch.
Blurt: blow, spurt
Breathalyzer: breath plus analyzer.
Brunch: breakfast and lunch.
Bumble: bungle and stumble.
Camcorder: camera and recorder.
Chortle: chuckle, snort.
Chump: chunk+ lump.
Cineplex: cinema, complex.
Clash: clap+ crash.
Ditsy: dizzy and dotty.
Docusoap: documentary and soap opera.
Doddle: dodder and toddle.
Drice: dry and ice.
Dumbfound: dumb and confound.
Email: electronic mail.
Emoticon: emotion and icon.
Faction: fact and fiction.
Fantabulous: fantastic and fabulous.
Flare: flame and glare.
Flop: flap and drop.
Flurry: flutter and hurry.
Fortnight: fourteen + nights.
Freeware: free and software.
Genome: gene and chromosome.
Ginormous: Gigantic and enormous.
Glaze: glare and gaze.
Glimmer: gleam and shimmer.
Glitz: glamour+ ritz.
Goodbye: God be with ye.
Goon: gorilla and baboon.
Guesstimate: guess and estimate.
Hi-tech: high technology.
Humongous: huge and monstrous.
Infomercial: information and commercial.
Insinuendo: insinuation and innuendo.
Intercom: internal and communication.
Jamboree: jam+ soiree.
Malware: malicious +software.
Medicare: medical plus care.
Modem: modulator and demodulator.
Moped:  motor and pedal.
Motel: motor and hotel.
Motorcade: motor and cavalcade.
Multiplex: multiple and complex.
O’clock: of the clock.
Oxbridge: Oxford and Cambridge.
Pang: Pain and sting.
Pixel: picture and element.
Podcast: Ipod casting.
Pulsar: pulsating and star.
Sitcom: situational comedy.
Slang: slovenly language.
Smash: smack and mash.
Smog: smoke and fog.
Stagflation: stagnation and inflation.
Swipe: wipe and sweep.
Transistor: transfer and resistor.
Travelogue: travel and monologue.
Tween: teen between.
Twiddle: twist fiddle.
Waddle: wade and toddle.
Wi-Fi: wireless and fidelity.
Workaholic: work plus alcoholic.
Electoronic is a word that has led to many terms beginning with E like E-paper, E-tender, E-government, E-transfer and many others.
Similarly, we have got words like chatothon or anything ending with thon. (thon taken from marathon) That is long, huge can be described as that thing with -thon suffix.  Holic is also such a suffix taken from Alcoholic.  Too much obsessed are usually described by the –holic suffix, like workaholic, chocoholic etc. 
Interestingly, many of the above given words are not being underlined by Microsoft Word that show their acceptance.  Words like smog, because, goodbye, o’clock has got such wide acceptance that we cannot know about their blending.  This is the living nature of English language. 
Next time we will analyze the shortening or abbreviating trend of English language users.  Remember, the shortening has also contributed to the English vocabulary.  In blending it take two words but shortening takes single word to cause a new term. 
Thank you.


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