Portmanteau are Everywhere

Portmanteau are Everywhere

Portmanteau: Language Mashups

When I was young, my friends and I were really close my senior year of high school. So much so, we even made up words to create a shared language only we understood. In truth, the words were created mostly to mask the illicit acts we were enjoying our final year of high school, and trying to hide. This vocabulary excluded all adults. The language was formed by putting two words, and their definitions, together to make a new one. It’s not that complicated, really. Now, it seems that portmanteau, mixtures or blends of words, are everywhere.

One of the most famous of all portmanteau is probably the word brunch, which is a combination of breakfast and lunch. It’s a meal that consists of a mix of breakfast and lunch food eaten at any time between the hours of breakfast and lunch. This also includes alcohol, or ‘adult beverages’. But there are many portmanteau like motel (motor and hotel) and smog (smoke and fog). Most of you are probably familiar with the term hangry, a combination of hungry and angry. According to Merriam Webster, hangry means ‘to be bad tempered or irritable due to hunger’. This is a great word because it explains that exact feeling. I’ve been hangry more times than I can count, usually when I travel or get stuck at Ikea on a Saturday.

I’m aware that some languages, like German, are creating new word mash ups all the time. The English language is growing in vocabulary, too, mostly due to the influence of technology in our daily work and social lives. For efficiency’s sake, we have shortened some words like totes for totally or ridic for ridiculous. There are also the infamous acronyms like WTF and LOL. Portmanteau are now joining in by helping to create new word blends to better describe our world. Like hangry, some of these new vocabulary words explain a complex emotion perfectly. Others are, well, less pertinent to our everyday lives.

10 New Portmanteau in English

angravated – angry and frustrated

  • I get so angravated every time I call customer service.

thungry – thirsty and hungry

  • I’ve been going non-stop all morning, I’m so thungry right now!

yasty – yummy and tasty

  • Those brownies she made are so yasty.

fingnature – a signature made with one’s fingertip on a touch screen

  • My fingnature never looks like my real signature.

horrideous  – horrendous and hideous

  • The unicorn frappuccino at Starbucks is absolutely horrideous.

famfie – a family selfie

  • Her Insta is full of famfie since she had a kid.

threekend – three day weekend

  • In Spain, they call a threekend a ‘bridge’.

funformative – a fun way of learning something informative

  • Classes are way more funformative when they use mixed media.

wext – walk and text at the same time

  • I’m such a klutz, I can’t wext without walking into something.

shideous – shameful and hideous

  • Some of those outfits that Miley Cyrus wore were downright shideous.

Whether or not these new words make it into the dictionary officially we will have to wait and see. But they can be fun to drop to see if people know them. Enjoy!