Dingo the Dissident

DINGO THE DISSIDENT : Qweir Notions in the Anus of Diogenes, weBlog of a nearly-octogenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Monday, 7 September 2020

This is the age of the portmanteau word,

one of the most ubiquitous being internet - which includes spam
(originally spiced ham in cans, a cheap-meat standby) - and which
would not have come into being without the transistor (transfer+resistor).
    Lewis Carroll invented several, but only chortle (snort+chuckle)
and possibly slithy (slimy+lithe) has entered common speech.
As with Lear and his limericks, Carroll's inventions were poor,
but since his time more-felicitous, less-manufactured portmanteau-words
have entered the language, among them: mizzle (mist+drizzle), smog (smoke+fog)
ruckus (ruction+rumpus), seascape (sea+landscape), soundscape,
sitcom (situation-comedy) and newscast.
    More recently: horrible Brexit (succeeding Grexit)
at which many word-sensitive souls like myself futilely grumble,
chugger (charity-collector + mugger), churgle (chuckle+gurgle),
brunch, and my favourites: flump (jump+flop),  thrumble (thrum+rumble)
and cremains (cremated remains of a mammal, usually human).
    I have of course invented my own: the delicious plumble (plum+crumble)
and, from snore/snort+gargle, to snore throatily rather than nasally - to snorgle.

    Note that the best of the portmanteau words end in -le.
I think that to toddle may well be a portmanteau of totter and dawdle or waddle...

    Portmanteau is not a portmanteau word, because no other words have been truncated.  It is an early example of franglais, coming from the hyphenated porte-manteau (=cloak-carrier).

Meanwhile, at the moment,
in the francosphere there is a sort of chronic diarrhœa (diarrhée) of franglais, or franglarrhée
which could fill a fair-sized booklet...hmmm...]

1 comment:

Marcus Billson said...

The linguistic dominance of US English among European youth is appalling. There is no longer a lingua franca, rather it is a lingua Americana. I remember meeting graduate students at Brown University in the fall of 1968, where every one of us, all American, whether studying physics, math, economics, or literature, spoke only in French.