Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions in the Armpit of Diogenes by DINGO the DISSIDENT 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...]

2 comments:

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.

Wofl said...

...So there I was, contemplating Oxbridge connections between Tanzania and Eurasia while eating my brunch waiting for the mizzle to clear, refudiating frankenwords such as Microsoft and Velcro...