Libfix fun: -cation

From Victor Steinbok ten days ago, the innovation girlcation ‘a vacation with the girls, i.e., with female friends’, following on the widely reported mancation, both of these suggesting a new libfix that started with straightforward portmanteaus (staycation and daycation) involving vacation.

Steinbok’s girlcation sighting:

We know, we know: Talking it out with the guy you love sounds considerably less fun than hooking up with a total hottie on your girlcation. (link)

Plenty more around, like this one:

My ‘Girlcation” …was just what I needed. I took a break from home and work to go to Fl to visit my sisters to blow off a little steam and relax. (link)

Back to the original portmanteaus, discussed by Ben Zimmer in a 2008 Word Route column, “The Summer of the Staycation””:

Daycation and staycation are obvious blends because they replace the first syllable of vacation but maintain the long-a vowel sound. One could just as easily coin words like praycation [see below] or oyveycation to describe different kinds of vacations. I’ve also seen breakation (a three- or four-day trip away from the kids) and paycation (getting paid to go on vacation). The more general pattern of X-cation (not necessarily rhyming with vacation) has cropped up as well, perhaps most notably in mancation — a vacation for male friends away from their significant others (popularized by the 2006 romantic comedy, “The Breakup”).

There’s a Wikipedia entry on staycation, a Virtual Linguist posting on staycation (which cites Urban Dictionary on the playful staygaytion ‘staying at home and watching gay films’), and one on daycation; these sources add naycation ‘not going anywhere on vacation’.

Other rhyming innovations abound. There’s gaycation: many cites, for instance:

a Gaycation website with a list of “travel escapes” for gay travelers (from Athens, Greece, to Toronto, Ontario)

Gaycations: Top Gay Travel Websites (link)

And graycation (in several senses):

You’ve heard of staycations. How about graycations? That’s a term that the Brits are using for travel with grandparents. Of course, they spell it greycation. (link)

Graycation Getaways site, offering senior travel deals (link)

And, yes, praycation:

Praycation – A Spiritual Journey (link)

Praycation: We spent this last weekend on a retreat with our church at the Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center in Lake Tahoe. (link)

Plus piles of deliberate inventions on several sites, including this one and this oneoblication ‘a trip to visit relatives you don’t really want to visit’, oyveycation (“Had enough of your nagging parents (“tateh-mameh”)?  It’s time for an oyveycation.”), spraycation (visit to the local fire hydrant), flaycation (trip to have your skin torn off), braycation (travel with a group of mules and asses), raycation (stealing away to the beach), laycation (getting laid), baycation (howling at the moon), and many more. (Some of the formations suggested waggishly turn out to have been used in earnest, though playfully.)

On to the non-rhyming formations, like mancation and girlcation. Some of these have been invented in more than one sense:

boycation: cites for it in the sense ‘a vacation with the boys’ (beer, golf, poker, meat, etc.), roughly mancation; ‘a vacation from boys’ (here); and others

homecation ‘vacation in someone’s home’ (“A British ‘Homecation’ holiday is the latest style of vacation to be marketed to the US -A home away from home vacation presents endless opportunities to meet real Brits and reap money saving tips in England, Scotland and Wales.” (link)); and ‘staycation/daycation’ (“I’m too poor to go on a vacation so I declared last Friday through today to be my HOMEcation.” (link))

sexcation: Sexcation site (link) ( ‘a trip taken by a man (group of men, a woman-famously: “How Stella got her Groove Back,” or group of women) to a resort for the purposes of sex with professionals’; also more generally, ‘a vacation to engage in sex’; or ‘a vacation from sex’

kidcation: ‘a vacation with kids’ (to Disneyland, for example); or ‘a vacation free from kids’

seniorcation: ‘a vacation for high school seniors'; or ‘a vacation for senior citizens’ (cf. graycation above)

A few more non-rhyming examples:

traincation ‘a vacation by train’ (“Fuelled by the popularity of the ‘staycation’… and with high-speed rail networks now touching all corners of Europe, rail travel is a more viable travel option with Brits embarking on an increasing number of flight-free holidays, monikered ‘traincations’.” (quote from Global Cool) (link))

fuckcation ‘a vacation for fucking’ ([from a woman] Well, my fuckcation is coming to an end, I have a long day of travel ahead of me. It’s all bitter sweet, like many things. Yes yes yes! I was fucked properly, … (link); Here’s a post about a major evangelical anti-gay leader going on a fuckcation with a male prostitute. (link))

dickcation ‘a vacation from dick’ ([female writer] Well now I have what is called my cherryversary where every year since 2005, I have had sex on my birthday. Last year, unlike my first time, I had the best sex EVER. Unfortunately I won’t be celebrating this year as I am on a dickcation. Maybe next year. . . (link)) [cherryversary is just lagniappe]

(Presumably, fuckcation could have the meaning given above for dickcation, and vice versa.)

In under ten years, -cation has spread wildly, from its portmanteau beginnings to a libfix available for describing all sorts of vacations for, and vacations from. Popular lexical inventiveness flourishes.


5 Responses to “Libfix fun: -cation”

  1. Stan Says:

    I like the idea of a holiday spent howling at the moon, but to me baycation just suggests a vacation by or in a bay.

    Word Spy recently reported on fake-ation. It has several spellings and meanings; I described it in this article along with a couple of my own coinages: straycation, which I found already in use (example), and halfwaycation, which is surely bound for obscurity.

    A curious one I spotted in a local newspaper last year is selfcation, a self-catering vacation. Original post and further discussion and nonce-cations (or nonse-cations?) here.

    Please excuse the barrage of links. I will try to make my next comment while on link-cation.

  2. Portmanteau spawns libfix « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    [...] -cation: Now, going back a bit, there’s -cation (based on vacation), here. [...]

  3. Inventory of libfix postings « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    [...] 19. POST -cation AZBlog, 4/15/11: Libfix fun: -cation (link) [...]

  4. fantastication « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    [...] staycation and other -cation ’vacation’ words, see here.) Fantasy and vacation (or staycation) don’t combine easily, but fantastic works fine instead [...]

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