Archive for the ‘Libfixes’ Category


June 20, 2015

And the libfixes pour in. From Joel Berson on ADS-L yesterday, a report of ashvalanche ‘avalanche of ash’ (for two types of ash, with avalanche understood metaphorically). And that leads to plenty more examples of X-valanche.



May 26, 2015

Five years ago I took note of the Teapartyganza segments on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show in 2010 (there’s a set of videos of the shows here). At the time, I took the name to be a one-off playful portmanteau (Tea Party + extravaganza), so I didn’t post about it; if I tried to take note of every portmanteau that comes past me, I’d go nuts.

Then in 2014, Eleganza came past me in a Zippy: Eleganza Fashions, a business that still seems to be going, So then there were two.

This morning, I stumbled upon my Teapartyganza note and thought to check on –ganza nouns. Oh my, it’s clearly gone the familiar route from portmanteau element to libfix (conveying, roughly, ‘an event of considerable size, scope, or complexity’): a Libfix-A-Ganza, to use one of the spellings that’s become customary in these situations.


A panderthon

May 22, 2015

The cover of the June 2015 Funny Times, by Matt Wuerker:

What caught my eye was panderthon, (roughly) ‘an interminable occasion of pandering’, with the libfix -(a)thon. The word is especially associated with political pandering, as here.


From disaster to great spectacle

May 3, 2015

The news for yesterday, from Inside Edition:

Saturday is scheduled to be the biggest day ever in sports history with “The Fight of the Century,” [Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao] Kentucky Derby, the NBA and NHL playoffs, and the final day of the NFL Draft.

The New York Post is calling it “Sportsmaggedon.”

— using the libfix –maggedon, usually naming disasters, but here referring approvingly to a great spectacle. The disaster libfix –pocalypse has sometimes gone the same route: in my “The news for libfixes” of 1/14/13, there’s a rave for “Airpocalypse: America’s premier Air Band!”


In both cases, a semantic component of great size or significance is preserved, but the affective polarity of the word is reversed: bad becomes good.


Annals of (possible) libfixes: -abelia

April 17, 2015

In the April 20th New Yorker, a fascinating story of a lost, and eventually found, Tlingit totem pole, in the Our Far-Flung Correspondents category: “The Tallest Trophy: A movie star made off with an Alaskan totem pole. Would it ever return home?” by Paige Williams.

In the midst of this, a portmanteau, Barrymoreabelia, combining Barrymore [John Barrymore, the actor in question] and memorabilia: ‘Barrymore memorabilia’. I suspect that the element -abelia has been “liberated” as an affix of its own — a libfix — but this is very hard to test, given the existence of a plant, the flowering shrub abelia (which I’d been meaning to post about, but this isn’t the occasion).


Once -tastic, now -astic

January 20, 2015

A recent ad for Daedalus books, spotted in the latest issue of Harper’s magazine, and no doubt in other bookish publications:

The libfix -tastic, extracted from fantastic, has here been whittled down a bit further to -astic and tacked onto daedalus. (daedalustastic would have been possible, but daedalusastic is shorter and neater.)


Commercial playful morphology

September 10, 2014

In television commercials that recently came past me: yummify (and more) in a 5-hour ENERGY commercial; and waffulicious in an IHOP commercial.



April 5, 2014

In the news recently, stories about the chemical spill in West Virginia, now widely labeled the Aquapocalpse — with the libfix -pocalypse used in denoting a disaster, but not (as you might at first have thought) a flood, but instead a different type of watery disaster.


-gate news

January 12, 2014

The libfix -gate seems to be irresistible, trotted out for all sorts of public fusses; discussion here. Recent example, reported by Victor Steinbok on ADS-L:

According to MediaBistro, there’s now yet another -gate. Newly crowned NYC Mayor [Bill de Blasio] was caught on camera eating pizza with a fork, which is sacrilege in NYC. Appropriately, the affair has been dubbed “forkgate”, lack of coverup notwithstanding…

Like most -gate formations, this will surely be short-lived. Then Joel Berson suggested on ADS-L that Gate-gate is likely to come upon us,

for the scandalous way in which the former Secretary of Defense [Gates] has dissed the present VPOTUS

Previously coined for a silly British scandal involving David Cameron, detailed in 2012 here (among other places).

And then Larry Horn chimed in with some overlap portmanteaus involving -gate:


Brief morphological notes

December 14, 2013

Three recent items: robophobic, fungineering, fracktacular. Three sightinga, among many for each of these.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 853 other followers