Portmansnow round 2

The latest round of monster snowstorms in the U.S. (affecting especially the Middle Atlantic states, but also the Middle West, and now the deep South) has set off another round of playful portmanteauizing. I experienced the recent round first on Jon Stewart’s show on the 10th (I’ve been in the hospital, and kind of out of things); Stewart considered the previous favorites for the name of such storms, snowpocalypse and snowmageddon, but rejected them in favor of the more outrageous Snowtorious B.I.G.Snowpocalypse and snowmageddon go back at least to 2005 storms (see Ben Zimmer’s snOMG column for these and other details). They were still popular during the 2008 storms; my snowmanteau posting at the time listed them as the favorites, plus snowtastrophe (and, from a commenter, Snowzilla). Now comes an avalanche of snowmanteaus.

I won’t attempt to list all the attested snowmanteaus; people are thinking them up by the dozen every day. Ben cites the entertaining Daily Portmanteau site with a sampling of snowmenclature, for instance Lake Snowbegone, snowmad (not snow + mad, but snow + nomad), and snovice. Ben adds snownamisnowverkill, and snowverload. There are many, many more.

And then, of course, you can find snowgasm, illustrating the recent trend for –gasm words, as in Geoff Pullum’s “Isms, gasms, etc.” posting, here.

5 Responses to “Portmansnow round 2”

  1. Kyle Says:

    If cable news has 47 words for “unusually large snowstorm”, then . . .

  2. danny blooming Says:

    did you hear “snowperbole”…..? somebody coined it on NYT blog

  3. -pocalypse « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

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