Reported yesterday on ADS-L by Steve Kleinedler (of the American Heritage Dictionary), the portmanteau aquapocalypse, referring to the disastrous water main break in the Boston area (just repaired) that had millions of people boiling their drinking water. Steve remarks that it’s lots of fun to say.
I asked Steve if he had other -pocalypse words, but he had only these two in his files so far, though he suggested that Grant Barrett might have more. And indeed, Grant has so far picked up two for his Double-Tongued Dictionary site: carpocalypse (based on car, not carp), here; and shopocalypse, here.
And he notes that a Google search with word-initial wildcarding — here — pulls up a whole lot more playful -pocalypse words, among them: E-Pocalypse (EP by Welsh pop punk band Kids in Glass Houses), text-pocalypse (that awful txtng), yo-pocalypse (frozen yoghurt), Taco-pocalypse (from Taco Bell), O-pocalypse (reaction brought on by Obama’s policies), pork-pocalypse (swine flu), eco-pocalypse, e-pocalypse (environment). Some of these maintain some reference to, or at least connotation of, actual or predicted distaster, but in others, what’s conveyed by -pocalypse is some kind of extravangance.
These coinings are beginning to straddle the line between portmanteaus (playful, to be sure, but portmanteaus nevertheless) involving the second part of apocalypse and words with a suffix-like element (a libfix) –pocalypse, like the -gate of coinings for the names of scandals, which is no longer (necessarily) connected to the original Watergate.