Data points: portmanteaus 8/8/10

From  Tad Friend’s “California Postcard: Pot 101” piece in the New Yorker‘s Talk of the Town section, 8/9/10:

The university’s [Oaksterdam University in Oakland CA, which “aims to reposition pot-smoking as both a civil right and as the stuff of empire”] founder, president, and horticulture professor is Richard Lee, who also owns seven local enterprises that have helped revitalize the once derelict neighborhood, five of them so-called “canna-businesses.” (p. 22)

This is an overlap portmanteau, in fact a telescoping: cannabis business > canna-business, with the -bis of cannabis truncated by the overlap with business.

Respectable number of ghits, with all three spellings (solid cannabusiness, hyphenated canna-business, separated canna business) represented in the mix. Here, for example, you can find Stoner Magazine (U.K.) — “Your Cannabis Culture Magazine” — with its Canna Business Directory (listing head/hydroponic shops in England and Scotland, but not Wales or Northern Ireland, plus the Netherlands and Switzerland).

[Though you might not see this right away, head shop is an ordinary (type O) N+N compound, when understood as ‘shop for heads’, with modifying N head ‘pothead, person who enjoys marijuana’. Hydroponic shop, however, is a type X Adj+N composite, since the Adj hydroponic in it is non-predicating, but is instead interpreted via the plural N hydroponics ‘equipment for growing plants hydroponically’).]

2 Responses to “Data points: portmanteaus 8/8/10”

  1. ShadowFox Says:

    And here I thought you were going to explore “Oaksterdam” as a portmanteau… Well, perhaps not, unless you have “Oakster” in your vocabulary for some aspect of Oakland life.

    Note the history–which is pretty close to what I thought of when I first saw the name.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    To ShadowFox: yes, a little bit of Amsterdam in Oakland.

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