Portmanteaus: The Sharp tv ads

Alerted by Victor Steinbok, I went to view recent ads for very very big Sharp LCD tvs. These spot ads (easily available on-line) describe the sets as viewmongous, as magnormous, and as spectacularge. The first and last of these are especially satisying portmanteaus phonologically: view + humongous giving viewmongous, spectacular + large giving spectacularge.

Magnormous is a somewhat looser combination: enormous, obviously, plus a first element that suggests any one of a number of ample magn- words (magnificent, magnified, magnitude, magnanimous, magnate, etc.); maybe magn- is on its way to libfixhood (think Magnavox).

Magnormous might also have a hint in it of ginormous, itself a portmanteau of gigantic and enormous — and at least 60 years old. The OED2 entry says:

Etymology:  < gi- (in gigantic adj.) + -normous (in enormous adj.).
Very large, simply enormous; excessive in size, amount, etc. (esp. in comparison with one’s expectation).
[cites beginning: 1948    in Partridge Dict. Forces’ Slang.]

The humongous in viewmongous is also some kind of combo, though not  a straightforward two-part portmanteau. From the OED additions series of 1993:

Forms:  Also humungous.
Etymology:  Of uncertain origin: probably a factitious adjective coined on -ous suffix, influenced by hugeous adj., monstrous adj., and perhaps the stress-patterns of stupendous adj., tremendous adj., etc.
slang (orig. U.S.).
Extremely large; huge, enormous.
[cites beginning: 1970    Current Slang (Univ. S. Dakota) IV. 19   Humongous, very large (a combination of huge and tremendous).]

Made-up words are not always neat and clean combinations of parts of existing words; they often have elements from identifiable contributors, but also sound-symbolic bits with no clearly discernible sources.

(Notice that a simple portmanteau of huge and tremendous would give humendous, but that’s not nearly as large-sounding as humongous, with its /a/ and its velar nasal.)

[Bonus portmanteau involving humongous: the entertaining Jewmongous, in the Sean Altman album Jewmongous: Unkosher Comedy Songs (link).]

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