An accumulation of portmanteau words from the past year and a half: from jeggings to lapformer.

1. From Erin McKean in the Boston Globe of 4/4/10 on “Fashion nonsense”:

… jeggings (jean leggings), the swancho (a sweater/poncho hybrid), and shootie (it’s a boot! it’s a shoe! it’s really ugly!)

2. On the website for the tv show Glee:

That’s Glee + geek, a portmanteau that won the American Dialect Society competition for 2010 Word of the Year in the (new) “fan word” category (the clipping app was the overall WOTY winner).

Also in the “fan word” competition were the portmanteaus belieber (or Belieber) ‘fan of pop singer Justin Bieber’ (Bieber + believer) and Twihard ‘fan of the “Twilight” books and movies’ (Twilight + diehard).

3. Frank Rich in a NYT op-ed piece of 5/23/10, “The ‘Randslide’ and its Discontents”:

The “Randslide,” in the triumphalist lingo favored by Sean Hannity at Fox News, was the Tea Party’s first major election victory.  [Rand Paul’s wide-margin victory in the Republican senatorial primary in Kentucky: Rand + landslide]

4. Me in a posting, “Indecency”, on 7/8/11:

… leading to an extraordinary medialanche of coverage. [media + avalanche]

On Facebook, Joel B. Levin thanked me for the word, to which I replied:

I invented medialanche on my own, but I wasn’t the first; there are a few earlier uses of the portmanteau.

Independent invention or discovery is quite common, especially in contexts like this one, where inventions are easy and natural.

5. E-mail from Federico Escobar yesterday, with two portmanteaus:

First, meanderthal (someone who meanders on the phone like a Neanderthal). Urban Dictionary has it since 2006, but Laurie Taylor chuckled to it a few weeks ago on Thinking Allowed, and it was admittedly funny.

Second, lapformer. I heard this from a friend. Her laptop has been repaired so many times, using pieces from so many different computers, that it has become a lapformer (laptop + Transformer). I tried to find it in cyberspace, but all the search results keep getting blackholed by some kind of weaving machine. She may indeed be the first to coin it.


One Response to “Portmanthology”

  1. Listen & Learn » Blog Archive » Portmanteaus Says:

    […] Arnold Zwicky’s blog has a list of some portmanteau words from the last year and a half: […]

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