Pejorative portmanteaus

Victor Steinbok writes to tell me of ESPN’s use of DisAstros to refer to the Houston Astros (a National League baseball team, which, deliciously, plays in Minute Maid, formerly Enron, Park). That’s disaster/disastrous + Astros. A pejorative portmanteau.

It’s not just ESPN; thousands of people use the expression about the down-at-the-bottom-of the-league Astros — ruefully, sadly, angrily, whatever. There’s even a website:

News and Views from Astros Planet (link)

(Among other uses: an album by the English singer-songwriter Sonny J. (link).)

So: are there other portmanteaus with a pejorative noun or adjective plus a proper name (not necessarily in sports). I’m sure I’m forgetting some obvious ones — so remind me!


5 Responses to “Pejorative portmanteaus”

  1. Ben Zimmer Says:

    This happens all the time in baseball, especially when there’s a heated rivalry. So the Red Sox = Red Sux, Dead Sox, Red Cocks, Joke Sox, etc. The Yankees = Stankees, Skankees, Spank-mes, Yank-mes, Bankees, etc. Plenty more here.

  2. Orion Montoya Says:

    The pretty old nickname for the Dominican order: “Domini Canes” (God’s Dogs), has been used to refer to both their loyalty and their inquisitorial doggedness.

  3. Victor Steinbok Says:

    The only reason I caught the DisAstros during the broadcast is because it made me think of the Ain’ts–not quite a portmanteau, but addition by subtraction. One problem seems to be–including most of the Red Sox examples–is that the whole word tends to be replaced rather than merged. One such example was the pre-Manning Colts–the Dolts. Many a tabloid back page had that in a headline. Similarly, British tabloids have daily fun with the football teams, which have both official and unofficial nicknames to consider. But one really has to be a die-hard fan to recall many of these. I’m not a fan–at least not one who reads all available information about a team.

  4. djmetevia Says:

    Saginaw, MI is pejoratively referred to as Saginasty.

  5. Andy Hollandbeck Says:

    One obvious one comes to mind: Palin’s “lamestream media.”

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