Weekend portmanteau crop

Three combo innovations that came by me recently: atrociology (useful), Cuomosexual (entertaining), cheftestant (merely playful).

1. Atrociology. From Elizabeth Kolbert, “Peace in Our Time” (review of Steven Pinker’s The Better Angel of Our Natures), New Yorker 10/3/11, p. 76:

During the past couple of decades … there has been a surge of research on prehistoric mayhem, and Pinker’s claims grow out of a great deal of this recent work in what might be called atrociology.

In a classic atrociological study, …

This has truncated atrocity plus the combining form -ology. Only a few hits, most tracking right back to Kolbert’s review, plus a few YouTube comments apparently from the past year, for instance:

It is also a generally known fact to historians specialized on atrociology that the Poles murdered ca. 1500000 native Germans within Polish borders after both ww1 and ww2. (link)

In the 20th century many evil governments, of which the Nazi government was only one, killed according to an estimate 140 000 000 people, the Soviet, Japanese, Chinese, Nazi, Polish, Red Khmer, Vietnamese & c. governments included (see “Death By Government” by J.R. Rummel, an U.S. atrociologist). (link)

Notes; (1) Entertainingly, when you search for atrociology on Google, the search program suggests that you might have been looking for astrobiology instead; (2) “J.R. Rummel” turns out to be R.J. Rummel, who is often described as a “genocide expert”. From his Wikipedia entry:

Rudolph Joseph Rummel (born October 21, 1932, Cleveland, Ohio) is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii. He has spent his career assembling data on collective violence and war with a view toward helping their resolution or elimination. Rummel coined the term democide for murder by government, his research claiming that six times as many people died of democide during the 20th century than in all that century’s wars combined. He concludes that democracy is the form of government least likely to kill its citizens and that democracies do not wage war against each other

(I threw that in for the sake of the coinage democide, a fortuitous find.)

2. Cuomosexual. This one I missed when it first burst into the news back in June, when same-sex marriage came to New York State, pushed hard by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. A hilarious Colbert Report segment on “The Cuomosexual Agenda” can be found here.

The portmanteau was probably inevitable; the two contributors overlap so nicely. I came across it in the Advocate for October 2011, in a column of  feedback (p. 8), full of praise, from readers about its September cover interview with Cuomo:

But even Cuomosexuals wanted to remind us of his historical roots [making reference to Deval Patrick and Barbara Jordan]

3. Cheftestant. From the Zagat website:

What are your favorite Top Chef stars up to these days? Besides starring in talk shows and product endorsements, some are even getting around to opening restaurants. Check out our list of 12 cheftestant-helmed eateries coming to a town near you. (link)

Of clearly limited utility, mostly used as a display of cleverness, along with helmed. (Hat tip to Victor Steinbok on ADS-L.)

One Response to “Weekend portmanteau crop”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Billy Green on Google+:

    My personal recent favorite is “proselytute” (someone who gets paid to push a political or religious agenda under the guise of reporting news). As far as I know, I coined it. I’ve never heard anyone else say it.

    As it turns out, it seems to have been invented several times in this sense (to judge from googling).

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