On the portmanteau watch

A bouquet of portmanteaus (and one libfix) recently noted, from crapvalanche to repuglican.

1. crapvalanche. From Season Taylor in Facebook:

Our linen cupboard is pretty much a neverending crapvalanche. [crap + avalanche]

which leads us to Christopher Waldrop’s note (of 9/8/09) on Count Longardeaux’s Strong Badian talkwords for saying from your mouth:

Straight from crapvalanche to pukevalanche

The perfect way to start the week: Strongbad introduces a dictionary that we can only wish was available in stores. If you want to be droppin’ your bad quotient quotables, check it out. It’s even booby-trapped with endless “see also” loops.

Because, as he explains, the problem with dictionaries is “there’s too many words and not enough butterscotch sauce.” I feel that way myself sometimes.

2. craptastic and craptacular. Crapvalanche leads to craptastic and craptacular. Craptastic (crap(py) + fantastic) is either the opposite of fantastic (‘really crappy’) or so crappy that it’s delightful (‘awesomely crappy’); the -tastic in it has become a libfix, with an entry (of 9/23/08) on Michael Quinion’s affix site. Craptacular (crap(py) + spectacular) is a Simpsonism:

Simpsons Origins: When Bart dissed Homer’s Christmas decorations as craptacular (“Miracle on Evergreen Terrace,” Dec. 21, 1997), the overused adjective crappy gained a cooler, more expressive synonym.

Real World Applications: This episode was the greatest thing to happen to crap enthusiasts since the word crap. Adding -tacular on the end of one of our favorite words opened doors we didn’t even know were in the house, and helped save the otherwise tame and boring crap from early retirement from the lexicon. With Bart’s help, a word that was considered by most to be completely overused was given a sparkling Renaissance and a substantially extended life expectancy. (link)

-tacular is clearly moving into libfix territory. But -tastic seems to have arrived there. Quinion’s entry:

Something outstanding, superb, or excellent.

[The ending of fantastic.]

This is a relatively recent colloquial formation, whose survival is as yet in doubt. The earliest example, still the most common, is poptastic, something superlative in pop music; others that have been formed on the same model (but which are much less common) include cybertastic, sextastic, and babetastic.

Let’s start with craptastic. This is all over the place. There’s the Craptastic website (where crap comes alive”), which offers all sorts of entertainingy crappy merchandise; the 2008 sketch-comedy film Craptastic; and more.

Then there’s wordtastic: the GOOD magazine Wordtastic site (Mark Peters); a Wordtastic site offering “fantastic wordshifting + DIY creativity”; a game app (“Wordtastic is a fast-paced word-making game with exciting action 
elements inspired by the arcade genre”); and, again, more.

And, on this blog: dude-tastic (“dude-tastic portmanteau wordplay”, here); awesometastic here:

Awesometastic looks like awesome with the libfix -tastic (though most of the -tastic examples have a noun as first element: carpet-tastic, scab-tastic, dicktastic, etc.). But then playful word formation is, well, inventive.

and the phallic -tastics (and -taculars and others), here:

The appearance of dicktionary in the product description reminded me of another family of portmanteau words: cocktacular, cocktastic, cockalicious; dicktacular, dicktastic, dickalicious (cock / dick + spectacular / fantastic / delicious). All are in the Urban Dictionary. Some of them have uses related to sex, but mostly they seem to be generically positive adjectives (with cock or dick in there purely as attention-getters).

and, again, more.

3. homosnacktuals. This is a wonderful sandwich portmanteau (snack inside homosexuals) from Stephen Colbert recently on the gay-flag Oreos (here and here).

4. hysteria words. Recently on this blog, Higgsteria (Higgs + hysteria). There are more, including massteria from The Music Man:

Shameless music that’ll grab our son and your daughter in the arms of a jungle, animal instinct – massteria! (link)

5. teahad(d)ist. A political portmanteau, teabag (as in teabag party) + jihad(d)ist. From Roy Calfas on Facebook

No Mittens [Mitt Romney], you can’t fire up the teahaddists because you were for it before you were against it, fool.

Both the double-d and the single-d versions are out there, though the single-d version is more frequent:

So, have been watching the corporate msm and have seen nothing, zip, zero about how it was the actions of the rethug/teahaddist economic terrorists that caused them to lower the rating. (link)

The teahaddist right has a strange view of “liberty.” (link)

Crazy Teahadist Republicans (link)

(On some other political portmanteaus, see here on Newtiny and here on Obamageddon and Barackalypse.)

6. rethug, rethuglican, repug, repuglican. Note rethug in the first cite of the three cites just above. This is a clipping of the portmanteau rethuglican (a sandwich portmanteau, thug inside Republican), with many ghits:

Alabama Rethuglican gets NZ lezzies preggers (link)

Parallel to these are repug, a clipping of the portmanteau repuglican (repugnant + Republican), both with many ghits:

Rachel Maddow: Repug Hypocrites Now “Against” Reconciliation (link)

(Wordnik has a bunch of repug cites.)

Having trouble understanding the Repuglican mind? Here’s help! (link)

Okay, there seems to be confusion about the term “repuglican” as often used here on FFFF. The term does not refer to a political party, but rather a personality type within the GOP. The Dems have their own version, no doubt, but since we are a red county we are stuck with the ‘pugs. (link)

Note a more general sense and a more specific sense. And the further clipping ‘pug.

That’s today’s crop.

3 Responses to “On the portmanteau watch”

  1. Greg Lee Says:

    I don’t think “massteria” is a good way to spell it, since it makes it sound like with “gonorrhea”, or perhaps the first syllable would have as little stress as the “mys-” in “mysterious”. But somehow you have to write it so that the “mass” and “ter” will be said with the same stress and rhythm as in the original “mass hysteria”. Maybe “mass-teria”.

  2. A cyberlanche « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] (The same thing is true of the title of this posting, where cybervalanche – see -valanche here – would have been possible, but cyberlanche is a bit better, because of the alternation of […]

  3. -licious sex | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] contribution of the combining element has been bleached to some degree, a point I expanded on in a 2012 posting on […]

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