A (B + C)

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

Phrasal overlap portmanteaus (POPs) come up on this blog again and again; they are expressions of the form A B C, where the three parts are all words or combining forms and where A + B and B + C are both words or phrases.

The Rhymes has a somewhat different way of combining three such elements: the first element is shared with each of the two others — factored out, as it were. That is, A + B and A + C are both words or phrases, in this case paranormal and paralegal, with the combining form para– factored out. The cartoon provides a context in which both expressions make sense.

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