Commercial playful morphology

In television commercials that recently came past me: yummify (and more) in a 5-hour ENERGY commercial; and waffulicious in an IHOP commercial.

yummify etc. On this site, a commercial exhorting us to “Yummify your 5-hour ENERGY” (and prominently featuring a lumberjack, presumably because lumberjacks are really energetic). In addition to yummify and yummification, we get the playful portmanteaus yummbelievable, yummazing, and yummtastic.

A note on the product, from Wikipedia:

5-hour Energy (stylized as 5-hour ENERGY) is a flavored “energy shot” brand made by Living Essentials in Wabash, Indiana, whose parent firm is Innovation Ventures in Farmington Hills, Michigan…The company states that the product is not approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration, is vegetarian and certified Kosher, and contains no sugar or herbal stimulants. [But it has plenty of caffeine, apparently.]

Three states – Oregon, Vermont, Washington – filed lawsuits accusing 5-Hour Energy’s makers of deceptive marketing.

Now, yummify: a playful formation, yummy + -ify, giving a causative ‘ make yummy’ or ‘make more yummy’. From Urban Dictionary, from JillFit on 10/16/13:

To make a traditionally bland, plain or gross food product or item more delicious.

And on yummy, from NOAD2:

informal adj. (of food)  delicious: yummy pumpkin cakes.

  • highly attractive and desirable: I scooped up this yummy young man.

ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from yum + -y.

Going back to yum:

informal exclam. used to express pleasure at eating, or at the prospect of eating, a particular food.

ORIGIN late 19th cent.: imitative.

That is, imitative of a sound (some) people make when enjoying food.

waffulicious. At the IHOP (International House of Pancakes) site for Belgian waffles,some picked out as waffulicious waffles ‘especially tasty waffles’, with the libfix -(V)licious, extracted from portmanteaus of the form X + delicious.

A note on spelling. The intention of the commercial’s creators was clearly that the word should have four syllables, preserving the syllabic l of waffle (as schwa + /l/). So WAFFLICIOUS wouldn’t do, because that would be pronounced with three syllables. WAFFLEICIOUS would work, but the medial EI is awkward. What we want is WAFFL- plus –V-LICIOUS, for some vowel letter V: WAFFALICIOUS, WAFFELICIOUS, WAFFLILIOUS, WAFFLOLICIOUS, WAFFULICIOUS. WAFFOLICIOUS is probably a bad choice, because the O could be pronounced /o/ (rather than schwa), as in dyn-o-mite!. The creators probably went with U as representing schwa most effectively.

But then -(V)licious. Previous postings on the libfix (the first two are the most important):

AZ on Language Log 9/4/06: “-Vlicious invention”

BZ on Language Log 9/5/06: “The surreptitious history of –licious”

AZ on Language Log 3/1/07: “Get Fuzzy gets playful”

ML on Language Log 9/10/09: “Schadenfreudelicious”

AZ on Language Log 12/11/09: “Liciousness”

AZ on this blog 6/11/13: “-licious sex”, on twinkalicious and its variants

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