Archive for the ‘Portmanteaus’ Category

One more VDay posting

February 14, 2017

Today’s Steam Room Stories is about “straight guys giving gay gifts”: what does a straight guy give as a Valentine’s Day gift to his best buddy, who happens to be gay? Two straight guys with this question talk together about it in the steam room, each explaining to the other what he proposes to say to his gay bro. You can watch the video here.



February 9, 2017

Two cartoons about/with portmanteaus: a One Big Happy and a Zippy:



smad about having to dwipe. In #1, Ruthie invents portmanteaus to suit her condition: sad + mad, dust + wipe.

The Zippy is more complex. First, the Sharknado films (with the portmanteau sharknado = shark + tornado) are old stuff on this blog, though I don’t recall having seen the shark-headed surfer image (a hybrid being to accompany the portmanteau) before. But the title duditude = dude + attitude was new to me — though the word has a fair presence on the net.

The focus of the strip, however, isn’t on portmanteaus, but on shifts in slang fashions (in white middle-class American speakers, I’d guess): on the claimed spread of awesome (at the expense of great) and the claimed decline of cool. Google Ngram shows no such changes in books (though great has been declining overall for some time), but of course the claim is about informal speech and writing. I haven’t checked the relevant COCA material, but my subjective impression — and it is only that — is that the first claim is broadly accurate while the second is dubious. (On the other hand, the second claim might be broadly accurate for young speakers.)

POP + Pun

January 29, 2017

Yesterday’s Mother Goose and Grimm:


A POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) incorporating a pun: Betty Crocker (see below) + cocker spaniel (the dog breed), with Crocker / cocker in the middle.



January 29, 2017

On ADS-L recently, some discussion of verbings of the noun bro: to bro down, to bro it up, to de-bro. It started on the 27th with Jon Lighter reporting on a recent occurrence of bro down ‘become (male) friends’ on the Fox TV show Sleepy Hollow, in the episode “Heads of State”:

Now that we’re neighbors, we can bro down, hang out, Chill-doh Baggins.


A New Yorker POP

January 4, 2017

In the current (January 9th) New Yorker, a Paul Noth cartoon with a cute POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau):


The book title Stranger in a Strange Land overlapped with Land’s End catalog (referring to a catalog for the Land’s End clothing stores [note added later: the company name is actually Lands’ End]). And illustrated with a combination of typical model figures from the catalogs and a figure from the cover of one of the editions of the book.


Two POPs

November 20, 2016

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

Hilary Price is enormously fond of POPs (phrasal overlap portmanteaus). Here we get:

gingerbread house + house of correction = gingerbread house of correction


No cigar

November 17, 2016

In the November 21st New Yorker, this trio of food products that aim towards cigarhood but fall short:

The play is on the American idiom (attested since the 1930s) close but no cigar (with several variants), used to say that someone has come close to success but doesn’t quite reach the goal, and so fails to win the prize for success — fails to win the metaphorical cigar. In Chitty’s cartoon, cigarhood is, absurdly, the actual goal of repurposing food.


Montage montage

October 29, 2016

(Plenty of language stuff, about English and French, but also quite a bit about man-man sex, sometimes in very plain language, so use your judgment.)

Over on AZBlogX, the posting “A fucktage”, with an ad flyer for a Falcon Studios sale, a montage of fuck scenes from four recent releases. A small WordPressable sample from this scrum of bodies and body parts, with especially notable facial expressions:

The portmanteau fucktage (accented, like montage, on the second syllable) is my take-off point here, for musings about montage, mounting sexually, pederasty, gay slang, and children’s songs.



October 20, 2016

… choosing words as trademarks. NOAD2 on trademark:

a symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product

Such words often come with associations to existing words, or parts of words, in the language, and sometimes there are official origin stories that invoke these associations, though the official stories often just scratch the surface of the full set of associations.

Which brings me back to my posting of the 16th on the Parisian home furnishing company FLEUX’ (and its mascot, Zwicky le Chat): where does the company name come from? (and why is the cat named Zwicky?)


More Zwicky postings

October 17, 2016

There’s now a Page on this blog for things Zwicky (besides me): postings about people named Zwicky and things named Zwicky. In recognition, an assortment of things not already posted: on museli, a fanciful derivation of the surname (on a t-shirt), a low-budget mystery film, a Quebec eco-activist, and a Zwicky cheese man who’s moved from America’s Dairyland to serving the Big Apple.