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  LOGOLOG
a weblog of wordplay by Eric Harshbarger

Too clever by half...

So, during my wordplay and puzzle research lately, I came across the word PORTMANTEAU. Lewis Carroll coined the usage of this word to mean a word which is formed by the combination of two or more other words (until then a 'portmanteau' had simply been a traveling bag or purse). One of Carroll's most famous examples of a portmanteau is SLITHY (SLIMY + LITHE).

More moderm examples include:

  • SMOG (SMOKE + FOG)
  • CYBORG (CYBERNETIC + ORGANISM)
  • BLAXPLOITATION (BLACK + EXPLOITATION)
  • FANZINE (FAN + MAGAZINE)

The celebrity gossip tabloids have recently picked up on the habit of creating portmanteaux (or 'blends' as they are more commonly, but more boringly, called these days by linguists). For better or worse, much of the population , at one time, knew that "Bennifer" referred to the celebrity of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, and now "Bradjelina" is now the moniker assigned to the couple of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (nor should we overlook TomKat (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes)).

These combinations of actor and actress names really make me cringe, but... BUT... it has allowed me to come up with an portmanteau of my own. A sort of meta-portmanteau. A word which, I think, should be used to describe these specific blends of actors names into one name.

I think they should be referred to as [drumroll...]:

Natalieportmanteaux

Too clever by half, indeed.

-- Eric

[20 March 2007]
   
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Comments about this article:
I like spanglish...

Posted by: Claude


It's actually "Brangelina" not "Bradjelina" -- and I think I'm going to shoot myself for knowing that.

Posted by: Karen


*bangs head on desk*

I should've seen that coming, but somehow I didn't.

Posted by: pat j


Odd that you don't mention BLOG (of web log) on your very own version of the portmanteaux.

Posted by: Aaron Sneary


 
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