11 Portmanteaus I Did Not Know Were Portmanteaus – 英会話・英語 アミック
Recently I’ve been enjoying teaching my students about portmanteaus. These are similar to compound words (light + house= lighthouse), but the difference is that some letters get cut out from one or both of the words.
Some simple and obvious portmanteaus would be cheeseburger (cheese + hamburger), smog (smoke + fog), and newscast (news + broadcast).
In my research for these lessons I came across several other words that I had no idea were portmanteaus:
- botox= botulism + toxin
- electrocute= electric + execute
- endorphin= endogenous + morphine
- fortnite= fourteen + nights
- gerrymandering= Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry + the perimeter of a districts he created resembled a salamander
- Microsoft= microcomputer + software
- napalm= naphthene + palmitate
- Skype= sky + peer-to-peer
- snark= snide + remark
- Verizon= veritas (Latin for “truth”) and horizon
- vitamin= vita + amine
Perhaps even more interesting is that the name for this lexical phenomenon came from none other than Lewis Carrol, author of the Alice in Wonderland books. That’s what I call surpascinating.