Tag Archives: portmanteau

Snowonder there aren’t more

Last winter, here on the East Coast, we witnessed the formation of clever and catchy weather portmanteaus. Remember portmanteaus? We discussed them last summer. Remember summer?

Portmanteau is a term Lewis Carroll coined to describe the combining of the sound and meaning of two words into one.

Before the first crocus sprang in 2010, we were all a little tired of the cutesy winter snowmenclature—Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon, SnOMG.


Last week, during our extensive power outage, I made up one of my own:  electrocity. It didn’t catch on. Yesterday, a friend turned me on to a new catch word for the nasty stuff that’s lining our streets these days: snirt.

This morning’s paper has a story of a burglar living in one of the Maryland neighborhoods hit by the power outage. After having hit up several houses and stolen thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, he found a house that had power and broke in. When he realized he was about to get caught, he fled through a window, leaving his cell phone charging in an outlet. I’d call this electrostupurglary.

Snoway we can’t come up with more of these.

Now that we know officially that we won’t be having six more weeks of winter, there’s not much time to come up with more seasonal portmanteaus and get them out of our frigid systems.



Filed under All Things Wordish

The great outdoors

Every year, as the crispness of autumn begins to creep around the bend, my husband’s thoughts turn to camping.

He goes several times a year with friends and loves it. He even cooks. I used to go occasionally, and our friends always went out of their way to make sure I had a pleasant time. But honestly, camping isn’t my idea of vacation time well spent. For one thing, all that sitting around gives me the jitters. And did you ever try to go shopping in a campground store?

It’s cliché to say that my idea of camping is a Holiday Inn, but I will say that comfort and cleanliness rank fairly high.

I do appreciate that camping is a valid low-cost vacation option, especially in this economic climate.

It seems that another popular way Americans save money is by taking a—pardon the portmanteau—staycation. You know, it’s where you take time off from work but don’t leave town. Instead, you might lie by the pool or visit attractions near your home.

I opened the Travel section of The Washington Post yesterday and learned of yet another increasingly popular, affordable—and portmanteau-named—getaway option. This one might just bring my husband and me a little closer to agreement, and fit within our budget at the same time.

The Post called it “glamping.” The article takes readers to so-called adventure resorts that offer relief from cumbersome equipment and flimsy tents, as well as clean, comfy beds, natural scenery and, in some cases, amenities galore. One place apparently has lockable French doors, which I want if the storied Son of Ratman is still on the loose.

Just imagine, you’ll enjoy the aroma of a crackling campfire without splinters. And roll over in your sleep without hitting a tree root or falling off your cot.

I wonder how the shopping is.

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Filed under All Things Wordish, Family and Friends, Travel


Once again, where have I been? 

Over the weekend I was so tickled to learn a new language term, only to find out everyone is already talking about it.

The portmanteau.  It’s been around for years, or at least as long as smog.

There are hundreds of portmanteaus (portmanteaux?) in circulation today, and the booming trend of blending two words into one continues to spread.  I just didn’t know there was a name for it until a friend sent me a Groupon (that’s another one) that used the term in a marketing promotion.

A celebrity couple can’t be mentioned as separate individuals any more, but rather, by their portmanteaus—Brangelina, Tomkat, Bennifer.  Does the First Couple go by Barelle or Michak?

A large share of the high tech vernacular is composed of portmanteaus.  WiFi, for example, as well as modem and even Internet.  Almost anything with “aholic” added on the end is a portmanteau:  chocoholic, workaholic, shopaholic.  And who can forget the Manssiere?

Can you come up with an original portmanteau or two?  Or maybe tell a story?

Billy had a dreambition of becoming a televangelist.  After school, he would go into the cafegymitorium and practice giving a sermily.

One day, in walked Isabella, looking fantabulous in her jeggings.  Billy loved how she ate Gogurt with a spork.

They began talking on their iPhones, with their conversations full of insinuendo.  They became frienefits and starting sexting in Spanglish.

When their parents found out, Billy and Isabella were forbidden to see each other.  But one day, as they were chillaxing in front of the cineplex, a photographer with the local ragazine exposed their relationship.  Billabella was busted.

Horrific, I know.  Try it?


Filed under All Things Wordish, Marketing/Advertising/PR, Movies, Television and Radio, Technology and Social Media