Portmanteau. Yeah, I know, you’re thinking, “I was there once! It’s on the French Riviera, right?” Sorry, Jacques, non. A portmanteau is a new word created by mashing together two (or more) pre-existing words.
For example, I’m going to write a dark, mysterious account of my early life, so I’m thinking of calling it a memnoir* (memoir + noir [dark]). It will begin something like, “Moonlight streamed in through louvered blinds on the night I was born…”
- Coca-colonization (Coca-Cola + colonization): The influence of American consumerization on other cultures.
- craptacular (crap + spectacular): Something so bad it’s epic.
- docusoapery (documentary + soap opera): A “true life” drama that emphasizes big emotional moments (e.g. The Bachelor and it’s sundry airheaded offspring).
- flexitarian (flexible + vegetarian): A vegetarian who fudges a lot.
- glamping (glamour + camping): Roughing-it in style.
- irregardless (irrespective + regardless–unintentionally): Do. Not. Use. This.
- kidlife crisis (kid + midlife crisis): If you’re a parent, you know what it means.
- laughticating* (laughing with mouth open while masticating [oh, grow up, it means chewing]): Avoid doing this at restaurants with linen tablecloths. Smile-chuckling (smuckling*) while chewing with mouth closed is allowed.
- meld (melt + weld): A term invented by Vulcan welders.
- nicety (nice + nasty): We’ve all done it, now it has a name.
- Nintendinitis (Nintendo + tendonitis): Incurable.
- pregnesia (pregnancy + amnesia): “I have no idea how this happened.”
- sci-five (sci-fi + high five): For particularly nerdtastic moments during sci-fi movies.
- screenager (screen + teenager): Adolescent who is seriously deficient in melanin.
- spork (spoon + fork): A term simultaneously invented by nearly everyone the moment Kentucky Fried Chicken introduced these toothy little spoons (spooths?*).
- tomacco (tomato + tobacco): A tomato plant grafted onto the roots of a tobacco plant. Principal ingredient of the Italian dish nicotini.*
- turducken (turkey + duck + chicken): A dish consisting of a de-boned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed into a de-boned turkey. But why?
*Look, I coined a portmanteau!