is a new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings; "smog" is a blend of "smoke" and "fog"; "motel" is a portmanteau word made by combining "motor" and "hotel". Essentially, the written equivalent of Frankenstein
The word itself is an obsolete term for a kind of suitcase that opens into two hinged compartments. It was first used to describe blends of words by Lewis Carroll
in Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There
, when Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice the word "slithy" from the poem "Jabberwocky
"Well, slithy means lithe and slimy... You see, it's like a portmanteau — there are two meanings packed up into one word."
There are two basic types. The first combines the beginning or first syllable of the first word with the ending or last syllable of the other, as in the Goldwyn (Gold
fish + Selwyn
) Picture Corporation (later part of MGM) and the U.S. Navy's DESRON (des
), the second combines the first syllables of the component words, such as in the company name Alcan (Al
uminium Company of Can
ada) and the U.S. military's DEFCON (def
ense readiness con
dition). The latter type type sometimes mixes with first-letter acronyms, e. g. in NORAD (Nor
th American A
efense Command) and Parufamet, the film distribution firm run by Par
amount, the UFA
(Universum-Film-Aktiengesellschaft) and Met
ro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the Weimar Republic. During the first half of the 20th century the second type was very
common in German and Russian, which through examples like StuKa, GeStaPo, FlAK, StaSi, GULag, ComIntern and SovNarKom associated it with Communism and National Socialism in British and American eyes, even though the type actually goes back to before World War 1.note
. Consequently, fictional totalitarian governments often use them to play on these connotations. Portmanteaus of the second type are still fairly common in Germany to this day. In countries that don't use alphabets, like Japan, this is also still the standard, which is why Portmanteau Series Nickname
is full of anime show examples.
Incidentally, the original French word "portemanteau" is a portmanteau. "Porte" means carries and "manteau" means coat, so a portemanteau is something that carries your coat. In modern French the word means coat hanger instead of a type of suitcase, and the literary equivalent is called a "mot-valise", or "suitcase-word".
See also Portmanteau Couple Name
, Portmanteau Series Nickname
, and We Will Use WikiWords In The Future
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Genral (Genre + General)
Animanga (Manga & Anime)
- Yaoi = yanma nashi ochi nashi imi nashinote . An alternate (joking) portmanteau for yaoi is "Yamete, oshiri itai!"note
- ROD the TV: Joker's codename is a portmanteau of his real name (Joe Carpenter). (Well, or maybe Joe Carpenter is a pseudonym derived from the codename...but either way, portmanteau.)
- In the Pokémonnote episode "Short and to the Punch", Clayton the martial artist insists on giving portmanteau nicknames to everyone and coining abbreviations for common phrases. For example, Ash and Buizel are referred to as Ashbui. This trait was carried over largely unchanged from the Japanese version.
- Many, if not all, of the Pokemon names are portmanteaus. Bulbasaur is "bulb" and "dinosaur". Charmander is "charred" and "salamander". Squirtle is "squirt" and "turtle". And we're not even past the starter choices of the first game yet!
- Digimon = Digital + Monsters.note
- Ojamajo Doremi: Ojamajo = Ojamanote + Majonote = "Hindering Witch"note
Cames (Card Games)
- Magic: The Gathering
- The fans do these with combos, like Land Tax (If your opponent gets more lands than you, you can search your library for three lands and put them in play.) + Armageddon (Destroy all lands.) = Taxageddon (for massive mana advantage and card advantage). Yawgmoth's Bargain (pay X life to draw X cards) + Heroes' Reunion (gain 7 life) = Heroes' Bargain (or two and a third Ancestral Recalls, which, to be fair, requires you run a three-color deck).
- Occasionally used for actual cards, such as "Blightning" and "Deadapult".
Fanfic (Fan Fiction)
Films — Laction (Live Action)
- In Dave, the title character makes up a girlfriend, describing her as an exotic princess: half Polynesian, half American "Amnesian".
- Parodied in Kung Pow!
"Killing is wrong. And bad. There should be a new, stronger word for killing. Like badwrong, or badong. Yes, killing is badong. From this moment, I will stand for the opposite of killing: gnodab
- Peter Sellers in The Bobo is a wandering singer/bullfighter who calls himself a matatroubador - or troubamatador, he hasn't decided which.
- As one might expect, The Trope Namer, Alice in Wonderland, is chocabloc full of portmanteau words, at least one of which, chortle, made it into common usage. The poem "Jabberwocky" is practically a compendium of portmanteau words, (brillig, slithy, wabe, outgrabe and that's just the first stanza) most of which did not make it into common usage, unless someone is feeling arch and wants to show off their vocabulary.
- In Feliks, Net & Nika robots in Institute are named by portmanteaus of their functions. Three most prominent examples are Konpopoz (KONserwator POwierzchni POZiomych, Flat Surfaces Conservator), Roznakin (RObot ZNAKujący i INformacyjny, Labeling And Information Robot) and Autotup (AUTOmatyczny TUrystyczny Przewodnik, Automatic Tourist Guide).
- In 1984, New Speak has a few of them, such as IngSoc, MiniLuv, and... NewSpeak.
- Enid Blyton used delumptious and scrumplicious, the two possible portmanteaux of delicious and scrumptious. This was also referenced in Goodnight Mister Tom.
- Some of the future animals in After Man: A Zoology of the Future are named this way, portmanteauing the extant species they're descended from with the species that currently fills their ecological niche (eg Rabbuck, for a rabbit the size of a deer).
- The Hunger Games has "muttations" (mutt+mutation, for genetically engineered beasts), "nightlock" (nightshade+hemlock, poisonous berries), "Communicuff" (a watch-like communicator that looks like a handcuff), "propos" (propaganda ads) and mockingjay (mockingbird+jabberjay - which was a genetically engineered bird - , a bird that is able to mimic music).
- The Mysterious Benedict Society. "We're the Winmates! Because we're inmates...that win. It's a portly man's toe or whatever you call it."
- Cyborg ("Cybernetic" + "Organism") popularized (but not invented) by the 1973 Martin Caidin science fiction novel of the same name, which also popularized "bionic" from "biology" and "electronic".
Laction TV (Live Action)
- There was a bit on Arrested Development where Tobias prints business cards declaring himself a cross between an analyst and a therapist... an "analrapist".
- In another episode GOB and Tobias try to start a business together, as Gobias Industries.
- One experiment in Better Off Ted is referred to as a disasticle (disater + debacle).
- The Colbert Report is fond of these.
- Look Around You: "Thanks, ants. Thants."
- Will in The Inbetweeners calls Neil's dad a "bumder", which he later explains to be a mix of bummer and bender.
- The Future Is Wild, being a Spiritual Successor to After Man (above), uses a similar naming system.
- This exchange from The Drew Carey Show regarding Drew's cyber-date is full of them.
Kate: Yeah, is "pathetisad" a word?
Drew: Hey, whatever BeerStud3 and HoneyBee23 do is their own business.
Kate: Beer stud? Forget "pathetisad", is "weirdork" a word?
Drew: I don't know, is "sarcastabitch" a word?
- From Fringe we have vagenda, a portmanteau of vagina and agenda, made up when Walter learns about Fauxlivia seducing Peter.
Walter: She tricked my son with her carnal manipulations and he fell right into her vagenda!
- In Psych, Shawn spends an episode trying to come up with a word to describe the killer of the week, who both set fires and killed people. Two of them were "Arsassin" and "Furderer."
- Community - a nurse tries to stop Jeff and he asks "Or what, you'll do twice as much work as a doctor for half the pay?" It stops her in her tracks and Britta explains he gave her a 'complisult', a compliment/insult. She adds that she coined the term, adding that was an 'explainobrag'.
Music... um, I got nothin'
- Gorillaz' "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head" describes the noise of a volcanic eruption as a "castrophony" — possibly a catastrophic cacophony.
- Alternatives would also include "symphony".
- Horned Necrocannibals (Рогатые Трупоеды) have a song named "Vengeanscythe". It's about a vengeful, as far as one can tell, deadman. With a scythe.
- The Mars Volta use portmanteaus a lot in their album titles like Amputechture (Amputate-Technology-Architecture) and Noctourniquet (Nocturne-Tourniquet)
- Sammy Kershaw's 1996 single "Vidalia" is about a girl with that name, which is a portmanteau of her parents' names, Violet and Dale. In the song, he sings that the name is appropriate, since Vidalia is also a type of onion, and like the onion, she always makes him cry.
Nedia (New Media)
Newspomics (Newspaper Comics)
- Video games in FoxTrot tend to be mashups of real-life titles, like the first-person shooters Doomathon and Duke Quakem, adventure game Iron Mysticus (combining Iron Helix, Myst, and Lunicus), or the unlikely combination Riviablo.
Prestling (Pro Wrestling)
- Edge and Christian were infamous for doing this sort of thing. The best example was ramipercussions, a combination of ramifications and repercussions. Also, due to the Triple H-led Corporation / D-Generation X alliance being alternately called the "McMahon-Helmsley Faction" and the "McMahon-Helmsley Regime", they called it the "Fac-gime".
- Some tag team names are Portmanteaus, such as LayCool, comprised of Layla and Michelle McCool.
- Ryback combines this with a Development Gag. His first name is Ryan, and he wrestled in the indies as Ryan "The Silverback" Reeves.
- Madusa's name is a portmanteau of "Made in the USA".
Tablames (Tabletop Games)
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Multiclass character builds in are occasionally named like this, from the bardbarian (bard plus barbarian) to the sorcadin (sorcerer plus paladin).
- Gnolls in the first edition were conceived as a hybrid of gnomes and trolls, but have since become their own thing.
- And then there's Mystara's "Thoul", an hybride of ghoul, hobgoblin and troll.
- The Clans from BattleTech shun the use of contractions, yet will combine other words like quaiff (query affirmative) and quineg (query negative).
- The Reporting Name for the Timber Wolf came from an Inner Sphere MechWarrior's targeting computer jumping from Marauder (MAD) to Catapult (CAT) repeatedly in an attempt to identify it. Hence, Mad Cat.
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, there's the Archfiend Palabyrinth Field Spell, a combination of "palace" and "labyrinth".
Vidgas (Video Games)
Webimation (Web Animation)
- Reynaldo The Assassin gives us "dadsassin" (a dad who is an assassin) and "swordsassin" (an assassin with a sword).
- The A.I. used by Freelancers in Red vs. Blue are named by a portmanteau of the A.I.'s Greek letter designation and their respective agent's real name. For instance, Omega + Allison = O'Malley.
- The characters in Homestar Runner use these so much and so casually, they're practically part of the local dialect. The Strong Bad Email "dictionary" even hangs a lampshade on this fact by creating a dictionary of Strong Badian English, introducing several new portmanteaus in the process. Their wiki has a list. And the mash-ups of various phrases, such as: "All contestants will receive a year's supply of our home game."
- Teen Girl Squad: "Grood. I mean good. And great. Great and good."
- Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse: "...why is [Teresa] acting all snotty and obnoxious? She's...snobnoxious!"
Webmics (Web Comics)
Webriginal (Web Original)
- See Tropemanteau for examples on this wiki.
- The word Creepypasta is itself a Portmanteau word. The name derives from the words "creepy" and "copy-pasta", referring to the tendency of these stories to be copied and pasted on chat rooms.
- The College Humor "Powerthirst" commercials thrive on this (and Mundane Made Awesome). Flavors include Shockolate, Rawberry, Manana, Fizzbitch (?), Juice Springsteen, "Godberry: King of the Juice," and Gun. (And don't forget, it's energy for men... MENERGY! Also contains preposterous amounts of testosterone... PREPOSTERONE!)
- In the LoadingReadyRun Sketch "The Pub". The pub was a portmanteau for Portmanteau Club where the members created portmanteau.
- The Nostalgia Critic: "Horribifuckus."
- The Spoony Experiment introduced the Internet to "destrucity", a word invented by the Ultimate Warrior, which is the TRUCe between DESTiny and realITY.
- The Nostalgia Chick and her friends released a Paranormal Romance featuring an Eldritch Abomination called Awoken, under the pen name Serra Elinsen - combining Antonella "Nella" Inserra and Lindsay Ellis, while also evoking Elisa Hansen.
- Those Aren't Muskets: "Clitter" It's glitter for ahh... a certain womanly area that starts with clit.
Westimation (Western Animation)
- The Penguins of Madagascar; the zoo inhabitants are terrified of a parade balloon shaped like a killer whale, which they dub the "sky orca". King Julien promptly coins the term "skorca" for it.
- Yugopotamia from The Fairly Odd Parents seems to be a portmanteau of "Yugoslavia" and "Mesopotamia."
- From Dave the Barbarian:
"If you don't like violence, why did you become a barbarian?"
"I didn't know what the word meant. I thought it was a librarian who also cut hair."
- In Wakfu, the sport commentators for the Gobbowl matches regularly make up silly portmanteaus on the spot.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- One episode introduces us to the Parasprites: a portmanteau of "sprite" (as in a fairy) and "parasite".
- In "The Last Round-Up", Pinkie Pie rambles to Applejack about a food she's invented that's basically a chimichanga made with cherry filling, and debates whether to call it a "chimicherry", a "cherrychanga" or a "chimicherrychanga".
- Inspiration Manifestation: "I'm thinking we go by chariot! Or as everyone will soon be calling them, Rariot!"
- Twilight's Alicorn Princess form has been nicknamed "Twilicorn".
- The Hungarian dub of Thundercats2011 rendered Lion-O's oft-repeated "Whiskers!" catchphrase as "Bajszus!", combining the words "bajusz" (whisker) and "basszus" (damn it).
- The title of Sym-Bionic Titan is "symbiotic" (two organisms living closely together) and bionic (cyborgs).
- King of the Hill. Dale comes up with some from time to time, such as "Objection: conjecture. Objecture!"
- The Smurfs has the Wartmongers ("wart" + "warmonger").
- Regular Show: "Tants" = "table" + "pants".
- Home Movies - the kids are making a movie set in a hotel:
Jason: Morning, ma'am. Are you staying with us for business or pleasure?
Jason: That would be 'bleasure.'
Jason: Or 'plizzness.'
Realife (Real Life)
- Real life has an equivalent called "compound words". However, letters are not taken out of the words themselves, they are just slammed together. Some examples are "lifetime" (life time), "pickpocket" (pick pocket), and "windmill" (wind mill). Many given names also are or originally were compound words.
- Oxymorons are compound words where the combined words are the exact opposite of each other. However, the words have nothing to do with the context of the word itself. Some examples are "ballpoint" (ball point), "begone" (be gone), and even the word "oxymoron" (oxy moron, from the Greek words for "sharp" and "dull").
- Some hybrids created from two species or established breeds can get a portmanteau name such as "liger" (offspring of a male lion and a female tigernote or "labradoodle" (a labrador and a poodle).
- Portmanteaus are common for shipping names such as "Brangelina." Don''t try this with PE Eta and Kat NIS from "The Hunger Games" though.
- In German the portmanteau using first syllables only is sometimes also used when a person has two given names of equal importance, as in the case of television journalist Hanns Joachim Friedrichs, known as Hajo to his friends.
- The Goldwyn Picture Corporation was founded in 1916 by Samuel Goldfish and Edgar and Archibald Selwyn (it was joked at the time that the firm just could have been called the Selfish Corporation instead). Then Samuel Goldfish officially changed his surname to Goldwyn.
- The German lightbulb brand Osram combines Osmium with Wolfram (tungsten), the name of two rare component metals.