I’ve just had a lovely brunch with a friend. Now “brunch” is a portmanteau, which is a French word for a suitcase. You may wonder what brunch has to do with suitcase. Of course you may be hoping to stay with your host after a few glasses of Prosecco, but it also means that two words are packed inside the word (breakfast + lunch) to become a very pleasant way to eat from morning to lunchtime!

Writers use portmanteaus to make their word choice more interesting. There are so many that have become part of our everyday language, some which I really like (such as brunch) and some which I think sound rather artificial:

Nice portmanteaus

romcom (romance + comedy) – a comedy story that has elements of a romance

fortnight (fourteen + night) – period of fourteen nights, or two weeks

emoticon (emotion + icon) – typed symbols that appear to show faces (e.g., 🙂 ) before the introduction of emoji

netiquette (network + etiquette) – proper online behavior and manners

blog (web + log) – online journal or diary (vlog is the term for “video log”)

Artificial portmanteaus

listicle (list + article) – article that features a list of items

dramedy (drama + comedy) – a story that has both dramatic and comedic elements

mockumentary (mock + documentary) – a fictional story in the style of a documentary movie

imagineer (imagine + engineer) – an engineer who works on creative projects

Brexit (Britain + exit) – the 2016 referendum for Britain to leave the European Union

The last one is the worst of all!!!!!

Of course, there are a few I like in German too such as “Jein” and “Denglisch”but I find“Verschlimmbesserung”a bit strange

Do you have any favourites?

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