Know your portmanteaus

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Something that English has in common with lots of languages is how many new words are formed. You can just combine parts of words which already exist and you’ve got yourself a new word.

Many well-known companies created their names in such a way, leading to such portmanteaus as:

Federal + Express = FedEx

Integrated + Electronics = Intel

Microcomputer + Software = Microsoft

Pocket + Monsters = Pokémon*

Wiki + Encyclopedia = Wikipedia

* This one misses the C, because they actually used the romaji name (Poketto Monsuta)

It’s considered that by combining two parts of words to form a new word, the brand name will sound natural and people are more likely to trust it.

You may want to say, okay, but those were brands, what about real words we use that we make this way?

Let’s look at some examples of these words:

Cheese + Hamburger = Cheeseburger

Electronic + Mail = Email

Foreign + Exchange = Forex

Mock + Documentary = mockumentary

To give you an example of a mockumentary, watch the movie “This Is Spinal Tap” which is a funny documentary of a fake heavy metal band and their tour around the USA.

Motor + Pedal = moped

The same goes for motorcycle, which we made using motorized and bicycle

Another word which uses motor with hotel is motel and you are more likely to find them on the road than a five-star hotel.

One of my favorite portmanteaus is workaholic, which is made by mixing work and alcoholic and adding an A in between. What a good way to show that too much work is bad for you 🙂

I won’t be checking if you remember these words this time, I’m sure you’ve heard of most of these already. How about you find out other portmanteaus by trying to complete them on your own? Take the words on the right and use them to make portmanteaus.

Ready? Go!

Did you catch them all? 🙂

Which of these were new to you? Which other examples do you know?

Let me know in the comments section and I’ll see you next week! 🙂

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