What are Portmanteaus?

"hello" comes from Old English hál béo þu ("Hale be thou", or "whole be thou", meaning a wish for good health; cf. "goodbye" which is a contraction of "God be with ye").

When two words are combined into a single creation that combines their sounds and meanings, the result is a portmanteau. Brexit, the abbreviation for the British people's decision to leave the European Union, was perhaps the most glaring illustration of this in 2016. Other frequent illustrations that might keep your interest include:


Unkeyboardinated- is a term used to describe someone who is uncoordinated on the keyboard or is clumsy when typing.As

Askhole- Stop asking so many bothersome questions if you're not even going to listen, you askhole.

Abeerance - You commit one of these when you have a social commitment to attend but only remain for one drink.

Although portmanteau offer a nearly limitless source of interesting new words, the idea is not really novel.

For instance, the most savory example, "brunch," was created more than a century ago.

The first recorded use of the word "portmanteau" was in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass in 1871. The phrase at the time referred to a two-sectioned suitcase. Alice was informed of the situation by Humpty Dumpty, who said, "You see it's like a portmanteau—there are two meanings packed into one word."

Although portmanteau isn't technically a recent invention, some claim the constant flow of words and ideas on the internet, together with social media users' insatiable desire for new ways to convey their ideas, may be increasing the impulse to create new expressions.