Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Thu Mar 27 04:24:19 UTC 2008

Well, there's this piece from The Onion (written about by Mark Liberman in a
Sept. 10, 2007 Language Log post):

Neal Whitman
Email: nwhitman at ameritech.net
Blog: http://literalminded.wordpress.com
Webpage: http://literalmindedlinguistics.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 11:27 PM
Subject: "bromance"

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      "bromance"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> My daughter writes:
> =================
> New word alert**
> I'm watching "Top Chef," an elimination reality show on Bravo, and
> there was just a commercial for a show, "Make Me A Supermodel," where
> there was speculation over a potential romance between two men on the
> show- a "bromance"! I thought you would get a kick out of it if you
> haven't heard it before, but I just googled it and it looked pretty
> popular (41,000 hits), so I'm probably too late.
> ================
> In checking the first few of these 41,000 I find myself directed to
> urbandictionary.com, where the thumbs-up contributors make it clear
> that for them, the blend denotes not a *romance* romance, but the
> 'complicated love and affection shared by two straight males'.
> According to one contributor:
> ===============
> Provenance/Origin: "Bromance" is a portmanteau of the two words
> "brother" and "romance". Originally coined by author/editor Dave
> Carnie in "Big Brother Magazine." Big Brother was a sort of R rated
> skateboarding/skate culture magazine that was eventually purchased by
> Larry Flynt's Hustler conglomerate and consequently taken out of
> circulation due to unsatisfactory sales performance. Carnie used the
> word on several occasions to describe relationships between
> skate-buddies who spent a lot of time together and/or shared hotel
> rooms on every tour/skate road ===============
> I have no idea whether the skateboarder derivation is accurate, and
> in any case I assume "bro" + "romance" is a plausible source, since
> the guys (dudes?) involved probably call each other "bro".  Posters
> to urbandictionary who claim "bromance" can be used for actual
> romances or sexual relationships (as in "Brokeback Mountain is the
> best bromance movie of all time") get mostly thumbs down from the
> judges.  (Maybe whoever posted the above thought that the "bro" in
> bromance was from Brokeback rather than from...bro?)
> When I was trying to think of other blends/portmanteaux we've
> discussed here that combine the 'man' with a stem, or possibly a
> 'bro-' as in the current case, or (I'm sure there are a bunch of
> these) just an initial 'm-', all I could remember was "manzeer"
> (a.k.a. "bro", for a male brassiere, from the Seinfeld episode).  I
> know there are a bunch of other cases, especially for cases in which
> the male protagonist is somehow marked, like 'male nurse/prostitute'
> or the more recent 'male masseuse' [sic], only involving just the m-
> of man/male instead of the full phrase or compound.  Can anyone help
> fill in my blank?
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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