[Ads-l] Question About Portmanteau Words

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Tue Jul 21 00:07:27 UTC 2015

For my column in the Yale Alumni Magazine, I am writing about portmanteau words. I have a nitpicky question:  Portmanteau words are usually said to be formed by combining parts of two other words.  I would be interested in any opinions as to whether a combination where one of the components is retained in full is generally considered to be a portmanteau word.  In other words, "smog" is a combination of two part-words (the "sm" from "smoke" + the "og" from "fog"), whereas "newscast" is a combination of a full word ("news") with a part-word (the "cast" from "broadcast").  Is a word formed like "newscast" generally considered to be a portmanteau word?

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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