【英語レッスン】Portmanteau;混成語 ポートマントー





A portmanteau is when parts of two words, including the sounds and meanings, are combined to form one new word. Portmanteau is probably not a word you need to know, nor will you be using it in you every day life, but I bet you have come across many portmanteaux in the world around you.



The first, most obvious portmanteau you should know is what this post is part of; a blog, combining the words “web” and “log (note or record)”. And something most everyone has used, an email, combining “electronic” and “mail”.


There are other portmanteaux floating around the internet. Netflix, a portmanteau of internet and flicks (slang for movies), is great for streaming tv and movies. If you are looking to get a good deal on just about everything from entertainment to food to parking, find a discount on Groupon (group and coupon). If you are looking for crafty ideas for an upcoming bridal shower theme, or if you want to search through recipes you want to try, or you want to save images of your dream vacations, Pinterest (pin and interest) is the place for you.



Portmanteaux are the names of many popular dog mixes. A few examples:


・Chiweenie: Chihuahua and Dachshund チウィニー:チワワとダックスフント

・Cockapoo: Cocker Spaniel and Poodle コカップー:コッカ―スパニエルとプードル

・Goldendoodle: Golden Retriever and Poodle ゴールデンドゥードル:コールデンリトリーバーとプードル

・Labradoodle: Labrador Retriever and Poodle ラブラドゥードル:ラブラドールレトリーバーとプードル

・Puggle: Pug and Beagle パグル:バグとビーグル

But the favorite portmanteau dog at our house is a Doxle: Dachshund and Beagle



Portmanteaux have also made their way into the weather. A couple examples involving severe snow storms are snowpocalypse (snow and apocalypse) and snowmageddon (snow and Armageddon). Just the mention of either “snowpocalypse” or “snowmageddon” causes people to rush to stores in a panic and buy out all the bottled water and shovels. And although it really isn’t a weather phenomenon, we can’t leave out the sci-fi made-for-tv movie Sharknado (shark and tornado) portmanteau.



If you live or travel to the U.S. you might experience Friendsgiving, where a group of friends get together to celebrate Thanksgiving. And you just might eat a turducken (combination of turkey, duck, and chicken) at the party. Other food related portmanteaux are brunch (breakfast and lunch), froyo (frozen yogurt), and yogurt on the go, otherwise known as Gogurt.



And of course, Japan has many portmanteaux of its own. Here are just a few:


・Pokemon: pocket monster ポケモン:ポケットとモンスター

・Famicom: family computer ファミコン:ファミリーとコンピューター

・Karaoke: karappo and orchestra カラオケ:カラッポとオーケストラ

・Nikon: Nippon Kogaku and Ikon ニコン:ニッポンコーガクとイコン

・Sony: Latin word sonus (sonic) and sonny  ラテン語のSONUS(ソヌス:音)とSONNY(ソニー:小さい、坊屋)


If you want to experience portmanteaux in real life, get yourself a ginormous (gigantic and enormous) tent decked out with all the amenities to go glamping (glamorous camping). Or dress yourself up in your favorite character to do cosplay (costume play).


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