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AWADmail Issue 810 - ExtraThis is a continuation of the compilation of readers’ responses to the invitation to send their portmanteaux. See other responses at AWADmail 810.
A few years ago I was trying to think of a word to describe the portmanteaux that, as you put it, have been forced into a shotgun marriage. I wanted something that conveyed the not-quite-thereness of those poor, coerced unions (snowmageddon come to mind). After deliberation, I settled on awkword.
-Rhett Moeller, Christiansburg, Virginia (rhett.moeller gmail.com)
I’m a member of an online photography group. As a photographer, it is sometimes very difficult to explain the circumstances that led to your taking a certain photo; the thought processes and feelings can be almost impossible to put into words. I found this out when I needed to explain my reasons behind taking a photograph I was posting at the time. It needed a word that defined all those intangibles. That’s when I came up with this. I think it does the job splendidly. Other members of the group agree, and it is slowly catching on.
Photential: adj. 1. The quality inherent in a scene, action or event that presents itself to a photographer as having the potential to be a photograph. 2. The quality inherent in a photograph initially considered below average, which can be recognised and exploited by a photographer in such manner that the original image is greatly improved.
-Peter Stone, Melbourne, Australia (crookedpaw hotmail.com)
Pretiree: that’s what I called myself during the few months before I retired. There’s a different mindset during that time, such as when one is “short” in the Army (fewer than 100 days left).
-Kenneth Harvey, Merrimack, New Hampshire (kenharvey yahoo.com)
I created schadenfrenemies. It combines schadenfreude, which is German for joy in another person’s misery and “frenemies”, who are enemies who act like friends. I even made it an email address.
-Steven A. Ludsin, East Hampton, New York (ludsin gmail.com)
I was having extra reveling in the misfortune of others one day and I called the feeling “schadenfreudelicious!” I’m sure I can’t be the only one who thought of that but I made it up for myself. “Watching her tormentor finally get his just desserts was the most schadenfreudelicious way to celebrate her victory.”
-Karina Walsh, San Diego, California (cinerina mac.com)
Republiconian (Republican + Draconian): A blind, dogmatic adherence to a party’s line, even when it contradicts everything you know to be true, good, and correct.
-Jordana Capra, Santa Clarita, California (jordanacapra earthlink.net)
I have coined this portmanteaux: hectic + activity = hectivity.
-S.S. Raha, Kolkata, India (research.raha gmail.com)
Kibitching - a combination of kibitz and bitching, the act of standing around the water cooler and complaining about events, actions, or people.
-Alphonse Lepore, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (alfy924 gmail.com)
Two years ago when I was on vacation in Yellowstone Park, the tour guide told us the word touron (tourist + moron) to explain those people who ignore basic safety rules and approach wild animals. Sometimes holding food in their hands. Or holding small children in their hands. They usually end up being injured. Sometimes killed.
-Robert D. Beane, Standish, Maine (sebagojourney yahoo.com)
Two words I’ve coined: techcrastination, which is delaying on upgrading because the new version is about to come out-- and chronodelusion, which is when you think you have enough time to answer that one more email, or whatever tiny task you have, and you wind up running late because of it.
-Michael Sieverts, Los Angeles, California (via website comments)
To teletic (verb). A teletic (noun), from telepathy + fanatic. A teletic - “someone with the conviction that one’s actions while watching your team play on TV will sway the outcome of the game, possibly extending to engaging in obsessive compulsive behavior”.
“He always sits there in that red shirt, teleticking Liverpool FC while gesticulating wildly. Then the poor dog gets tugged around on the same walk for half-time, while he recharges concentration properly for the restart”.
-Harry Rogers, N. Ambergris Caye, Belize (hrst100 gmail.com)
Speaking of portmanteau, here is one that appeared yesterday concerning the duo of Ivanka and Jared Kushner: Javanka.
-Daniel Miller, Laredo, Texas (milldaniel gmail.com)
The grandchildren started saying hanitizer for hand sanitizer. I say it too now -- it makes sense.
-Debra Segall, Flint, Texas (deeb earthlink.net)
It was an exciting thing to see that this week’s words are portmanteaux, particularly when you asked for readers to share their own. I work with a student leadership group at our school. Their job is to bring positive change to the school community. This year’s group decided they wanted to have the school community think about three qualities: humility, kindness, and friendship. They thought that the three qualities were so important that they could not be separated from one another, thus leading the students to combine the three traits into one, coining the new word: “humkinship” (“hum” from humility, “kin” from kindness, and “ship” from friendship). “Humkinship” is a noun meaning the quality of having and showing humility, kindness, and friendship wrapped into one. An alternate spelling is “humkindship.” The students have slowly been introducing the word at their school, but would be thrilled beyond belief if their new word were introduced to the world beyond school and maybe even put into usage. They hold the firm belief that the world would be a much better place if everyone had “humkinship”. Here’s the perfect opportunity. -Ruthann Womer, Chula Vista, California (ruwomer cox.net)
Audio + taurus becomes auditaurus, a place to hear the bull, i.e., BS.
-Bill Abbott, Saratoga, California (wbabbott3 comcast.net)
Boobortunistic: Adjective: When my infant wants to nurse because he is near my breast and not because he’s hungry.
-Michelle Constantine Hibbs, Pasadena, California (mconstantine27 gmail.com)
Hypostulate: blending of hypothesize and postulate. I invented this word during my PhD thesis defense (not intentionally).
-Peter Guthrie, Bethesda, Maryland (guthriep csr.nih.gov)
Meamble = meander + amble. I do it a lot.
-Catherine Taylor, Newport News, Virginia (katgurian aol.com)
When my husband and I travel by car, I am in the passenger seat keeping track of where we are going, wielding the map, and watching the GPS and the road signs to keep us on the right track. I assume the position of nagivator, a portmanteau of nag and navigator.
-Barbara Hostetler, Phoenix, Arizona (jahostetler juno.com)
I am Australian. Many years ago I met and married a lovely Canadian woman. She loves Australia, its lifestyle, land, and people, and despite having a lovely extended and close family and network of friends in Canada, she wouldn’t change her life whatsoever and on this Australia Day will be officially an Australian citizen. So although she truly identifies herself as a Canadian, I prefer to blend her choice of home and country of origin and refer to her solely as my “Canaussie”. A term which I think she likes.
-Dane Haukohl, Perth, Australia (dhaukohl fmgl.com.au)
Religiot: a word combining religious + bigot + idiot
Ignorentsia: a word meaning the intelligentsia of the ignorant. Think Erich von Daniken, Deepak Chopra, John Mack, Immanuel Velikovsky, and Charles Berlitz.
Palindrone: a knee-jerk right-winger who has managed to convince her- or himself that Sarah Palin is actually qualified to be one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the Big Red Button (coined in 2008, now largely obsolete)
-Richard S. Russell, Madison, Wisconsin (RichardSRussell tds.net)
Previvor: a term coined by a breast cancer group to indicate someone has the gene, but no symptoms.
-Stacy Clause, Takasaki, Japan (stacyclause yahoo.com)
Oprahgasm - Feeling good after telling someone off.
-Dave Hewitt, Wyoming, Michigan (dahewitt hotmail.com)
My word is hectivity (hectic + activity) to describe those times when there is way too much to do.
-Beverly Lyon, Grass Valley, California (bml mtnlyon.com)
We have a beagle that occasionally emits noxious fumes at the worst possible time. My wife and I use the term “dart” either as a noun or as a verb. This is a portmanteau of d(og) +, well, you can figure it out!
-Curtis and Judy Reeves, Fresno, California (creeves alumni.usc.edu)
In reference to the justifiable (I think) grousing and complaining hither and yon about this previous year, I coined “The Gripevine”.
-Frank Lyman (franklyman237 gmail.com)
My sister coined “crapalanche” for that moment when all the junk you crammed onto your closet shelf comes crashing down on your head.
-Katie Gilbert, Hilton Head, South Carolina (katie_gilbert yahoo.com)
My helpful toddler son helped me build fires on winter mornings (like today in Boston!) by “scrumpling” newspaper (usually sports pages): we crumpled them, then squeezed them, for kindling.
-Nicholas Danforth, Boston, Massachusetts (nicholasdanforth gmail.com)
I have coined a cute portmanteau, hugiss, which is a hug combined with a kiss.
-Narvir Singh Chauhan, Kangra, India (drnarvir gmail.com)
Shertanly - a mix of sure + certainly.
-Steve Kubick, Memphis, Tennessee (steve.kubick autozone.com)
Condescention (n): the act of conning customers by making the price of a product descend by one cent, so that at first glance it appears to be a dollar cheaper than it really is. Examples: $5.99, $29.99. By extension, any similar descent in price that gives a misleading impression of the actual price. Examples: $998, $23,990.
-Simon, Wadalba, Australia (simon newcastle.edu.au)
I was surprised, yet somewhat glad to know that hatriotism and Talibaptist were not coined by me after all. Each appeared more than 10 years ago, according to an online urban slang dictionary.
-Kevin Horne, New Orleans, Louisiana (kevin.kphorne gmail.com)
My sons always took their plunch (packed lunch) to school each day! Does that count?
-Sandra de Mornay Davies, Chesham, UK (sandydmd yahoo.com)
When my son was in 4th grade, he did one of his quirky things. When we commented on it, he said, “That’s just one of my idiotrocities.” It turned out that “idiosyncrasy” was one of the vocabulary words the week before. His word fit the situation better, though.
-Mary Beth Kemper, Kaufman, Texas (mbkemper yahoo.com)
About forty-five years ago, I came up with the word “oxymaxim”, which describes the result of merging the first and second halves of two different maxims, which result should have a bit of wisdom all its own. For example, “In one ear and gone tomorrow”, “A penny saved is worth two in the bush”, “One man’s meat is good for the gander”, or “Birds of a feather wait for no man”. My favorite is “Haste makes strange bedfellows”. The inspiration for the word, of course, is oxymoron, which is its own special form of conjunction, and maxim.
-Thomas R. Leavens, Chicago, Illinois (tleavens lsglegal.com)
My favorite (new) word is deviciveness - The alienation caused by the frequent use of mobile devices while in company especially at meals when people used to talk but now use their devices instead. Not to be confused with divisiveness.
-Kathy Edersheim, New York, New York (kathy.edersheim gmail.com)
I remember quite a while ago a farmer found a piece of pottery out in his field. He took it in to the local museum and stated that he had found a Native American artifact. The curator looked at it with his magnifying glass, then handed it back and said: “Nope. It’s an artifiction.”
-Scott Swanson, Pendroy, Montana (harview montana.com)
A friend of mine inadvertently coined a word many years ago -- one which I’ve found helpful. Per Anu’s advice, I googled it and found it on Urban Dictionary but for a completely different meaning. The word is ‘clearned’ -- a portmanteau of cleaning and clearing (as in de-cluttering). Google has other definitions but I like ours most.
-Kathleen Dillon, Brooklyn, New York (via website comments)
My father, Doug Montgomery, well over a half century ago coined “drizmal”, a blending of dismal and drizzly, as in describing a particular morning probably, or day.
-Tom Montgomery, Bothell, Washington (tom montgomeryscarp.com)
Cat + tattoo = catoo, the small scratches left after playing with a lively cat.
-Susan Prince, Alta, California (sdprince alumni.stanford.edu)
I coined the expression snarkasm (snarky + sarcasm), and have used it in some of my books (cozy mysteries, Quilting Mystery series).
-Mary Marks, Camarillo, California (marymarks2007 gmail.com)
As a toddler, my son came up with blinch -- when you blink and flinch at the same time.
-Amy Cunningham Porter (via website comments)
My word eons ago was “pestion” for the question asked by my child in an effort to delay bedtime. In that era of my life I think I defined it as “any question asked by a child after 7 pm.”
-Iris Levine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (irislevine comcast.net)
My wife often uses “procrastipacking”. The art of talking about packing for a trip, and maybe even getting out the suitcase. “I started procrastipacking today”, 3 weeks before we’re due to leave. “I procrastipacked for so long, and we’re leaving tomorrow!”.
-Simon Powell, Georgetown, Cayman Islands (simon simonpowell.com)
“Nuch” is used in our family to say “no such”. Almost a contraction, but without the apostrophe. I’m not sure our grown kids, who invented it many years ago, know it’s not a word.
-Paula Yardley Griffin, Sarasota, Florida (paulasrq gmail.com)
I have always called my identical twin my “twinster” for she is indeed my twin and my sister.
-Carol Baker, St. Paul, Minnesota (wglaciercb gmail.com)
For years, I have referred to artificial potted trees as “facus trees” ... fake ficus. People always say that’s a perfect word for them.
-Sandra Brown, Denver, Colorado (sashi3 yahoo.com)
Most often used in May and June, “Congraduations!”
-James A. Shapiro, Chicago, Illinois (judgeshapiro icloud.com)
Actor Stephen Amell uses a word that is so perfect: sinceriously. First time I heard it, it just seemed so right I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it many times.
-Doretta Perna, Kansas City, Missouri (pernad53 gmail.com)
I know that green tea is good for me and I drink three cups every day. That said, I hate the taste. So, I drink it cooled or even over ice, topped off with tonic water. I call it teanic.
-Fredericka DeBerry, Brenham, Texas (txomad gmail.com)
You may have had this one before, but one of our favorite portmanteau words is destinesia, destination + amnesia. It’s when you walk into another room and forget why you went there.
-Richard Platt, Milford, Connecticut (rnplatt optimum.net)
Years ago, I was fairly sure I’d coined the word Cathoholic to denote a person who followed the teachings and guidance of the Roman church to the letter. One of my Usenet friends noticed it, but attributed it to a fortuitous typo. Well, I just found it on the Urban Dictionary site. But I think I’m still ahead of the curve with “doormattitude”, the personality trait that explains why some people let others walk all over them.
-Fred Kepler, Vancouver, Washington (fkepler icloud.com)
As a portmanteau word, I created some 20 years ago the “levelator” to refer to the rolling carpets that you often see at airports where halls are long and interminable. We had an escalator already, an elevator, and now we have something that moves which is level with the ground.
Following your suggestion, I checked the Internet and I note that a “levelator” is a software by Mac (Apple). I daresay that I preceded that software!
-Robert Bendavid, Toronto, Canada (rbendavid sympatico.ca)