Portmanteau Words

Portmanteau words mash together the sounds and meanings of two other words, or as Humpty Dumpty tells Alice in "Through the Looking-Glass," they pack two meanings into one word (portmanteau = suitcase or valise). Some portmanteau words paint vivid mental pictures, such as Lewis Carroll's slithy toves who are slimy and lithe at the same time. Others just describe things, such as smog (a blend of smoke and fog), infomercial (a lengthy commercial chock-full of product information), and Reaganomics (the Reagan-era, trickle-down economic policy).

Why not try your hand at making up your own portmanteau word? Is there some thought you've been trying to express that's really two thoughts in one? Are there two words that just seem to flow together well (e.g., picture + dictionary = pictionary)? Be serious, silly or totally off the wall. But most of all, be creative. And if you come up with a real gem, can you expand into something bigger - the beginnings of a story or poem?

Need inspiration?

A Word from Lewis Carroll | A Word from Humpty dumpty

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You might also want to check out our Random Adjective-Noun, and Random Verb-Adverb pages, as well as the main Creativity for You homepage