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Portmanteau A-Z: An Alphabet of Portmanteau Words


What do the words digerati , quasar and youthanasia have incommon? They are all portmanteau words: words that fuse the sounds and combine the meanings of two or more separate words. The term was first used by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking-Glass (1872), when Humpty-Dumpty explains to Alice some of the unusual words in the poem Jabberwocky .Today such words as Oxbridge and ruckus feature in everyday speech, and more portmanteau words are continuously being coined by the media. In this charming little book, Rebecca May presents an A Z of portmanteau words some new, some absurd, some widely used and provides a witty definition and appealing illustration for each word, together with its derivation. Light-hearted but also highly informative, Portmanteau A Z is a testament to the richness and versatility of English, and will appeal to design and language buffs alike.