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96607.  Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:32 pm Reply with quote

In one episode, I'm sorry, I forget the series, Stephen mentions the term for the insertion of one word into the middle of another. I believe the example he used was "fan-f*cking-tastic". Is the term portmanteau? I've always considered that to be more of an amalgamation of words rather than the insertion of one into the other.


96608.  Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:34 pm Reply with quote


96614.  Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:40 pm Reply with quote

Thank you so much, I've been using but have only found the answer portmanteau. Obviously I should have looked here first.

In fact, I had one downright rude reply.

Q. What's the word that describes a word inserted into the middle of another word (eg fan-fucking-tastic). It's not portmanteau by the way.

United Kingdom

A. A portmanteau (plural: portmanteaux) is a term in linguistics that refers to a word or morpheme that fuses two or more grammatical functions. It can also be called a frankenword (incidentally, this is another example of a portmanteau). Typically, portmanteau words are neologisms. In short, it's a word that combines two words to form a single word.

As fan-fucking-tastic is a combination of the words fantastic and fucking, it can be called a portmanteau. However, you are obviously not pleased with the previous answer that someone has given you, despite it being a correct answer, so here is an incorrect answer for your satisfaction:

The word you are looking for is flibbyflobbyflapification.

Now I can really show him.

96622.  Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:54 pm Reply with quote

Ter-fucking-rific you can tell the clever-flipping-clogs about dystmesis as well.

96692.  Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:44 am Reply with quote

I remember the tmesis discussion when Jo Brand suggested the example "scunthorpe"

gerontius grumpus
100249.  Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:12 pm Reply with quote

Was the term 'portmanteau word' first coined by Lewis Carrol?

100267.  Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:07 pm Reply with quote

Yes it was, in Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. It comes from the old type of suitcase called a portmanteau, which consisted of two separate compartments.
Humpty-Dumpty uses the word when explaining the meaning of the word 'slithy' to Alice:

"Well, slithy means lithe and slimy ... You see it's like a portmanteau— there are two meanings packed up into one word."

100302.  Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:22 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
I remember the tmesis discussion when Jo Brand suggested the example "scunthorpe"

the fanzine I used to read as a youngster was "There's only one F in Fulham"
I'm so happy I wasn't a Scunthorpe fan


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