Showing posts with label Portmanteau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Portmanteau. Show all posts

Apr 8, 2017

Wordology, Portmanteau

[pawrt-man-toh] It would be a terrible shame if portmanteau were not itself a portmanteau. The word originally referred to a large traveling case made of stiff leather, derived from a combination of the French porter, meaning "to carry," and manteau, meaning "mantle" or "cloak."

The word's literary significance is the work of Lewis Carroll. In Through the Looking-Glass, Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice that the strange compound words she hears in Wonderland are "like a portmanteau--there are two meanings packed up into one word."

Apr 30, 2013


These are permutations of common proverbs, often towards a humorous end. Another name is Perverbs.

There are dozens of ways of altering proverbs, and the general gist of an anti-proverb is taking a known saying and twisting it around.

It’s been suggested that the original meaning of the term perverb was to describe two proverbs that had been spliced together like a sort of whole-sentence portmanteau. Take the perverb “every dog has a silver lining,” a combination of “every dog has its day” and “every cloud has a silver lining.” As with the further examples below, you can see that the two hybridized proverbs are not random; rather, they follow a certain format that both have in common:
“A fool and his money is a friend indeed.”
“The road to hell is the spice of life.”
“Don’t count your chickens in midstream.”
“A penny saved is a penny taxed”
“Slaughter is the best medicine.”