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What are Portmanteau Words? Portmanteau words, also called blended words or simply portmanteaux, are words that are formed by splicing or merging two other words together. The term portmanteau words comes from Chapter Six of Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, in which the character Humpty Dumpty, in ... What is a Furlong? A furlong is a unit of measure in the UK and the US, which is not seen often in modern times. It translates to an eighth of a mile, 660 feet, or 220 yards (.20 km or 201.17 m). Thus if you were traveling at a speed of 10 ... What is Brunch? Brunch is a meal that is eaten in the late morning or early afternoon, generally between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM. A typical brunch combines elements of breakfast and lunch, reflecting the fact that it is supposed to serve for both meals. Many people associate it with ... What is Spamdexing? Spamdexing is a form of search engine manipulation which is designed to push a site up in search results, ensuring that people land on that site when they search for specific things. While search engine optimization requires a certain amount of search engine manipulation to ensure that sites rank high ... What are Skorts? A skort is a garment that may slightly resemble a skirt, but has divided legs that give you the ability to be more active. The skort is a combination, or portmanteau word that brings together the two terms short and skirt. Traditionally the skort is fairly short, offering the coolness ... What is an Ecosystem? Ecosystem is a portmanteau word - that is, a word made by jamming two other words together. It originated as a shorthand way of referring to an ecological system, and is now the preferred term. An ecosystem is simply an easy way to refer to all the lifeforms (plant and animal ... What is Smog? Smog is particulate air pollution, characterized by low visibility and an assortment of human health problems. There are several types, including naturally formed volcanic smog, or vog, and efforts have been made in many parts of the world to reduce the amount of smog. What many people are not aware ... What are Hollyhocks? Hollyhocks are tall, showy flowering plants in the mallow family which are used in gardens all over the world, particularly to provide depth and texture to an old fashioned garden. They come in annual, semi-annual, and perennial varieties, depending on the species, and will readily reseed, sometimes appearing in ... What is Rococo Art? Rococo art is art produced in the Rococo style, a style of artistic expression that emerged in France in the early 18th century; people also refer to this as “French style” art, in a reference to its nation of origin. Art and architecture in this style are characterized by very ... What is Greenwashing? Greenwashing is a marketing technique in which a company falsely claims environmental responsibility. As more and more consumers are concerned about sustainability and the environment, a growing number of corporations have stepped up, claiming to be improving their environmental practices and reforming their industries. While this may certainly be true ... What is Gerrymandering? Gerrymandering is an American slang term which refers to redrawing the boundaries of a district so that the new district favors a particular party or candidate, typically the one in power. In addition to being a colorful piece of 19th century slang, it is also a serious problem, and can ... What is Ecotage? Ecotage is a term used to refer to direct action taken on behalf of the environment. The word is a portmanteau of “sabotage” and the prefix “eco-”, and it is intended to separate ecotage from other acts of sabotage which might be aimed at achieved other goals. Some people also ... What is an Ecopreneur&Reg;? Ecopreneur®, a term trademarked by Ecopreneur®, LLC, is a portmanteau of “ecological” and “entrepreneur.” An Ecoprenuer® is an entrepreneur who is focused on ecologically-friendly issues and causes, attempting to do business in a way which benefits the environment. The trademarked term can refer to people who ... What is Stagflation? Stagflation is an economic trend in which inflation and unemployment rise while general growth of the economy is slow. It can be difficult to correct this trend, because focusing on one aspect of the problem can exacerbate other aspects. Many governments try to avoid stagflation through fiscal policy, by promoting ... What is Imagineering? Imagineering is a portmanteau word which combines imagination and engineering. The term is most often associated with the Disney corporation, which maintains an enormous staff of imagineers to design new rides, resorts, water parks, hotels, theme parks, branded cruise ships, and other Disney real estate holdings. It also applies to ... What is a Varistor? A varistor, also sometimes called a “voltage-dependent resistor,” is a part of electrical circuitry that helps channel and divert volts in order to keep the energy levels that are flowing through it constant. Understanding the specifics of what it does and how it functions can be complicated. On a ... What is Truthiness? Truthiness is a word which was popularized and redefined by comedian Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Show in 2005. Under Colbert's definition, truthiness refers to the things one knows to be true, regardless of pesky information like facts and analysis which might provide contradictory information. Truthiness, in other words ... What is Trashion? Trashion is a word which is used to refer to objects and garments produced from discarded, unwanted, and leftover items. Trashion encompasses everything from home décor to garments, and public interest in trashion started exploding in the late 1990s, when being environmentally ethical while staying chic started to come into ... What is Tarmacadam? Tarmacadam, also known as tarmac, is a portmanteau abbreviation of tar-penetration macadam. Tarmacadam was used to pave roads and other large, flat surfaces, and although tarmacadam is not used to pave anymore due to the introduction of asphalt, the word tarmac is still used in reference to airport runways ... What is a Brainiac? A brainiac is someone who exhibits a high level of intelligence. This slang term is also used to refer to someone who is particularly interested in science, mathematics, and other intellectual pursuits at a young age, regardless of intelligence level. These people tend to end up in demanding careers that ... What is Greenmail? Greenmail is a sum of money paid by a company to someone who holds a large share of the company's stock, with the goal of preventing a hostile takeover. The term is a portmanteau of “greenback,” a slang term for American currency, and “blackmail.” Some businesses also refer to ... What is the Veepstakes? In American politics, the veepstakes is the process through which a Presidential candidate selects a running mate. Once the candidate settles on a choice, he or she becomes the Vice-Presidential candidate, and if the candidates win, the Vice-President will be first in line for the Presidency if something ... What is Pteridomania? Pteridomania was a craze which obsessed Victorian England at every level of society, from the Royal family to impoverished farm workers. The word is a portmanteau of the biological name for ferns and “mania” in the sense of a craze; in other words, pteridomania was a passion for ferns. It ... What is Niacin? Niacin, also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid, is a water soluble vitamin that is a vital component of the human diet. Like other water soluble vitamins, the body expresses excess niacin, meaning that a continuous supply needs to be consumed. Common sources of B3, along with other healthy ... What is a Fatshionista? A fatshionista is someone who is overweight and also dresses fashionably. Fatshionistas can be found in many corners of the world, setting trends and showing off stylish ways to dress fuller figures and larger bodies. In addition to dressing fashionably, fatshionistas also follow fashion and keep up with emerging trends ... What is a Crinoline? A crinoline is a type of women's undergarment, originally made from a material of the same name. Crinoline was a mixture of linen and horsehair marketed for its strength and stiffness. As the material began to be used exclusively in the creation of stiff petticoats, the petticoats themselves came ... What is a Hijood? A Hijood is a piece of sportswear for Muslim women which is designed to help them conform with standards of Muslim modesty while remaining active and retaining their comfort and freedom of movement. Hijoods are manufactured by Ahiida Sportswear, an Australian company which specializes in sportswear for Muslim women, including ... What is a Recessionista? A recessionista is someone who seeks out fashionable items which are also low-cost. This term is a portmanteau of “recession” and “fashionista.” Recessionistas aren't going to let a thing like a poor economy stand in the way of fashionable dressing, and they may develop a distinctive and unique ... What is a Chifforobe? A chifforobe is a piece of furniture which incorporates a chest of drawers and a space to hang garments. Superficially, it resembles a wardrobe, as a chifforobe is usually tall and bulky to accommodate the drawers and hanging space. A chifforobe is most commonly found in the bedroom, although some ... What is Saint Grottlesex? The term “Saint Grottlesex” is used to collectively refer to five famous and very prestigious boarding schools in New England. These schools graduate some of the nation's most wealthy and politically powerful individuals, with most students at the Saint Grottlesex schools going on to be educated at prestigious universities ... What is a Bleg? The term “bleg” is a portmanteau of “blog” and “beg,” and, as you might imagine, it refers to a request for assistance posted by the owner of a blog. In some case, an entire website can be a bleg, maintained specifically for the purpose of asking for something, and in ... What is an Internaut? In cyber slang, in internaut is a person who is ultra-familiar with the Internet. The word is a combination of the words “Internet” and “astronaut,” and it is derived from the use of the word "cyberspace" to describe the Internet; an astronaut travels into outer space, and an internaut ... What does the Term "Genderqueer" Mean? Genderqueer is an adjective which is used by some people who have gender identities which fall outside the female-male binary; the word is a portmanteau of “gender” and “queer,” a term which some activists have attempted to reclaim. People who do not identify with the gender binary may also ... What is Hyphy? Bay Area rapper Keak Da Sneak took credit for coining the term “hyphy” as a shortened version of the word “hyperactive,” though other sources simply consider it a portmanteau of “hype” and “fly.” The word “hyphy,” pronounced high-fee, is an adjective that originated from the San Francisco Bay Area ... What is Apatheism? Apatheism refers to a way of thinking about religion and God. Apatheists have an indifferent attitude towards religion and the existence of God, not really caring one way or the other about religious issues. As a general rule, this lack of interest is motivated by a disinterest in God, and ... What is a Muhajababe? A muhajababe is a woman who wears a veil or headscarf in accordance with Islamic law while still retaining a stylish appearance. This slang term is used in many Muslim countries, and it is also heard in regions of the world with a large Muslim population. Depending on values and ... What is Zoochosis? Zoochosis is a term used to refer to a range of psychological problems associated with animals kept in prolonged captivity. This term is most widely used by animal rights activists, who argue for better living conditions in zoos, if not abolishing these facilities entirely. Among zookeepers and conservation professionals, there ... What is Murketing? Murketing is a nebulous advertising strategy which is used to advance a brand in ways which often seem unconventional or even a bit nonsensical. One of the best examples of murketing can be seen in the advertising techniques used for the Red Bull energy drink. Murketing appears to be largely ... What is Vitaflex? Vitaflex is a type of body work which is supposed to clear the nerve pathways, eliminating blockages caused by toxins and damaged tissue. It is closely related to reflexology, a technique which relies on specific pressure points in the hands and feet, and is often offered as part of another ... What is a Lolcat? A lolcat is an image of cat with an idiosyncratic and often grammatically incorrect caption superimposed. It is an excellent example of an Internet meme, a unit of cultural information which is rapidly shared between people. Lolcats most frequently pop up on Internet boards and in threaded conversations, although there ... What are the Paralympic Games? The Paralympic Games, also called the Paralympics, are an international athletic competition for people who have physical disabilities. Originally a combination of the words "paraplegic" and "Olympic," the word "Paralympic" now is a combination of "parallel" and "Olympic" and refers to the fact that the games are held in the ... What is Amexica? The term “Amexica” is a portmanteau of “America” and “Mexico,” and it is used in a variety of ways. Many conservative American commentators use it in a pejorative way, to refer to “corruption” of the United States by Hispanic influences, while other people use it to describe an increasingly integrated ... What is a Starchitect? A starchitect is an architect who becomes widely known among the general public as well as in the architecture community. One could consider a starchitect a celebrity architect; these high profile figures often have star power and public clout. In addition to designing buildings, some starchitects also expand into home ... What is the Bloggerazzi? The term bloggerazzi is a portmanteau of the words blogger and paparazzi. It refers to those websites or blogs devoted to delivering celebrity news items such as gossip, photos and videos. Notable members of the Bloggerazzi include celebrity blogger, Perez Hilton, and Certain members of the ... What is a Vlogger? The term “vlogger” is a portmanteau of the words video and blogger. A vlogger is someone who posts embedded videos regularly to their blog, in addition to or in place of text and other content. Some vloggers post videos that feature themselves or have been recorded independently, while others might ... What is Nitrox Diving? Nitrox diving is a method of scuba diving steadily gaining popularity among divers who would like to dive for longer periods of time. It also reduces the chances of having common complications that divers may suffer, like decompression illness, also known as the bends. The word "nitrox" is a portmanteau ... What is a Splog? A splog is a blog which has been created for the purpose of disseminating spam, typically containing no original content. Splogs are extremely frustrating for people in the blogging community because they clog the already crowded Internet, and the theft of content from legitimate blogs is a troubling issue on ... What is a Netizen? In 2006, Time Magazine made an interesting choice for person of the year. The person was “you” meaning more specifically, people who use the Internet to write articles, post videos or blogs, and contribute to different Internet groups. Essentially, the “you” referred to another word that has become more frequently ... What is a Manny? When you picture a nanny, do you immediately conjure up a Mary Poppins type or the star of the popular ABC show Nanny 911? Your picture may need a bit of adjustment in light of the trend toward hiring men as live-in caretakers of children. Such men may be ... What is a Freegan? A freegan is someone who has chosen to live a lifestyle which has minimal environmental and economic impact. The word is a portmanteau of “free” and “vegan,” as much of the philosophy behind freeganism is similar to that of veganism, although a freegan tends to be more extreme than a ...
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