My Theme for the 2016 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge (#atozchallenge)

Click on the image to see everyone else doing a theme reveal!

Last month, I did a Stream of Consciousness Saturday post about contractions, and I started thinking about words like “suitcase” or “keyboard,” which aren’t contractions but are somewhat related. Now, those words are compound words, words made up of two or more words (suit + case, key + board), but I mistakenly called them portmanteaus, or portmanteaux if you prefer. Deborah Drucker (whose blog you really need to read, if you don’t) commented that she had only ever heard the term in reference to luggage…

A portmanteau (image: Photobucket)

That’s one use for the word, but I was thinking in terms of portmanteau words, like “smog” (smoke + fog) or “Prevacid” (prevent + acid). Merriam-Webster Online defines portmanteau (the word type, not the luggage type) this way:

a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (as smog from smoke and fog)

We use portmanteaus all the time, sometimes without knowing that they are. I didn’t know, for example, that cyborg (cybernetic + organism) was one. Ditto vitamin (vital + amine), endorphin (endogenous + morphine), and transistor (transfer + resistor). They’re like compound words, but they typically only use portions of the words (morphemes) to constitute them.

I think you get the point. I’d give more examples, but then I wouldn’t have anything to write about next month. Instead, join me starting a week from Friday as we take a look at…




Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

42 thoughts on “My Theme for the 2016 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge (#atozchallenge)”

  1. What a great theme! I love words. I’ve never heard of that term before, but I often pull words apart to decipher their meanings… yeah, I know I could just look it up in the dictionary, but what’s the fun it that?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi John – Portmanteau .. what a great idea … and as you say they will be extremely interesting … so I look forward to your posts .. cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are so smart! Lol not that I am not but, I do learn new things when I visit you. Knowledge is pour! Not to get off A to Z stuff but, after the challenge I am going to post on learning when you are over fourty……is it different? Is it harder? That type of thing. I am going to ask folks that maybe 40 + their take on it. Are you over 40 and if so can I contact you and ask a couple of questions? Lol give it some thought….

    Your theme is great! Off we goooooo


  4. Hi, I read the word contractions and well, the brain went off at a complete tangent! Never mind. I’m paying close attention now. I love words, their evolution and etymologies. Your theme is fascinating and educational and I will be back in April.

    Best wishes,


  5. I know the type but never knew what they were called. Looking forward to your posts. I hiccuped a little when you mentioned next Friday. I know April is coming but I thought I’d be further along. 😱


  6. Portmanteaus words will be fascinating…and educational. Suspect that I already use many without releasing what they are. Might even have to borrow some of yours – please.


  7. It is very interesting to learn about the meaning of portmanteau words. It sounds like an interesting theme as well. Thank You for the mention, you are very kind. Good luck with the A-Z Challenge. πŸ™‚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s