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Table of Contents
A portmanteau is a suitcase that has two distinct sections. Interestingly, the word portmanteau itself is also a blend of two different words: porter (to carry) and manteau (a cloak).
The term “portmanteau word” was coined by Lewis Carroll in “Through the Looking Glass” (1871), when Humpty Dumpty explained to Alice, “You see it’s like a portmanteau — there are two meanings packed up into one word.”
Portmanteau words are extremely popular in modern-day English and new word combinations are regularly popping up.
A very common example of this is the word smog, which is a combination of the words “smoke” and “fog.” Not only does “smog” combine the (sm-) of smoke with the (-og) of fog, but the meanings are also combined. The basic definition of smog is a smoky haze made up of fog and air pollutants.
Portmanteau words can also be celebrity names. One of the most famous combined names is Brangelina which is a combination of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Here are some examples and their meaning:
- bionic (biology/electronic): artificial body parts that have been enhanced by technology.
- Bollywood (Bombay/Hollywood): the Indian movie industry.
- bromance (brother/romance): a close relationship between two men.
- chillax (chill/relax): calm down, rest.
- Chinglish (Chinese/English): a variation of the English language as spoken by people of Chinese descent.
- cineplex (cinema/complex): a movie theatre with several screens.
- cosplay (costume + play): dressing up in costumes that resemble characters from popular culture.
- crunk (crazy/drunk): out of control after consuming alcohol.
- faction (fact + fiction): a story, speech or novel that contains historical and real-life facts combined with invented information.
Other famous portmanteau words:
This bundle contains 10 ready-to-use Portmanteau worksheets that are perfect to test student knowledge and understanding of Portmanteau which is blending of two words together to make a new word with its own special meaning.
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These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.