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Fun with Language: Portmanteau or Word Blends

One way you can have fun with language is through the use of portmanteau or word blending. Word blending is just an extension of compound words. Compound words (as you probably already know) are simply when two words are combined to create a new word. You use compound words everyday: Airport, Earrings, Eyeball, Snowman, Thunderstorm and Newspaper are just a couple of examples. In a compound word, both root words can be seen in their entirety.

A word blend goes just that little bit further. A blended word is formed with parts of two or more words. These words parts are often, but not always, morphemes (the smallest possible unit of the root word).


Smile + Eyes = Smise (def: To smile with your eyes)

Friend + Enemy = Frenemy (def: A person who is your friend but often seeks to destroy you)

A fun word challenge you can do is to try to find situations/feelings/things we don’t already have words for and try to create your own compound words for them. Here are a couple of modern ones I think are pretty good…








And so, on this short period Tuesday afternoon, I throw out to you this challenge…Come up with three blended words of you own. This is a pretty difficult challenge. I wish I had a simple formula on how to come up with these but I don’t. I can simple give you two starting points:

a. Start by thinking of a word that’s easily blended

b. Start by thinking of a situation that requires a definition

I’m not sure which is easier. I tired both last night and when I did the first one I came up with this…


I know…Look, it was late….

When I tried the second method,  I came up with this one…


So, neither are great shakes but considering I came up with them at 12:45 at night, I think they’ll do.

Doing my work at the last minute….Come to think of it, that’s pretty normalvern of me.

Good luck,





Author: pattersonmalvern

I am a teacher at Malvern Collegiate Institute. This is a blog to help students keep track of their work.

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