Portmanteau Words Examples & Expressions Word List

Can you figure out these blend words and examples of portmanteaus and expressions?

Author: Sarah Perowne

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English is a brilliant language; we have tons of blended words that take both meanings of their word pairs, called portmanteau words. You may not have heard of portmanteau words, but once you've read this list of examples of portmanteaus, you'll realize they're so common you use them in your speaking and writing all the time!

How to Pronounce Portmanteau? And How are They Formed?

A portmanteau pronounced as (PORT-man-TOW) is actually an autological word, where its meaning explains exactly what it does. A portmanteau (porter + carry/cloak/coat) in French is a blended word that is a portmanteau. So, how are portmanteaus formed?

Most are formed by combining the first half of a word attached to the first half of another word. Brunch is a great example of this, the BR is from breakfast, and the UNCH is from Lunch - making that time between breakfast and dinner when people eat pancakes and eggs.

Another example of how a blend word is formed is with cyborg, cybernetic + organism, referring to a being that combines both organic and artificial systems. Remember, portmanteaus aren’t compound words because they don’t combine complete words. Instead, they blend the two words together to adopt the meanings of both words in one!

10 Everyday Examples & Expressions That are Portmanteaus!

  1. Cosplay (costume + roleplay) - a hobby where people dress up as their favorite fictional characters
  2. Email (electronic + mail) - online communication
  3. Hangry (hungry + angry) - emotion where you are hungry, which makes you angry
  4. Internet (interconnected + network) - the worldwide system of computer networks
  5. Motels (motor + hotels) - a roadside hotel coined in 1925.
  6. Podcast (iPod + broadcast) - audio episodes or talk show series on a specific topic or theme
  7. Pokémon (pocket + monsters) - Japanese worldwide-famous media franchise
  8. Popsicle (soda pop + icicle) - it's a soda-flavored iced treat!
  9. Smog (smoke + fog) - dense air pollution that significantly reduces visibility
  10. Snarky (snide + remark) - a sarcastic or mean comment

Portmanteau Words & Examples of Portmanteaus

Grab your notebook or your phablet (phone + tablet) and write these portmanteau words down!

Examples of Common Portmanteau Words

  • Labradoodle (labrador + poodle) - a cross-breed dog
  • Spork (spoon + fork) - a type of cutlery combining a spoon and fork. 
  • Fopoon (spoon + fork) - some silverware enthusiasts insist it's called a fopoon
  • Stash (store + cache) - keeping something safe, secretly storing it away
  • Romcom (romantic + comedy) - cutesy romantic comedy films
  • Chocoholic (chocolate + alcoholic) - a chocolate addiction 
  • Sitcom (situation + comedy) - series of weekly episodes, usually with the same characters and location
  • Staycation (stay + vacation) - holidaying in your own country, area, or home rather than going abroad
  • Snazzy (snappy + jazzy) - describing something fashionable, trendy, or impressive

Surprising Portmanteaus

  • Spanglish (Spanish + English) - a hybrid mix of both languages
  • Ginormous (gigantic + enormous) - something giant, very large
  • Frappuccino (frappe + cappuccino) - frothy iced drink with milk
  • Frenemy (friend + enemy) - a person who is a friend despite differences or rivalry 
  • Mocktail (mock + cocktail) -  non-alcoholic cocktail
  • Chortle (chuckle + snort) - coined by Lewis Carroll in his famous poem "Jabberwocky" means to laugh aloud 
  • Camcorder (camera + recorder) - video capturing and sound recording device
  • Splatter (splash + splatter) - mess, scattered wet marks

Business & Work

  • Webinar (web + seminar) - an online seminar, talk, or lesson
  • Workaholic (work + alcoholic) - someone who is addicted to working
  • Techpreneur (technology + entrepreneur) - a businessperson who leverages technology
  • Medicare (medical + care) - government-funded healthcare plans and insurance 
  • Vlog (video + blog) - style of video that documents someone's life
  • Groupon (group + coupon) - an online marketplace that connects consumers with local businesses
  • Velco (velvet + crochet) - a trademarked company of fabric hooks and adhesives 
  • Intercom (internal + communication) - a system that sends messages to specific people
  • Netiquette (network + etiquette) - set of rules for behaving appropriately online

Daily Portmanteaus

  • Bash (bang + smash) - something loudly breaking into pieces
  • Moped (motor + pedal) - a lower-powered motor-cycle
  • Emoticon (emotion + icon) - an icon, punctuation mark, or image that shows emotion or sentiment
  • Biometric (biological + metric) - our unique physical characteristics like fingerprints
  • Glamping (glamorous + camping) - camping with luxurious facilities 
  • Brinner (breakfast + dinner) - breakfast and dinner combined in one meal
  • Skort (skirt + shorts) - a style of clothing that combines a skirt and shorts
  • Affluenza (affluence + influenza) - the belief that a person's wealth status means they have less motivation and empathy towards others
  • Docuseries (documentary + series) - a type of documentary that is in a series format rather than a long-form traditional documentary

Creative Blended Words

  • Bollywood (Bombay + Hollywood) - Mumbai-based (Bombay) Indian film industry
  • Mansplaining (man + explaining) - a person explaining something in a condescending way
  • Dramedy (drama + comedy) - dramatic comedy moments
  • Slithy (slimy + lithe) - nonsense word coined by Lewis Carroll
  • Squander (squash + wander) - carelessly spending one's time and money

Famous Portmanteaus

  • Brangelina (Brad Pitt + Angelina Joli) - portmanteaus of their names
  • Brexit (Britain + exit) - when Britain left the EU in 2020, voted for in 2016.
  • Fantabulous (fantastic + fabulous) - something amazing
  • Bitmoji (bit + emoji) - personal emojis and avatars 
  • Kimye (Kim Kardashian + Kanye West) 
  • Bennifer - (Ben Affleck + Jennifer Lopez)
  • Jelena (Justin Bieber + Selena Gomez)

Can you figure out these Portmanteaus? Quiz

Think you've got it. Try our blend words quiz.

What does chortle mean?

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What is a Bitmoji?

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What does slithy mean?

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What’s mansplaining?

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Using Blend Words in a Sentence

You most probably use blending words or portmanteaus without realizing it. Nevertheless, lightly peppering your essays, texts, and speech with them is key; you don't need loads of them. Also, remember that examples of blended words aren't the same as compound words; a portmanteau is created by blending two words, where both words keep their meanings, whereas compound words create new words with new meanings when combined. So, go forth and enjoy creating new portmanteaus!