Portmanteau word

word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two or more others (e.g. smoke + fog → smog)

A portmanteau word (/pɔːrtˈmænt/ (audio speaker iconlisten)) is made of other words, or parts of words. It comes from putting two (or more) other words together,[1] like motel, from motor and hotel.[2]



Portmanteau originally meant a type of suitcase with two separate parts for storage.[3] The first use as a word combination appeared in Lewis Carroll's book Through the Looking-Glass. There Humpty Dumpty explains that some of the unusual words in Jabberwocky are other words packed together into one word, as two parts of a portmanteau suitcase are packed together.



Portmanteau itself is an example, combining the French words for carry (porter) and coat (manteau) into a coat carrier. Wikipedia is a portmanteau of wiki (Hawaiian for fast) and encyclopedia.


  1. "portmanteau word". Webster's New World College Dictionary. Cleveland: Wiley. 2010. ISBN 0-7645-7125-7.
  2. "Portmanteau word". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  3. Oxford dictionaries. [1]