Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

A blog about words, wordplay, and etymology, with slightly more than occasional political rants.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Roy Blount Jr.'s Alphabet Juice is sort of a dictionary of words that tickle Roy Blount Jr., most of which tickle me too. Sadly I couldn't finish it because it fell behind the toilet, and, you know, once a book gets back there, it can never stop being the book that fell behind the toilet, if you know what I mean. But I digress... two sentences in, which has to be a new record.
Anyway, I'm reading the book, before the Incident, and there's a bunch of entries for random words from And I'm all "I want to do that," but it just felt like cheating. So here's me cheating.
A portmanteau is one word made out of two or more words smooshed together. Lewis Carrol invented a bunch of them, a couple of which, like chortle, made it into the language proper. Other common portmanteaus include gerrymander, cyborg, and smog
Pop culture these days has raised the portmanteau from obscurity and I dig it. So here's a couple of my faves:
Ginormous: Giant and enormous. This one was recently added to Webster's, much to the chagrin of word purists who are somehow not aware that new words aren't a threat to the foundations of our civilization. I use this a lot.
Blog: What this is.
Pornado: A porn tornado, or the thing that happens when you click what seems like a perfectly legitimate link, and suddenly your screen explodes into a whirlwind of pornographic popups. Less common since the advent of popup blocker.
Nonversation: Totally meaningless and unproductive conversation.
Rickroll: This. Related things include Trololoroll, Duckroll (which predates rickrolling, actually), and my new favorite, multiroll.
Bromance: A close, affectionate relationship between two straight dudes. 

And there you have it. A bunch of crap I took from and regurgitated to you.

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