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Portmanteau word

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A portmanteau word (Listeni/pɔrtˈmænt/) 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. (2010). Cleveland: Wiley. 
  2. "Portmanteau word". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  3. Oxford dictionaries. [1]