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Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Coffee Hour at Street Prophets. This is an open thread where we can discuss what’s happening in our lives, what we’ve been working on, and our opinions on current events. As an opening “brain teaser,” I thought I’d bring up the topic of blend words.

English is a weird, wonderful, complex bastard language. One of the ways we bring new words into the language is by crashing two words together—or rather, blending two words to form a new word. Some examples:

Brunch: a blending of breakfast and lunch

Motel: a blending of motor and hotel

Spanlish: a blending of Spanish and English

Infomercial: a blending of information and commercial

Televangelist: a blending of television and evangelist

Jazzercise: a blending of jazz and exercise

Smog: a blending of smoke and fog

The writer Lewis Carroll, by the way, called these words portmanteau words: a portmanteau was a suitcase which had two separate compartment which, when folded, became a single carrying case.

Feel free to add to the list and to make up some new ones.

This is an open thread. It’s okay to talk about dinner, words, current events, or anything else.

Originally posted to Street Prophets on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 01:06 PM PST.

Also republished by Cranky Grammarians.

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