A portmanteau is a literary device where two or more words are joined together to form a new word, which refers to the concept of a hymn. More formally known as mixing. By combining the words and meanings of the two existing words, a portmanteau creates a new sense, a linguistic mixture of two distinct terms. In linguistics, a portmanteau is a singular form of analysis that represents two (or more) underlying morphemes.
Portmanteau coins involve the combination and mixing of two or more words and the new word formed in the process shares the same meaning as the original word. The term Portmanteau was first used in the sense of the Louis Carroll Through the Looking-Glass (1871), where Humpty Dumpty explained the coin of the unusual word in “Jabberwocky”, where the irony was “chic and lath” and Mimi was “sad.” Treacherous and Furious”. Later, in his poem The Hunting of the Snarky (1876), Carroll put “an explanation of Hampton-Dumpty’s theory of two meanings in one word, like Portmanteau:”
- [T]ake the two words “fuming” and “furious.” Make up your mind that you will say both words, but leave it unsettled which you will say first. Now open your mouth and speak. If your thoughts incline ever so little towards “fuming,” you will say “fuming-furious”; if they turn, by even a hair’s breadth, towards “furious,” you will say “furious-fuming”; but if you have the rarest of gifts, a perfectly balanced mind, you will say “frumious.”
In contemporary English then, a portmanteau was a suitcase that was opened in two equal parts. According to OED Online, Portmanteau is “a bag or bag for carrying clothing and other accessories while traveling; (essentially) one of the appropriate forms for carrying horseback (now obviously) to open two equal parts on the back involved in the form of a solid leather case. Among writers of literature in English, James Joyce pushed the idea of the term Portmanteau into Finnegan’s Wake (1939), a literary work in which he painted words of numerous languages together and invested them with multiple meanings. According to OED Online, the etymology of the words is “An officer who bears the cover of a person in high rank (1507 in Middle French), a case or bag for carrying clothes (1547), a rack of cloth (1640).” In modern French, a port-monition is a jacket, hat, umbrella and a valet of clothes for hanging, such as a coat-tree or furniture-related article.
A portmanteau is an archaeological term for a suitcase, which was derived from the French word for Carrie (porter) and clothing (Moniteau). Definition overlaps with grammatical word compression, but abbreviations are made up of words that would otherwise appear sequentially together, such as do’s and don’ts, while on the other hand a portmanteau word is formed by a combination of two or more existing words that all belong to a single concept. In the modern era, the words Portmanteau have regularly entered the English language. A Portmanteau is also different from a compound, which does not involve cutting off some parts of the blend of mixed words. For example, starfish is a compound, not a star and a portmanteau of fish, because it contains the two words perfectly.