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Portmanteau Words

No. of Players: 2+
Type of Game: spoken
What you need: nothing


To guess the origins of portmanteau words, or to make new ones.

How to play

A portmanteau word is a word that blends the sounds of, and combines the meanings of, two other words. For instance, anklet is a portmanteau word since it blends the words ankle and bracelet. Players think of portmanteau words and then challenge each other to identify their origins by naming the two words which are blended to create it. Alternatively, players can entertain each other by creating new portmanteau words and then giving their definitions and origins.


Actual portmanteau words:

smog = smoke + fog
fanzine = fan + magazine
spork = spoon + fork
cineplex = cinema + complex
motel = motor + hotel
brunch = breakfast + lunch
camcorder = camera + recorder
infomercial = information + commercial

Fun portmanteau words:

cellfish = cell phone + selfish
    (inconsiderate mobile phone user)
sleeprived = sleep + deprived
    (dulled wakefulness due to insufficient sleep)
chillax = chill + relax
    (calm down)
fough = fake + cough
    (sound made by a healthy person when calling into work sick)
frenemy = friend + enemy
    (a supposed friend who acts more like a foe)
clady = cat + lady
    (older woman obsessively devoted to her many feline pets)
ginormous = gigantic + enormous
    (something really big)
frankenfood = Frankenstein + food
    (genetically modified food)

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