Sue Johns looks at the trend for joining words together and how the English language is evolving

Thanks to an unnecessary referendum, a useless opposition and an outdated voting system, the UK will be leaving the EU on January 31st against the wishes of about 50% of the country including Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland and everyone at Kingsway!

The awful word “Brexit” is created from the words “Britain” & “Exit”. Combining 2 words to create a new word is very popular in modern English & is known technically as a “portmanteau” word. Interestingly portmanteau is a French word but English is a very flexible language and has always embraced foreign words.

Some portmanteau words are very well established such as:
Brunch = breakfast + lunch (a substantial breakfast eaten at lunch time)
Oxbridge = Oxford + Cambridge (the UK’s 2 most prestigious universities)

Some words are fairly easy to guess such as:
Workaholic = work + alcoholic (someone who works excessive hours)
Chocoholic = chocolate + alcoholic (someone who eats an excessive amount of chocolate)

But other words express more recent trends:
Flexitarian = flexible + vegetarian (a meat-eater who often follows a vegetarian diet)
Glamping = glamour + camping (luxury camping)
Mansplaining = man + explaining (a man who explains something to a woman in a condescending way)

New words are constantly being absorbed into English & it’s sometimes a few years before they are included in dictionaries.

Let me know (sue@kingsway-english.com) if you come across any others!

Kind regards

 

 

 

Sue