Linguistini is a portmanteau, a single word made by blending two others together. Stick with me, this is going to be fun.
Merriam-Webster offers smog as an example. Smoke and fog blended together. Linguistini is mine, a flavorful blend of the study of human speech and a flat pasta noodle. (Linguistics and linguine, or linguini.)
Some of these catch on, others don’t. Perhaps you have heard of the word chortle. Perhaps not. But it’s there in good ol’ Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. It was first used by a gentleman, well, by an egg, actually, named Humpty Dumpty. In Lewis Carroll’s classic Through the Looking Glass, Humpty explains it himself:
“Well, ‘slithy’ means ‘lithe and slimy’. ‘Lithe’ is the same word as ‘active’. You see, it’s like a portmanteau – there are two meanings packed into one word.”
As is fitting, portmanteau itself is a blend word, originating from the French word portemanteau, a compound formed from the verb porter (to carry) and the noun manteau (cloak).
Humpty image courtesy of WikiMedia
So let’s have some fun with portmanteaus. If you’d like to see a good list of some that are already around, take a look at these. Now, I bet you can remember a time in your life when two (or more) words just blended together perfectly, and you praised yourself highly. If not, let’s see what you can come up with. Come on, you’re staring at one right now, my blog. (Web + Log = Blog)
Let’s hear ’em, let’s have linguistini for lunch today!