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Modern English is awash with portmanteau terms, words formed from two or more words spliced together. The word ‘Portmanteau’, meaning a piece of luggage, is itself a portmanteau word from the 16th century, uniting the French words ‘porter’, meaning ‘to carry’, and ‘manteau’, meaning cloak. But credit for the Frankenword sense of 'portmanteau' goes to Lewis Carroll, in Alice Through The Looking Glass. Alice asks Humpty Dumpty to help her make sense of the Jabberwocky poem, full of portmanteaus like slithy, mimsy, galumph and chortle. “You see it's like a portmanteau,” says Humpty Dumpty, “there are two meanings packed up into one word.”
Today, I want to unpack one particular portmanteau, and that portmanteau is 'brunch'.Read More