21 January 2011

Cool Little Portmanteau Generator

As wordsmiths, writers are often more pleased than most at the "magic tricks" of the written language, the special effects of texts.

Portmanteaus are conflations of two words, usually blended based similar on sounds, spellings, or letters in the two words.

You'll recognize these portmanteaus:
brunch = breakfast + lunch
Verizon = veritas + horizon
skorts = skirt + shorts

So I found a cool little website called Wordmerge.com that generates portmanteau's on the fly. Enter any word and it pops out a nice list based on that word.

Take the word 'tsunami'. Drop it in, and let's see if anything apt pops out: how about sweetsunami, vagrantsunami, jujitsunami. This works because a lot of English words end in 't'.

If we look at the other side of the equation, words that begin with 'tsunami' and append words on the end, we don't find as many interesting options. Here's one: 'tsunamead', which I suppose could be applied to some sort of English beer festival.

Now, I'm going to go look for a kenning generator.