Trivia Teaser

In which 1960 epic film did Laurence Olivier play Marcus Licinius Crassus?

"Gone With The Wind"
"The King And I"

Portmanteau Words


By Christine Lovatt

Whats the difference between a cockapoo and a spoodle?*

I’ve often been accused of making up words, and much as I would love to, so that I could finish off a little corner in a crossword, I promise I never have.

It would be fun though, and someone’s having all the fun because there are new words appearing in the newspaper or online all the time.
One source of new words is the canine world of hybrids. You’ve probably heard of a labradoodle, which is a labrador/poodle mix.

You can guess that a shepadoodle is a German shepherd/poodle and I’m sure you can work out a terripoo, a St Berdoodle and a Peke-a-poo. But there’s also a foodle, a schnoodle, a scoodle and a cavadoodle.

And that’s just with poodles. I can just imagine what they’d call a bulldog/shih tzu cross. Other recent hybrid names are a boxweiler, a bullymatian, a gollie, a labradinger, and many many more!

This form of neology (the practice of inventing words) is known as a portmanteau word, ie one that is made up from two other words which are squashed together. For instance, motel comes from motor and hotel, brunch from breakfast and lunch.

Couples sometimes make a portmanteau name from their names. Mary Pickford and husband Douglas Fairbanks named their mansion Pickfair. Try it out with your partner – could be your first name or surname. I know of a Dot and Roger who call themselves Dodger, and Barbara and Eric are Barbaric.

Do you know of any interesting portmanteau names? Post a comment and let us know.


Happy puzzling!


*PS – there’s no difference – they both mean a cocker spaniel/poodle cross.



5 Responses to

Portmanteau Words

November 15, 2007 at 1:05 PM


Great blog (Web = Log) Christine, some of those dog names are pretty silly I think. Here are some Portmanteau Words I found. Pixel = Picture and Element, Smog = Smoke and Fog, Chortle = Chuckle and Snort.




November 19, 2007 at 9:37 AM


On the news last night, a poodle puppy who was rescued from a storm drain by rescue workers Bruce and Stewart was named after them - Brewart.


November 20, 2007 at 5:47 PM


my husband and I have come up with a variety of Portmanteau Words, heres a few,drink break+drake,our names are Mark and Cheryl= marche^,sounds french aye!, love you=lou,Merry Christmas=Mermas got more but maybe another time se ya Marche


November 20, 2007 at 5:52 PM


Love your blog Christine, I just sent=jent you a comment a minute ago=mingo We have fun at Youplay bye for now Marche^


November 23, 2007 at 4:02 PM


Here's one I heard today: "viligent": to keep diligently vigilent.