August 13th, 2012

welmish

Of a pale or sickly colour

April 29th, 2016

welmish

Of a pale or sickly colour.

January 8th, 2015

Weltanschauung

A comprehensive view or personal philosophy of human life and the universe.

August 23rd, 2013

weltschmerz

A feeling of melancholy and world weariness.

August 20th, 2014

wena

(Xhosa) You (when referring to one person).

April 6th, 2015

wharfinger

An owner or manager of a wharf.

July 17th, 2014

wheeze

A joke or gag added into a performance.

February 21st, 2014

When Two Become One

by Chris Hancock

Oof! The reminder beep on my laptop roused me sharply from my reverie. And there was the notification text on screen, mocking me:

11am – That Word Site article: deadline approaching…

Yep – I knew I needed to come up with something – and fast. But I was lacking a subject to write about. And, to be honest, all I wanted to do was chillax, grab some brunch, then maybe watch a docusoap or do some boxercise. Wait a minute… “chillax”, “brunch”, “docusoap”, “boxercise”. They’re all portmanteau words! That gives me an idea. But whoa! Slow down, Chris. Chillax.

Okay, a portmanteau word is a combination of two (or more) words – and their definitions – into a single new word. The term portmanteau was coined by Lewis Carroll; other terms being “blend” or the wonderful “frankenword”. A portmanteau, incidentally, was the name of a type of suitcase that opened into two equal halves, so you can kind of see why Carroll chose it. Anyway, back to those words. To take two of them as examples, “chillax” is a combination of “chill” and “relax”; and “brunch” of “breakfast” and “lunch”. Got it? A great portmanteau succeeds either because it succinctly sums something up, or because it is so bad it’s good – you cringe, but you remember it.

portmantoe

July 18th, 2014

whiffler

One that clears the way for a procession.

August 2nd, 2015

whiffler

An official who clears the way for a procession.