Published: 19th October 2019
Pondering over portmanteaux: What do words like 'plogging', 'anticipointment', 'screenager' mean?
t is easy to guess the meaning of any portmanteau word if we know the meanings of the two words from which the portmanteau word was derived
The word ‘plogging’ was discussed much in social as well as print and electronic media a few days ago. At the time of writing this column, the search for the word on Google yielded over 15 lakh results. The word became popular after Prime Minister Modi used it in a tweet during his recent visit to Mahabalipuram and stay in a luxury hotel at Kovalam.
"@narendramodi Plogging at a beach in Mamallapuram this morning. It lasted for over 30 minutes. Also handed over my ‘collection’ to Jeyaraj, who is a part of the hotel staff. Let us ensure our public places are clean and tidy! Let us also ensure we remain fit and healthy."
What is plogging? It is a portmanteau word that can be defined as combining the sounds and meanings of two different words and coining a new word. Examples are motel (motor+hotel) and brunch (breakfast+lunch). The word derives from the combination of the sounds and meanings of three words: picking up litter while jogging. Plogging, a Swedish phenomenon, became popular in the country in 2016 and spread to other countries. As it is said to encapsulate Modi’s Clean India Mission and Fit India Movement, he must have used the term.
Here are examples of how the word is used in sentences:
• You can burn your calories while plogging.
• Have you tried plogging?
Let me discuss some other popular portmanteau words. It is easy to guess the meaning of any portmanteau word if we know the meanings of the two words from which the portmanteau word was derived. The plural of ‘portmanteau’ is ‘portmanteaux’.
The word ‘anticipointment’ is the combination of ‘anticipation’ and ‘disappointment’. It is a state of mind that results when a person excitedly anticipates something and then is disappointed because it fails to meet the expectations.
• My relatives who watched the movie ‘Asuran’ said that it was a must-watch film and made me book tickets for me and my family. What we experienced after watching it was nothing but anticipointment.
The portmanteau ‘craptacular’ is the blend of ‘crap’ and ‘spectacular’. If entertainment is hyped much but poor in quality and is disappointing, it is said to be craptacular.
• The movie was so craptacular that it was the topic during our dinner for a few days.
The word ‘frenemy’ is the combination of ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’. If you consider someone a friend but the person’s actions and behaviour are characteristic of an enemy, then we say the person is our ‘frenemy’.
• Trump and Kim: Enemies to Frenemies
• I thought you were good friends. Only very recently, I came to know that he is your frenemy.
Who is a ‘screenager’? A screenager (a blend of screen and teenager) is a person in their teens who spends too much time in front of the computer or television screen and indulges excessively in screen entertainment.
• Most of my students are screenagers. They spend over 5-6 hours a day watching TV and playing games on their computers.