On portmanteau words and those long German words

We had occasion to discuss portmanteau words here before. Now The Guardian‘s “Mind Your Language” blog weighs in: “Ah, the portmanteau: two separate words mashed together in an Eton mess of trendy neology. It has the ability to delight and irritate in equal measure.”

And, in a neat coincidence, given that the previous WG post mentioning portmanteau words actually focused on German words, another “Mind Your Language” post considers those very long German mashup nouns.  Read the reader comments for some great words. (“Hoechsgeschwindigkeitsbegrenzung” for  “maximum speed limit”?) From The Guardian:

It was the first thing I found strangely fascinating about German: a word that went on and on until you ran out of breath or got totally lost in the middle. Invariably it had to be hyphenated on to the row below. Geschwindigkeitsbeschränkungen, all 30 letters of it: a very big word for a fairly simple idea (it means speed limits).

And “herbeisehnen” appears to be the German equivalent of the Portuguese “saudade.”

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1 thought on “On portmanteau words and those long German words

  1. Pingback: Relatively Balmy Air | Electron Pencil

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