Ska does this all the time.

The Skatalites Eskanol (spanish ska) Skatastrophic

I can't seem to think of a single other example, but I know I've seen it other places.

  • Compounding? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_(linguistics) – mplungjan Sep 23 '13 at 9:14
  • This is not a compound. Probably not even a portmanteau, as for that the meaning would have to change, though your examples are very unclear in that regard (what do all these words mean?). This looks like just a word play, nothing more. – RegDwigнt Sep 23 '13 at 9:17
  • This is the greatest board ever. Can't believe there's answers already. So, they're just names. Ive always thought it might be a sort of marketing ploy. My roommate informs me that the porn industry does this quite a bit as well. – Gin Sep 23 '13 at 9:27
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    Actually portmanteau gets pretty close. Spork: Spoon+fork. Skatastrophic: Ska and Catastrophic. But yeah, wordplays come into this too. I wanted to play in a band called the Skandinavians :) – mplungjan Sep 23 '13 at 9:42
  • That is a fantastic band name. FANTASTIC. My imaginary chick punk band is called Juicy Jenny and the Infected Vas Deferens. :) – Gin Sep 23 '13 at 11:53

The phrase “changing a word to fit another word inside it” is suggestive of tmesis, which is “a linguistic phenomenon in which a word or phrase is separated into two parts, with other words interrupting between them”. Further from wikipedia:

[Some] tmesis involves the insertion of a word or phrase into another word, for added emphasis and often for humorous effect. The insertion may occur between the parts of a compound word, or between syllable boundaries (dystmesis), but always preceding a stressed syllable (e.g. one would never say, “Ab-bloody-solutely”, preferring “Abso-bloody-lutely”). It is also sometimes referred to as tumbarumba, possibly due to the popularity of tmesis in Australian English dialect (Tumbarumba, New South Wales being an Australian town), or possibly due to the poem “Tumba Bloody Rumba” by John O’Grady, which includes several tmeses including “Tumba-bloody-rumba”, “e-bloody-nough”, and “kanga-bloody-roos”.

  • Hah, I was hoping nobody would go down that route. OP's phrase you quoted suggests tmesis alright, but his examples are really nothing of that sort. "Ska" is not really inserted in catastrophic, only the s- is. It's also not inserted before the stressed syllable. And in "Eskanol" nothing is inserted at all, but rather a letter is changed. – RegDwigнt Sep 23 '13 at 14:55

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