Wikipedia defines a portmanteau1 as:
“Portmanteau word” is used to describe a linguistic blend, namely “a word formed by blending sounds from two or more distinct words and combining their meanings.”
Wikepedia further provides a list of common English portmanteaux, such gaydar, guyliner, liger, tigon, turducken, queef, Oxbridge, Spanglish, and even Wikipedia itself.
There seem of to be some sort of implicit rules operative here which are quite regular in some ineffable way, but I cannot quite work out what those are, because I think I see several different, potentially conflicting patterns at work.
My question is:
- What is the internalized rule or rules that native English speakers seem to automatically use to create these?
For extra credit, albeit perhaps pertaining more to the Linguistics SE:
- Are these implicit rules unique to English, or are they fairly constant across other languages in which such blends occur?
- Which the French would call a mot-valise and the Germans a Kofferwort.