This recently viral silly song got me thinking...how do you describe a word that is created by attached two other words together without any blending involved?

For example:

Pine + Apple = Pineapple

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A compound word.

It turns up in this list of compound words to I'd go for that.

A compound word is a combination of two or more words that function as a single unit of meaning. The word "flowerpot," for example.

  • Hmm, it would seem to be. Though it's interesting to note a 'flowerpot' is a pot for flowers yet a 'pineapple' is neither a pine nor an apple. Thank you for the answer. – Kenny F Sep 29 '16 at 6:44
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    An apple with "pines". – Blessed Geek Sep 29 '16 at 7:28
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    The original meaning of pineapple is what we call today a pinecone. In the past, many fruits were called apple, not just the fruit of Malum trees. – J. Siebeneichler Sep 30 '16 at 12:08
  • In other words, originally a pineapple was a type of apple, just like a crabapple is a type of apple. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 30 '16 at 17:58

The term portmanteau word is attributed to Lewis Carrol (Charles Dodgson) and describes a word formed by 'packing' the meanings of two words into a new one and involves truncation. Thus 'Motel' is a portmanteau word (from Motor and Hotel) but 'Grapefruit' is not (it's a compound).

This means that 'Pineapple' is not a portmanteau word. It is a compound word that, interestingly, existed before pineapples were known to English speaking people and meant what we now refer to as a pine cone. See the etymology here.

  • Erm, are you not just saying my answer? By all means edit it and add your references into it, but there's not point in having two identical answers – BladorthinTheGrey Sep 30 '16 at 15:56
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    @BladorthinTheGrey Not quite, I've given the reasons for the distinction between portmanteau words and compound words. Also I'm fairly new to StackExchange and didn't realise that editing into other people's answers was either possible or acceptable. – BoldBen Sep 30 '16 at 23:23

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