What do you call a word that is the result of merging two words together?

For example, Maroon + Tuna = Marona, or Crab + Apple = Crapple, or Choking + Holding = Chokehold

  1. The word I am looking for is not "nick name"
  2. The word I am looking for is not acronym e.g. Laser as "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation"

1 Answer 1


The word is portmanteau.

It originally (and still) means a large suitcase. In through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll introduced a second meaning:

a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (as smog from smoke and fog)

First appearance

In reference to the word mimsy, which is a portmanteau of miserable and flimsy,

"You see it's like a portmanteau—there are two meanings packed up into one word."

The word is "like a portmanteau" because one word carries multiple contents, like a suitcase, and because the word portmanteau itself, is a portmanteau.

  • Does Jabberwocky make sense if some of the words are viewed as portmanteau? poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/42916
    – Fraïssé
    Dec 27, 2016 at 9:51
  • @BeachedWhale I think yes, but it takes a good bit of work to parse. I also though find that the portmanteaus are pretty good at carrying meaning even when they don't carry sense
    – Unrelated
    Dec 27, 2016 at 17:06

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