If I have two words - let's say "lamp" and "vampire" and I put all of their letters together to form a new fantasy word. e.g. "vapamlimper" does this process have a name?

I already considered terms like portmanteau or blend word but they don't quite hit the spot.

This is also not a pure neologism as there is an additional rule to it (must be all letters of two existing words).

  • 2
  • It's a neologism with a twist though because it is restricted to the letters of two existing words, maybe there is something more specific? Jun 4 '19 at 19:04
  • 3
    This is a special type of anagram. I don't know if there's a common name for this kind of anagram. If not, I'd coin "multi-word anagram."
    – Juhasz
    Jun 4 '19 at 19:21
  • The thing is though that an anagram creates already existing words from other existing words and this one is creating a new word from two existing words so maybe a ... New-O-Duogram :) Jun 4 '19 at 19:33

The National Puzzlers' League maintains a guide to wordplay terminology that has a few terms that might be useful. Some of these terms are commonly used, and others were coined by NPL members.

  • transposal is any rearrangement of letters from a word or phrase to another word or phrase
  • anagram, as defined by NPL, is a transposal where one arrangement forms a clue or description of the second arrangement. NPL imposes some additional rules for good anagrams; these are at the link.
  • alternade would work, if your single word were formed by taking one letter at a time from each of the source words in order, e.g. HAT + ERS = HEARTS.
  • rebade is a variation of the alternade that is also a rebus
  • interlock is like an alternade, except the source words don't have to be the same length
  • transade would work, if your single word were formed by transposing each of your source words separately and then appending them together, e.g. ASH + REV = SHAVER.
  • alterposal is like an alternade where the source words are transposed first
  • transinterlock is like an interlock where one of the the source words is transposed first

Given these definitions, the example you have given, LAMP + VAMPIRE = VAPAMLIMPER, is merely a transposal, and since it is a protologism rather than a neologism, I would call it a transposal protologism or a protologistic transposal.

You could combine your source words using the more restrictive rules for one of the specific transposals to make things more interesting. For example, LAMP + VAMPIRE = VAMLAPIMPRE would be a protologistic interlock. LAMP + VAMPIRE = VAMMAPPIREL would be a protologistic transinterlock.

  • 2
    No-one but a puzzler is going to recognise those words, but +1 for relevant research.
    – AndyT
    Jun 5 '19 at 9:15

You can call it a blend word

In linguistics, a blend word or a blend is a word formed from parts of two or more other words. These parts are sometimes, but not always, morphemes.

It's also similar to a portmanteau, except that with a portmanteau, the beginning is from one word and the end from the other, rather than mixed up.

  • Thanks, I know about both of those and thought there might be something more specific? Jun 4 '19 at 19:02
  • @OliverBestwalter If you considered those and rejected them, that should be in the question along with the reasons why you rejected them.
    – Cascabel
    Jun 4 '19 at 19:37
  • @Cascabel I hadn't rejected them as such, but I know about them and maybe they are good descriptions, but I am hoping for something more specific. I asked it the way I think is good enough and I am no expert on the topic. I just wanted to ask a simple question :) Jun 4 '19 at 20:01
  • @OliverBestwalter Right now your question shows no basic research, and that is a reason to close hereabouts.
    – Cascabel
    Jun 4 '19 at 20:14
  • 1
    My +1 should answer that comment! @OliverBestwalter
    – Cascabel
    Jun 4 '19 at 20:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.