- A portmanteau is a linguistic blend of words, as with “motor” and “hotel” becoming “motel,” or “breakfast” and “lunch” becoming “brunch.” What would be a good portmanteau to describe your mood today? This isn’t technically a mood, but thired–thirsty and tired. Pregnancy is almost definitely responsible for both. I swear I wake up dehydrated every morning.
- An acronym is a word or name formed from the initial components of a longer name or phrase, usually using individual initial letters, as when “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation” becomes LASER and “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus” becomes SCUBA. What’s a pronouncable acronym to describe a meal you had today? I got nothing–all I’ve had so far is oatmeal and tea.
- A backronym is a constructed phrase purporting to be the source of a word that is an acronym, as when (in elementary school) my classmates insisted KISS (the band name) stood for Knights Under Satan’s Service or that FORD (the name of the auto manufacturer) stood for Fix Or Repair Daily, or Found On Road Daily, and don’t get me started on SPAM. What’s a good backronym for the name of a street you traverse regularly? I’m going with Main, the street we live on, but I’m stuck on what it could stand for. I keep trying to start with Many Animals because of the critters that we often see in our yard, but then I get stuck on a second half that makes sense.
- A demonym is a word identifying residents or natives of a particular place, usually derived from the name of the place, as “Californian” is a demonym for people from California, and “Iraqi” is a demonym for people from Iraq. What would be a good demonym for the people who serve you at a favorite establishment? We have a couple coffee shops in town. One is called Chicco Baccello, and I like the idea of calling their staff Baccello Fellows.
- Onomatopoeia is the process of creating a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes, as when we describe a cat as saying “meow,” or a sack of flour hitting the floor going “thud.” What are some onomatopoiec words to describe sounds your body makes? These days, mostly grumbling.
From Friday 5.