Having a marathon talk on a telephone then what you are actually engaged in is a telethon. Does the new word sound familiar to you? It is actually a portmanteau word. A Portmanteau word is a single word coined by combining two or more different words. The new word produced is a combination of parts of the original words having a new meaning but closely related to the sense of the original words. Portmanteau words are also termed as blends as the resulting new word is a blend of the sounds and meanings of the original words.
The term Portmanteau was first used by Lewis Carroll in his book “Through the Looking Glass” wherein Humpty Dumpty offers the following explanation to Alice about the new words “well, ‘slithy’ means “lithe and slimy” and ‘mimsy’ is “flimsy and miserable”. You see it's like a portmanteau -- there are two meanings packed up into one word.” It is interesting to note that the word portmanteau is itself a blend finding its origin in the French word portemanteau derived from the words, porter which means to carry and another source word manteau which means a cloak.
Portmanteau words are new words formed by combining the meanings and sounds of other words. Parts of two or more words are combined to form a new word that are generally acceptable and understood by everybody. Motel is a portmanteau word derived from motor and hotel, ‘Swatch’ is a new word formed from the two words Swiss and watch. Breathalyzer is the portmanteau word formed from breath and analyzer while faction is derived from the source words fact and fiction.
Advertainment is a portmanteau word formed from the source words, advertisement and entertainment. The meaning of the new portmanteau word, advertainment would refer to communication having the features of advertising and entertainment. Avionics is a portmanteau word formed by combining parts of the source words, aviation and electronics while bionics is derived from biology and electronics. Blog is a much used word in recent times and is essentially a portmanteau word formed by the alphabet b taken from the word web and another source word, log. A blog refers to a website recording entries in a chronological order.
Portmanteau words are not restricted to any particular field and may be found in diverse fields such as weather, events, entertainment, locations, science, place, food, equipments and even in internet use. Thus you can have the portmanteau word flog formed by parts of source words fake and blog. A cafeteria and auditorium are combined to form a new word cafetorium while two equipments such as camera and recorder can be joined to lead to the portmanteau word, camcorder. In the world of entertainment we are commonly faced with portmanteau words such as Bollywood formed from Bombay and Hollywood, while fanzine is formed by combining fan and part of the word magazine.