A Japanese English portmanteau that failed

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Sign on a store front in Nagasaki:

JEWECOLOGY characterizes itself as an "eco style jewelries recycle store".

The Japanese are inordinately fond of portmanteau words:

Some of them, like "cosplay", have been spectacularly successful, even outside of Japan:

Unfortunately, and for obvious reasons, this one is a miserable failure.

[Thanks to Mark Swofford]


  1. Mara K said,

    January 23, 2017 @ 4:35 pm

    Jewecology sounds like a weird New Agey pseudomethod of implenting the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).

  2. Jerry Friedman said,

    January 23, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

    I wonder how many English speakers have gone into the store and told the owners they don't look Jewish.

    (If the store is owned by a Jew or Jews, which I gravely doubt, the joke's on me.)

  3. Tim Taylor said,

    January 23, 2017 @ 6:21 pm

    Try their website: http://www.jewecology.com.

    They consistently spell jewelry as 'jewerly'.

  4. Maude said,

    January 24, 2017 @ 6:35 am

    Also sounds oddly medical (before viewing the image) as in: My jewec aches.

  5. Janus said,

    January 24, 2017 @ 11:41 am

    Miserable failure? That seems rather a harsh verdict.

    It took me a few seconds of consciously thinking about how it was a failure before I noticed the word ‘jew’ popping up there. My immediate, instinctive reading was as a portmanteau of ‘jewel’ and ‘ecology’, presumably something to do with jewels made in an organic, eco-friendly way (if that’s possible).

  6. julie lee said,

    January 24, 2017 @ 7:50 pm

    "Jewecology" reminds of a strange word I first saw some months ago, "Pieology". It is the name of a new shop across my street here in Palo Alto, California. I had no idea what it meant. Standing across the street, I could see nothing inside its glass window. I wondered it if had anything to do with gemology or geology. Months later I found that it was a pizza shop. It sells "fresh and flavorful pizza with no limit" . It has stores in Berkeley, San Francisco, Cupertino and other places in this area.

  7. Xmun said,

    January 24, 2017 @ 10:22 pm

    Talking of portmanteaux, the German journalist Thomas Kielinger, who often appears in the BBC programme Dateline London (a review of events in the preceding week) came up with a beauty, though I don't know if it was original or borrowed. He suggested the new POTUS would do himself a service if he became a "tweetotaller".

  8. Jerry Friedman said,

    January 25, 2017 @ 4:49 pm

    julie lee: The "ology" is supposed to suggest expertise. Google tells me there are hamburger joints called "Burgerology" and hair salons called "Hairology", though it knows the latter better as some kind of on-line event about designing hair for Second Life characters.

    I'd have guessed that "Pieology" made apple pies, etc.

  9. Victor Mair said,

    January 25, 2017 @ 11:09 pm

    "Jewecology — a new word that might not catch on"

    WP, The Volokh Conspiracy Opinion

    Eugene Volokh (1/25/17)

  10. austimatt said,

    January 26, 2017 @ 8:43 am

    It was 'JEWLOGY' that jumped out at me – something that might be read at a Jewish funeral?

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