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A new (to me) word: transpoosion, meaning "fecal microbiota transplant", by way of blending poo and transfusion.

I'm not sure who invented it when, though it's clearly been around for a decade or more.

Are there other blends where a single syllable of a Latinate (or similar) compound is replaced by a monosyllabic word from ordinary language, differing only in a single consonant or vowel sound? It's easy to make up bad examples, like transpiguration, blending pig and transfiguration.



  1. Jonathan Lundell said,

    November 20, 2021 @ 9:29 am


    [(myl) Yes!]

  2. Cervantes said,

    November 20, 2021 @ 11:05 am

    Blacksploitation. I think this is actually a pretty common trick.

  3. Ben Zimmer said,

    November 20, 2021 @ 11:05 am

    My 2006 LL post "Blawgs, phonolawgically speaking" has some similar "sandwich words." (Unlike mockumentary and blaxploitation, these have the added restriction of the replaced syllable occurring medially.)

    Every generation seems to create its own sandwich words, but we are blessed (and cursed) to live in an era where every nonce formation is likely to be recorded on some website somewhere, occasionally gathered up in such repositories of fleeting usage as Urban Dictionary, Langmaker, or most recently Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary. … It's easy enough to find latter-day sandwich words on these sites, e.g.: satiscraptory = satisfactory + crap, fantASStic = fantastic + ass, and specyackular = spectacular + yack. Elsewhere one can find sandwich words of a less profane nature, e.g.: specTECHular = spectacular + tech, fan-Kaz-tic = fantastic + Kaz (i.e., the baseball player Kaz Matsui), and ter-RIF-fic = terrific + RIF ("Reading is Fundamental").

    Certain words seem to lend themselves to sandwich blending. Once ridonkulous and other silly variants of ridiculous began to spread several years ago, the word ridiculous became a prime target for nonce sandwich blends. Urban Dictionary is full of examples like redorkulous, redrunkulous, reboozulous, and recrunkulous (in these cases, the blending has led to a reanalysis of the first syllable as re-). In fact, ridonkulous itself has been interpreted as a blend of ridiculous and donk(ey), though this strikes me as an ex post facto rationalization. Another popular target among left-leaning Netizens is the word Republican, which gets the sandwich treatment in such epithets as Rethuglican, Resmuglican, Repiglican, Redumblican, Rebooblican, Reporklican, Repooplican, Reputzlican, Repukelican, etc., etc.

    The recipe for such sandwich words is pretty constant: take a polysyllabic word and replace the primarily-stressed syllable with a punchy monosyllabic word of your choice.

  4. Cervantes said,

    November 20, 2021 @ 11:21 am

    Sure. Quackademic, Linsanity, bromance, workaholic, mansplain, mocktail, staycation . . . This is entirely commonplace.

  5. Adam F said,

    November 21, 2021 @ 10:07 am

    Well, "crapsule" (crap capsule) is another term related to microbiome transplantation.

  6. Daniel Barkalow said,

    November 22, 2021 @ 1:02 pm

    I think the hard thing is distinguishing portmanteaus that just happen to work out that way from cases that are actually a different process.

  7. Cervantes said,

    November 22, 2021 @ 2:25 pm

    Well, these are conscious inventions. It's a way of being clever, or making yourself feel clever. Maybe some of them end up sticking in the vocabulary but I think they tend to be topical and ephemeral, rather than making it into the lexicon. But maybe there are examples that have become lexically respectable that I'm not thinking of.

  8. Philip Taylor said,

    November 22, 2021 @ 4:23 pm

    Well, the OED is not what it once was, and I no longer regard it as the ultimate arbiter as to what is and what is not lexically respectable, but a quick check of the following reveals that they are all included in the online edition : mansplain. mocktail, sexploitation, staycation, workaholic. But I seriously doubt whether Murray would have been as keen and as quick to include them as today's OED editors, were he still in charge today.

  9. BillR said,

    November 22, 2021 @ 10:09 pm

    And then there’s absofuckinglutely, and fanfuckingtastic, and a host of similar constructions.

  10. unekdoud said,

    November 23, 2021 @ 8:50 am

    I suppose "COVIDiot" would fit the description.

    But among words that don't really, I find "mathemagician" quite fantabulous.

  11. RfP said,

    November 23, 2021 @ 1:31 pm

    I would love to hear from a lexicographer about whether the wider and more rapid diffusion of lexemes has had an effect on modern standards of lexical respectability vis-à-vis the standards of a hundred-odd years ago.

    (Or is the culture just a lot more informal, so one is more or less required to chase after Urban Dictionary, et al.—rather than risking a swift descent into irrelevance?)

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