‘Spork’ is a portmanteau- a word made by taking two separate words and their definitions and combining them.  ‘Spork’ combines the purposes of the spoon and the fork, and their names.

Lewis Carroll invented the use of the word ‘portmanteau’ in this context.  Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice the words in Jabberwocky such as “mimsy” is “flimsy and miserable”.

He used the word portmanteau, which is one of those old-time suite cases in which both halves open up to reveal equal compartments.  He tells Alice, ‘You see it’s like a portmanteau—there are two meanings packed up into one word.’

English has quite a few food-related portmanteaus.  Brunch, tofurky, frappuccino, appletini, and so on.  But many other languages have food related portmanteaus also, including this VERY old one – pupusa.  A pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran food.  Basically a thick, stuffed tortilla.

Pupusa is what the Spanish called the native food popotlax.  Popotlax is a portmanteau of the Nahuatl words popotl meaning large and bulky, and tlaxkalli which means tortilla.


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