Rigged and Rigmaroled

As We Journey Through the Daily Grind

Portmanteau-ed, with love from God’s own country

Posted by Rani on December 15, 2010

We owe to Lewis (he Carols, during Christmas mostly but sometimes otherwise too :-D) the use of the word ‘portmanteau’ in its current meaning. And wiki (the pedic kind, not the leaky one; you do know they’re not related, right?) had it on that name-meshing of celebs was quite the porty-manteauy thing to do.

This brings me to the old joke of mal names, where the doting parents wanting to ensure the family names would pass into the annals of history, and devoid of better ideas would think long and hard and portmanteau a name the kid would hate forever.

You see, behind every seemingly haha name (I’m talkin’ ‘bout you, Biji) is an art at play. You think it’s just a matter of picking syllables off of each parent’s name, and joining ‘em together till death do them part. But, that’s exactly what a portmanteau does. And it’s important exactly which syllable gets chosen, and in what order. Ensuring gender equality, it was not always daddy’s sub-name that got precedence in Junior’s. And ensuring both partners in the marriage remained happy, the syllables would be swapped for the next kid (yeah Jibi, that’s how you got your name).

So the next time you brunch, watching Brangelina with their twins on TV, waiting for your FedEx-ed package, which you paid for using your Amex – think of it. We mals have pulled you in. We were just one generation ahead of the game. Oh man, how cool are WE?!?

(well, I suppose Lewis, when he wasn’t Caroling, was ahead of even us mals. I do wonder if the looking glass had told him anything…)

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