In honour of Canadian legend Bryan Adams being the first artist to release a cassingle (cassette + single) back in 1987, we decided to dig deep into the world of combined words to find our 9 favourite Portmanteaus!


JACK Fact: The term portmanteau describes combined words and was first used by Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass and the word portmanteau is itself a portmanteau, combining the French words “porter” (to carry) & “manteau” (a cloak).


Cassingle (cassette + single) – The word that inspired this list, the cassingle first went on sale on March 13, 1987. They became extremely popular during the late ’80s and ’90s, offering people a cheaper way to get their hands on the latest hit song. They were eventually replaced by the CD single and then the digital download, neither of which are portmanteaus.


Toonie (two + loonie) – Upon its arrival in 1987, Canada’s $1 coin quickly became known as the “loonie” due to the common loon that graced the tails side of the coin. So when Canada unveiled a new $2 coin with a polar bear on it in 1996, it immediately became known as the “polaroonie”. Just kidding, us Canadians decided that a portmanteau of two and loonie would be better and thus the “toonie” was born.


Jorts (jeans + shorts) – What do you get when you combine jeans and shorts? Jorts! Jorts are divisive amongst the fashionistas of the world, with some absolutely loving them and others unfavourably lumping them in with capri pants and sandals with socks. Are you Team Jorts or Team Never Jorts?


Clamato (clam juice + tomato juice) – Alcoholic drinks don’t get much more Canadian than a caesar, but did you know that the key ingredient, Clamato juice, is a combination of clam and tomato juices. Other great food portmanteaus include brunch (breakfast + lunch), froyo (frozen + yogurt) and frappuccino (frappe + cappuccino).


Internet (international + network) – The computer world is full of portmanteaus but our favourite might also be the most important. We’ve gotta admit, Internet has a much cooler ring to it than Globenet or Worldnet.


Burquitlam (Burnaby + Coquitlam) – Possibly Vancouver’s greatest contribution to the portmanteau craze is the neighbourhood of Burquitlam. The name has become so common that TransLink recently named a new SkyTrain station after it.


Muppet (marionette + puppet) – You remember Jim Henson’s “The Muppet Show”, right? Not only was it a classic show, but it was a portmanteau too! Jim Henson claimed to have created the word but I think we all know he just combined marionette and puppet.


Velcro (French “velours” (velvet) and “crochet” (hook)) – Of all the combo words on this list, velcro might have been the most surprising. Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral coined the portmanteau to name his revolutionary invention back in the 1950s and also used the phrase to name his company. The Velcro Company still manufactures velcro today.


Hangry (hungry + angry) – Do you know someone who gets a little angry when they’re hungry? Well, there’s a word for that! You wouldn’t like us when we’re hangry.


Honourable Mention: Labradoodle (Labradour retriever + poodle), Sitcom (situational + comedy), Ginormous (gigantic + enormous), Vitamin (vita + amine), Cyborg (cybernetic + organism)


Have a favourite portmanteau? Always dreamed of creating your own? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Filed under: bryan adams, Burquitlam, Cassingle, Clamato, Heat Of The Night, JACK likes Lists, Jorts, Portmanteaus