Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Today's Word

Yesterday's Word



Email this


Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's selection features words coined by fusing two separate words. What is unique about these words, as opposed to the words formed by simply placing two words next to each other, e.g. lovesick, is that the former are blended together in such a way that each participating word contributes a fragment of its whole, both in letters and in meaning to the new word. Such an amalgamated word is also known as a portmanteau (from French, carrying case for clothes, usually with two compartments) since Lewis Carroll gave them this moniker in his 1872 classic "Through the Looking-Glass". Carroll himself coined some great portmanteaux, such as chortle (chuckle + snort), and slithy (slimy + lithe).

Many of these portmanteaux words are clunky (infotainment: information + entertainment) while others are fluid (smog: smoke + fog) but they all serve a purpose and that's why they stay in the language.

bodacious (boh-DAY-shuhs) adjective

1. Outright, thorough.
2. Remarkable, impressive.
3. Gutsy, brazen.
4. Voluptuous.

[A blend of bold and audacious.]

"Amy (Jessica Simpson) is the bodacious new cashier whose virtue is reputedly available only to employee-of-the-month title holders."
'Employee of the Month' (movie) Nothing to Brag About; Chicago Tribune; Oct 7, 2006.

See more usage examples of bodacious in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.


People never lie so much as before an election, during a war, or after a hunt. -Otto von Bismarck, statesman (1815-1898)


Sign up to receive A.Word.A.Day in your mailbox every day.

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail 


Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith