Heroes of compound bastardization

That’s the process smashing two words (or morphemes) together to coin a new term, usually in American English a cute one that has marketing potential.

Lately we’ve had a rash of them pertaining to men and man. A terrible one: Mancation – essentially an extended boys’ night out. Stupid, not catchy, ham-handed. A good one: Bromance – a film about two guys doing stupid guys stuff resulting in some form of nonromantic comedic partnerly affection. More properly applied to Pineapple Express than to Brokeback Mountain. Also heard Manorexia on TV the other day – pretty sure they were kidding.

Since these mashup man-words are all the rage, let’s give a shout-out to the visionaries at Hunt’s, who created the Manwich all the way back in 1967.

(Ironic: French word for the output of compound bastardization, more or less: portmanteau.)

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