#312: Word Blends in Modern English Vocabulary | Hangry, Kenergy, Glamping

Jul 3, 2024 | Advanced Vocabulary

Has anyone in your office talked about much-appreciated Kenergy?

Or are some friends talking about a recent glamping trip?

Welcome to the world of word blends (also known as portmanteaus)!

English speakers LOVE to create new words. We do so quickly and easily by blending two words together.

But… these word blends aren’t just wordplay; they are a creative twist in the English language reflecting cultural trends, technological advancements, and even our daily habits. This is why English speakers are constantly developing and using new word blends.

From words such as ‘brunch’ (breakfast + lunch) to ‘smog’ (smoke + fog), these blended words surround us in everyday conversations, media headlines, and even in our social media feeds.

Understanding portmanteaus makes it easier to understand English conversations everywhere you go and using them helps you sound more natural, current, and fluent in English. 

WATCH THE LESSON

Word Blends in Modern English Vocabulary

Category #1: Food & Fun

Flexitarian

  • Flexible + Vegetarian
  • Def: a person who eats mainly vegetarian food but eats meat occasionally.
  • Ex. Due to health reasons, my grandmother follows a flexitarian diet, limiting her consumption of meat.

 

Glamping

  • Glam + Camping
  • Def: a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.
  • Ex. My sister won’t come camping unless we’re going glamping. 

 

Hangry

  • Hungry + Angry
  • Def: a bad temper or irritation due to hunger.
  • Ex. It looks like you’re starting to feel hangry; let’s go get a bite to eat before we do anything else.

 

Staycation

  • Stay + Vacation
  • Def: a holiday that you take at home or near your home rather than traveling to another place.
  • Ex. During the pandemic, many people chose to indulge in staycations during the summer months. 

Category #2: Tech Talk

Doomscroll/Doomsurfing

  • Doom & Gloom + Scrolling
  • Def: the act of spending too much time endlessly scrolling through online news or social media. To the point, it ultimately leads you to feelings of anxiety and negativity.
  • Ex. I had to find ways to quit doomscrolling during my free time.

 

Metaverse

  • Meta + Universe
  • Def: A virtual environment created for social connection through immersive technology as an alternative to the real world.
  • Ex. During the pandemic, the gaming industry was buzzing with excitement about the metaverse.

 

Netiquette

  • Internet + Etiquette
  • Def: Rules of conduct for appropriate and respectful communication on the Internet.
  • Ex. On Youtube, people often forget their netiquette and leave harsh comments they would never say in real life.

 

Webinar

  • Web + Seminar
  • Def: a presentation or seminar held entirely online.
  • Ex. Our team enjoyed a recent webinar on AI trends in education.

Category #3: Modern Lifestyle

Biohack

  • Biology + Hack
  • Def: an instance or manner of self-improvement done through strategic experimentation with diet, technology, hormones, etc.
  • Ex. Eating oily fish is one way to biohack your longevity.

 

Situationships

  • Situation + Relationship
  • Def: a relationship that is more than friendship but less than a committed relationship. It lacks the typical norms and expectations of a committed relationship. 
  • Ex. Melissa didn’t want to end up in another situationship after the pandemic. 

 

Slacktivism

  • Slacking + Activism
  • Def: activities that use the internet to support political or social causes without much effort (i.e., creating or signing online petitions).
  • Ex. With more social media and access to the Internet, slacktivism is on the rise. 

 

Tipflation

  • Tipping + Inflation
  • Def: The increased rates at which customers are expected to tip those who provide services to them.
  • Ex. Tipflation has gotten out of hand in North America! I don’t know how much to tip anymore. 

 

Workcation

  • Work + Vacation
  • Def: a working vacation in which professionals can work remotely and travel at the same time.
  • Ex. I’m looking forward to my upcoming workcation in Oslo!

 

Zillenials

  • Generation Z + Millenials
  • Def: a microgeneration born between 1992-1998.
  • Ex. Zillenials remember using landlines and experiencing the rise of smartphones.

Category #4: People & Relationships

Bromance

  • Brother + Romance
  • Def: a close platonic relationship between two male friends.
  • Ex. Although they’d only met each other two days ago, their bromance was strong. 

 

Frenemy

  • Friend + Enemy
  • Def: Someone who pretends to be a friend despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry.
  • Ex. In Hollywood, many actors have frenemies and often feel they can’t trust anyone. 

 

Kenergy

  • Ken Doll + Energy
  • Def: support of women with openness and confidence, particularly from an attractive male
  • Ex. Richard had major Kenergy while supporting his wife’s new business launch.

 

Mansplain

  • Man + Explain
  • Def: to explain something to a woman in a condescending way, despite her complete knowledge of the topic
  • Ex. Thank you for mansplaining the consequences of drinking coffee as a pregnant woman.
After you’ve watched the video, share with me and practice.

  1. What portmanteaus have you come across recently? What do they mean?
  2. Choose 2-3 of the portmanteaus in today’s lesson and share your example sentence for each.

You can share with me in the comment section below.

~ Annemarie

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