I do the love the Macquarie Dictionary.
It is the dictionary of Australian English, expressive of all classes and of our multicultural society. Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with it because of my frequent reference to it in my word-nerdy posts.
Today, though, the editors excelled themselves.
On the day when Facebook cut off access to all Australian news channels— sadly including sources of information relied upon by particular social groups such as Indigenous communities, domestic violence support groups for women and families, and local information networks— as a result of a disagreement with the Australian government over market share and finances, the Macquarie tweeted that Australians have been zucked.
An obvious play on the F-bomb and Zuckerberg, it’s a clever new portmanteau word.
A portmanteau word is one created by blending two existing words or parts of words to create a new word. The name comes from a portmanteau, which is a type of suitcase that opens into two halves. This dates back to Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through the Looking Glass’:
We use portmanteau words every day, without many of us realising how they were created:
- Botox — botulism toxin
- Brexit — British exit from the European Union
- Bollywood — Bombay and Hollywood
- Email — electronic mail
- Fortnight — fourteen nights, so two weeks
- Sitcom — situation comedy
- Webinar — web seminar
English is actually full of these words, as it’s a form of wordplay that has been around for hundreds of years.
#words #language #facebooknewsban