Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Portmanteau-Titled Word Book

As a word lover, I have always enjoyed reading books about words and I have just heard about a new word book that I plan on purchasing based solely on the one-word name of the book. The name of the book is an outstanding portmanteau word that was created by the author. I love the word for two reasons: it is the perfect portmanteau to describe what the book is about and it is just plain fun to say.


Anonyponymous, as its subtitle reveals, is about, "the forgotten people behind everyday words." The author, John Bemelmans Marciano, has written about eponymous words including cardigan, crapper, and frisbee and about the people for whom these words were named.

In talking about John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, Marciano states the following:

"He is a man who is almost anonymous despite the eponymous use of his name in everyday language."

For the record, here are the definitions that lend themselves to the success of the portmanteau word: (from

adj. Of, relating to, or constituting an eponym.

n. A word or name derived from the name of a person.

adj. Having an unknown or unacknowledged name

It really is a fun word to say. Give it a try...anonyponymous


Anonymous said...

Marciano isn't going to haul out that ole Thomas Crapper canard, is he?


Mon said...

hi 'wordacious', i've been dropping by your blog these last couple of weeks and i think i've found love. would you recommend a good metalanguage glossary on the net? i've tried looking up words on merriam-webster and other online dictionaries but sometimes they don't respond in terms of linguistics.

Wordacious said...

Hello Mon -

Dr. Goodwords alphaDictionary is always a great reference,, and of course the OED if you subscribe.

I'm glad you like my blog. My goal has always been to show that learning about language can be fun. I will soon be taking a winter break with my family so while I am away I will be posting some humorous, linguistically-related cartoons and jokes. I hope you enjoy. Happy Holidays.

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