From Brangelina to Bromance: Blended Words That Need to Go

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It’s all Bennifer’s fault.

Bennifer being Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, whose 2003 romance unleashed a plague upon the world. No, it wasn’t Gigli or the wretched “Jenny from the Block” video. It was the trend of referring to a celeb couple by a mash-up of their names. Bennifer begat Brangelina, who begat Tomkat, and now we have to live in a world with Robsten, Therouxniston, and Speidi.

But it didn’t stop with celeb super couples. No, it morphed into an obsessive desire to fuse any two words to coin cutesy terms for anything and everything—even things that already had names. It’s gotten so bad that when Sarah Palin conjured the word “refudiate” out of thin air (confusing refute and repudiate), people actually started using it in real life.

Here’s your English lesson for the day: the proper term for a word made up of two previously existing words is portmanteau. They’ve been around forever, and there are tons of perfectly useful and wonderful portmanteaus that you probably don’t even realize you use. Take smog, brunch, and meld. See? Perfectly lovely words! Unfortunately, poorly conceptualized and just plain idiotic blends have become ubiquitous, and now it’s hard to go a day without hearing some ginormous douchetard prattle on about how he and his puggle are taking a staycation to work on their mockumentary. Ugh, gag me.

Let’s all agree to Make. It. Stop. by forevermore refraining from using these hellacious, ridonkulous, craptacular “words,” because our poor, downtrodden language can’t take this abuse. I guess you might say that we’re all suffering from portmantoverload.

Ill-Advised Items of Clothing
Skants, skorts, jorts, jeggings, jorjeggings. The garments shouldn’t even exist in the first place.

Words That Make Parents Feel Cool
Momgasm, momalicious, momtrepreneur, dadelor.  

Anything with the Prefix Bro-
Bromance, brogramming, brotastic, broworker, brocrastinate. Really, it’s just broverkill.

(S)Excessive Sexiness
Sexploit, sexile, sexcapade, sexting, sexsational, sexercise, sexpert.

Silly Hyperbole
Carmageddon, debtgeddon, snowmageddon, snowpocalypse, aflockalypse, Julyuary. Get worked up about Darfur, not snowstorms on the East Coast in winter, which are a given.

Words That Emasculate
Manpris, mandals, murse, moobs, mangina, manscaping, mancession, manstration, metrosexual.

Things Related to the Internet and/or Twitter
Netiquette, netizen, webinar, pornado, blogebrity, digerati, twitterari, tweeps, twitturgy. Twidiotic.

Stuff White People Say
Affluenza, compliminsult, explainabrag, greenwash, slacktivist, lactivist, trustafarian, hangry, fugly, permalance, freegan, locavore, gaybies, gaysians.

The Horribly Overused
Chillax, hipster, bridezilla, chocoholic, tanorexic, staycation, glamazon, guesstimate.

The Really, Really Stupid
Workamping, faction, woon, knork.

Hybrid Dogs
Labradoodle, bull-shit, corgipoo, cockapoo, doxiepoo, puggle, boggle, chug. The proper name for a mixed-breed dog is “mutt.”

The Word “Shart”
Because it’s really disgusting.

Here’s the thing: using a dumb, zeitgeisty word doesn’t make a person look hip or relevant; it just makes you look like you have a small vocabulary. There are about a quarter of a million words in the English language—why settle for these?


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