What is a blended word?
Also known as a portmanteau, blended words are created by combining two existing words into a new one. These words are a type of slang, yet many end up in the dictionary.
Chances are that you’ve used—or at least heard of—a few English word blends. There are a lot of them!
But even though you might be familiar with some, there are others that you’ll definitely be surprised to learn are blended from two other words.
In this post, we discuss some common blended words with examples of how to use them in a sentence.
Where it comes from: web + log
What it means: An informational website or online journal
How to use it: “Whenever I go traveling, I write on my blog so I can share my experiences with others.”
Where it comes from: brother + romance
What it means: A very close friendship between two men
How to use it: “My brother and his friend are in such a bromance; they hang out almost every day!”
Where it comes from: breakfast + lunch
What it means: A meal that takes place in the late morning and often consists of both breakfast and lunch foods
How to use it: “I love the weekends because I can sleep in late and still have time to go out for brunch.”
Where it comes from: drama + comedy
What it means: A show or movie that has elements of both drama and comedy
How to use it: “Dramedies are my favorite type of show because I like watching dramatic situations but I need a few laughs to lighten the mood.”
Where it comes from: friend + enemy
What it means: Someone who acts friendly toward another person but is actually their enemy
How to use it: “I only hang out with her because I’ve known her my whole life. We don’t even really like each other—we’re basically frenemies.”
Where it comes from: glamorous + camping
What it means: A type of camping trip that involves luxurious and high-class accommodations and facilities (such as electricity and indoor plumbing).
How to use it: “You’ve got a queen-sized bed, a mini fridge, an air conditioner and a TV—you’re not camping; you’re glamping!”
Where it comes from: hungry + angry
What it means: An angry feeling that comes from being hungry
How to use it: “If I don’t eat breakfast by 9 a.m., you won’t want to be around me. I get very hangry.”
Where it comes from: jeans + leggings
What it means: Leggings (pants made of a stretchy material) made to look like jeans
How to use it: “Why wear jeans when you can wear jeggings? They’re so much more comfortable.”
Where it comes from: mock + cocktail
What it means: A cocktail that contains no alcohol
How to use it: “This bar has something for everyone: fine wines, tasty margaritas and, if you’re not a drinker, they have a fantastic selection of fruity mocktails!”
Where it comes from: mock + documentary
What it means: A movie filmed in the style of a documentary but fictional and usually comedic
How to use it: “You should check out Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping starring Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live. It’s a hilarious mockumentary.”
Where it comes from: motor + hotel
What it means: A type of accommodation for motorists, often located near a highway, where each room has an exterior door with parking directly outside.
How to use it: “When my family used to go on long road trips, we would always spend the night at cheap motels along the way.”
Where it comes from: stay + vacation
What it means: A vacation that a person takes close to home
How to use it: “We can’t afford a big holiday this year, so we’re just going to take a weekend staycation at a hotel downtown.”
Where it comes from: web + seminar
What it means: An educational presentation that takes place online
How to use it: “I’m not able to attend the lecture in person, but they’re offering a webinar as well, so I can participate from home.”
Learn these word blends and impress your friends
Blended words have been part of English vocabulary for centuries, and the list keeps growing. To impress your friends at your next English study session, review the words above and show off your knowledge of blended words!
Andrea is a Canadian freelance writer and editor specializing in English, e-learning, EdTech, and SaaS. She has a background as an ESL teacher in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. In her free time, Andrea loves hanging out with her husband and children, creating recipes in the kitchen, and reading fiction. She also loves camping and jumping into lakes whenever possible. Learn more about Andrea on LinkedIn or check out her website.