Quiz on portmanteaus

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on June 22, 2018 Published on June 22, 2018

Brexit: On this day, two years ago, the Brexit referendum was held in UK. Britain voted to leave the European Union in the referendum.   -  REUTERS/ NEIL HALL

On this day, two years ago, the Brexit referendum was held. Brexit being a portmanteau of the words ‘Britain’ and ‘Exit,’ is a great opportunity for a quiz on portmanteaus.

Mixing words

1 One of the earliest products to fit this word was a BBC short film on the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest that appeared as an April fool joke. But the word became mainstream when used by Rob Reiner to describe the film he had directed, called This is Spinal Tap. What is the word?

2 In the national politics of which country has the portmanteau ‘Zupta’ been in the news for the past decade?

3 Chesterbelloc was a term coined to describe the literary contributions of two heavy weights of the late 19th and early 20th century, Hillaire Belloc and G K Chesterton. Which Nobel laureate, and a man of letters himself, coined the Portmanteau?

4 The word ‘taxicab’ is a combination of two words. The first is the German ‘taxameter’ meaning charge. Which is the second word in the portmanteau?

5 Differentiate between a chork and a knork?

6 Min Kao and Gary Burrell started a technology company in 1989, which is currently a leader in the personal fitness wearable space. Name the company.

7 NatWest has been one of Britain’s largest banks and an active player in the sports sponsorship space. Of which two words is NatWest a portmanteau?

8 ‘Holistay’ is a term used to describe a period when a family or individual stays at home and during holidays, a concept that became increasingly popular after the world financial crisis in 2009. However, there is another portmanteau describing the same, which was far more popular and longer lasting. What was the other word?

9 This term was inspired by an essay, ‘_____ ______ Things to Me: Facts Didn’t Get in Their Way’, written by Rebecca Solnit. In the essay, Solnit shares an anecdote about a man at a party who said he had heard she had written some books. She began to talk about her most recent, on Eadweard Muybridge, whereupon the man cut her off and asked if she had “heard about the very important Muybridge book that came out this year,” not considering that it might in fact be Solnit’s book. Which term is inspired from the two words that fill in the blanks?

10 In 1992, Paul Lewis, a professor of Boston College, coined a word describing genetically modified fare which was a portmanteau involving a literary character. The word caught on immediately after his letter to The New York Times and is often used by opponents of genetically modified foodstuff. Which word?


1 Mockumentary, a combination of ‘mock’ and ‘documentary’

2 South Africa, used by the Opposition to describe the collusion between Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family that was compromising national interests

3 George Bernard Shaw. Literary giants like Oscar Levy and HG Wells participated in the debate

4 ‘Cabriolet,’ a word for a horse-drawn carriage, originally French

5 Chorks are slightly curved tongs which work both as chop sticks and as forks. Knorks are implements that are a combination of a knife and fork

6 Garmin, from ‘Gary’ and ‘Min’

7 ‘National’ and ‘Westminster’

8 Staycation, from ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’

9 Mansplaining, from ‘man’ and ‘explaining.’

10 Frankenfood from ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘food’



Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

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Published on June 22, 2018
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