29 June 2014

Weird Word - Portmanteau is... (4)

...a word that blends sounds and combines the meaning of two others (Concise Oxford English Dictionary). A word like...

T  W  E  R  K.

American Dad S09.E12 - 'Naled to the Limit.'

Twerkas stated on Wikipedia, is a portmanteau of twist + jerk.

Twerk, is so new that it has no entry on my OED edition of 2008.

However, as reported on FoxNews.com,
Twerk made officially into the mainstream English
as it got its entry in the OED Online
around August of 2013.

Peanut Butter by RuPaul - Music Clip

Eyes on the definition,  please!

Dance to popular music
in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements
and a low, squatting stance.

The OED Online dates the origins of the word twerk in the1990's.

Family Guy S07.E03 - Road to Germany.

It also speculates that twerk is an alteration of the word WORK.

Although twist + jerk fit perfectly as a possible portmanteau origin of twerk, I'm more inclined to accept the OED's speculation over work.

Two evidences from English can be used to reinforce OED's point.

RuPaul's Drag Race Untcuked


WORK is commonly pronounced as WERK.

In popular media work is often registered with 
it's deviated spell.


During picture taking,
and other artistic performances,
observers often shout repeatedly...


When shouted repeatedly - werk it, wert it, werk it - 
we end up hearing T'werk!

So, very likely, twerk is not a portmanteau at all.

Twerk is less likely to be a portmanteau of twist + jerk when we struggle to find others portmanteaus based around twist or jerk.

Like the other examples shown in previous posts,
portmanteau words usually spawn a number of new words. 

Staycation, for example - vacation spent in one's country, rather than abroad; or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.

Apparently, staycation has origins during the recession of 2008, when many Britishers had to refrain from their traditional overseas vacation 'n' stay home.

And since then, each type of vacation has gained its own portmanteau.

Selfcation         Hotelcation         Webcation         Facebookation

Eurocation         Seniorcation         Kidcation         Gymcation

And my favourite...

G a y c a t i o n.

...vacation during which I go out to do a lot of dancing 'n' twerking.

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