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  • The comic in which it appeared - self-described as a "webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language," and beloved by Web geeks - showed the word malamanteau as the subject of a Wikipedia page, with the caption: "Ever notice how Wikipedia has a few words it really likes?" Most Popular

  • On May 12, the word malamanteau showed up in the Web comic xkcd, where it was defined as "a neologism for Most Popular

  • Why then the knee-jerk "not a real word" reaction of so many people to malamanteau? Most Popular

  • So when I saw malamanteau show up in the comic strip, the very first thing I did was head to Wordnik, the collaborative online dictionary that I run. Most Popular

  • For some, malamanteau will only become real when it's used, unconsciously, by someone who's never heard of xkcd. Most Popular

  • In a sterling example of life imitating art, a Wikipedia page for malamanteau was speedily created - and just as rapidly deleted for "not being a real word," but not before generating thousands of words of discussion as to its Most Popular

  • It's not the clearest definition ever written, but the idea is that a malamanteau blends one or more not-quite-right words to create a completely new one. Most Popular

  • True, for many English speakers, use in a Web comic and inclusion in a couple of online dictionaries are not enough to establish malamanteau as a "real" word. Most Popular

  • Since online dictionaries are effectively limitless in scope, it's not like malamanteau is taking up space that would be better used for other words. Most Popular

  • But if we leave the circumstances of its birth aside, malamanteau already has a number of the qualities we associate with real words. Most Popular


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  • Malamanteau is a combination of two words: malapropism and portmanteau. It first gained notoriety in May of 2010 when it was mentioned in the popular web comic XKCD

    Examples of malamanteau include:

    "to misconscrew it up"

    "to flustrate"

    May 12, 2010

  • Malamanteau is itself a malamanteau :P

    May 13, 2010

  • But not a mallomanteau.

    May 13, 2010

  • Discovered this word because of an XKCD comic to be found here.

    May 14, 2010