What is the difference between a compound word and a portmanteau?

1 Answer
May 8, 2016

A compound word combines two complete words, and a portmanteau combines two partial words or their approximate sounds.


"Snowflake," a classic compound word, combines the words "snow" and "flake" to create a new term. "Gidget" (girl + midget) and "smog" (smoke + fog) use only parts of their compound source words and are portmanteaus.