Top 5 Most Obnoxious Food Portmanteaux

Categories: Top Five

Image by Joanna O'Leary
An example of a good food portmanteau
I have no objection to a clever and useful portmanteau. Tween, hazmat and Spanglish come to mind, not to mention less obvious ones embedded in everyday parlance such as dumbfound (dumb + confound) and goodbye (God + be(with) +ye). In the food world, however, there are many, many portmanteaux that are stupid, unnecessary and/or just plain obnoxious. Here are five in particular that annoy me:

5. Spork (spoon + fork). Not the worst but not the best either. There's risk of mistaking the fused elements as "spam" and "pork" or "sausage" and "pork." Plus, its necessity is dubious: Are people really using these things anymore? Hopefully, the term's extinction will follow as the utensil's popularity declines.

4. Turducken (turkey + duck + chicken). I know I'll get some pushback on this one given that turduckens can be quite tasty. My main issue with this word is its sound, specifically the scatological allusion with the initial morpheme turd. Poop does not get me in the mood for Thanksgiving.

3. Kentaco Hut (Kentucky Fried Chicken + Taco Bell + Pizza Hut). I cannot deny these things exist and we need to call them something. But that something should not be "kentaco hut," which suggests some sort of depraved Star Wars-themed restaurant.

2. Lupper (lunch + supper). I'm cool with brunch and brinner; the former describes a meal that has evolved into a unique dining experience and the latter is a useful descriptor for eating bacon and eggs at night. Are we really eating such vastly different things at lunch and supper that we require a middle term to merge them linguistically? Also, when is this meal served so it won't be confused with a late lunch or an early dinner? Just between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.? That's teatime, fools.

1. P'zone (pizza + calzone). Thank Pizza Hut for this ridiculous neologism. Albeit similar in taste and ingredients, pizzas and calzones are two separate dishes with distinct culinary and cultural traditions. What Pizza Hut actually made in combining them is more like a stromboli. Are there any Italian-Americans in their R&D department? Sigh.

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I happen to like the spork.


This list is unfairly biased against Yum brands. Also, what else am I supposed to eat a Mexican Pizza with if not with a spork?

Bruce_Are topcommenter

Just yesterday Taco Bell provided me with a spork to eat my Enchirito.  Speaking of Enchirito, maybe that belongs on your list.


@SirRon An unconscious bias because I had to look up  what you meant by "yum brands". 


@jsoleary...but you knew they were all the same. How else could they have all the secret ingredients to pull of a successful Kentaco Hut?  Is there a portmanteau for the smell inside those things? 

The most obnoxious word in this post is portmanteaux. Props for the phrase "scatological allusion" though. Google tells me that there are only 194 instances of that phrase on the interwebs.


@jsoleary I'm cool with plurals, and I grew up in Louisiana, so I'm not afraid of -eaux's. It's the word itself. 

What about nowadays? Seriously, why is that a word!?


@SirRon @jsoleary You're particularly offended by the French plural of portmanteau (portmanteaux)? :-) You think I should have gone for the less pretentious "portmanteaus"?

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