Portmanteaus words (or portmanteaux words), known in French as mots-valises, are single words that have two meanings. The word portmanteau (coat rack) itself combines two words porter (wearing) and manteau (coat). If you look through recent dictionaries, you’ll realize there are numerous words from the tech world that include two words. There are many mots-valises in the French language. Words like franglais, pourriel and clavardage have really been adapted to our daily lives. Here are 10 French portmanteaus words and their origin.
Franglais is a mix of français (french) and anglais (english). These two words have become one because of the large influence of the English language in France and in other francophone countries. In France, the younger generations have really embraced English words and Anglicisms. In Montreal for example, the two languages spoken are English and French so people mix the two languages in sentences when they talk to their friends or close family members. It’s one of the most used french portmanteaus words.
Partagiciel is a mix of partageable (shareable) and logiciel (software). A partagiciel is a shareware, software that you share, that you can use without paying for either a limited or unlimited amount of time. This is a great example of a portmanteau created for the tech world. This word wouldn’t have made any sense 30 years ago but now that most people use this kind of software every day, people need to invent new words to define shareable software.
Clavarder is the fusion of the word clavier (keyboard) and bavarder (chat). Again, this is an example of the growth of the tech industry and their need to of new words to express actions related to computers. Clavarder means to talk to other web users online. Since you’re using a keyboard to talk and not your voice, this word was invented to express “talking to someone through the computer”.