LINGUIST List 14.2853

Tue Oct 21 2003

Sum: Complex Clippings

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <>


  1. Stefan Th. Gries, Sum: In search of complex clippings ...

Message 1: Sum: In search of complex clippings ...

Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2003 12:34:07 +0200
From: Stefan Th. Gries <>
Subject: Sum: In search of complex clippings ...

Dear colleagues

About six weeks ago I posted a query(Linguist 14.2406) asking for
examples of, and references to, complex clippings / clipped compounds
such as "comint" (from "communist" + "international"). Although I got
just very few replies, I'd like to offer the following as a brief

R e f e r e n c e s with examples:
Bartsch, Renate & Theo Vennemann. 1983. Grundzuege der Sprachtheorie: Eine
linguistische Einfuehrung. Tuebingen: Niemeyer, p. 167.
Orwell, George. 1984.
Wedertz, Bill. (ed.). 1984. Dictionary of Naval Abbreviations. United States
Naval Inst.
Zuckermann, Ghil'ad. 2003. Language contact and lexical enrichment in
Israeli Hebrew. London/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

E x a m p l e s f r o m E n g l i s h (with more than one etymon
bet sit (bed(room) + sitting room)
Colinda (Colonial and Indian Exhibition)
comclips (complex + clippings) ;-)
ComSubPac (Commander of the Submarine Fleet, Pacific Ocean)
DicNavAb (Dictionary of Naval Abbreviations)
Euralex (European Association of Lexicography)
Ingsoc (English Socialism)
Malou (Marie Louise)
Nabisco (National Biscuit Company)
NatWest (National Westminster Bank)
Oxfam (Oxford Committee for Famine Relief)
Pakistan (Punjab, Afghan frontier, Kashmir, Baluchistan)
pixel (picture element)
Seroco (Sears, Roebuck & Company)
sitcom (situation comedy)
spag bol (spaghetti bolognese)

E x a m p l e s f r o m F r e n c h:
couriel (courier electronique)
crismon (crisis monetaire)
velcro (velours + crochet)

L a n g u a g e s in which such coinages are very common:
Israeli Hebrew
other Slavic languages

Two other examples were mentioned, but I would consider them blends,
not complex clippings / clipped compounds, since they involve the
beginning of the first word and the end of the second word: dramedy
(drama + comedy) and froghurt (frozen yoghurt). However, the border
between acronyms, blends, (complex) clippings and various other mixed
formations is notoriously difficult to draw, as has been demonstrated
by work from J. Algeo and G. Cannon.

My thanks go to (in alphabetical order):
Stephen Coffey
Magdalena Cruz-Ferreira
Marie Louise Geleff
Charles E. Gribble
Laurence Horn
William Morris
Grace Mrowicki
Neil Salmond
Gillian Skyrme
Theo Vennemann
Ghil'ad Zuckermann

Stefan Th. Gries
- ---------------------------------------------------------
IFKI, Southern Denmark University
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