Language Tips

Get expert tips on language, grammar, style and vocabulary

Blended Words in English | Student Tips

4 min read
27 January, 2021
two students having fun in the street

You probably come across blended words almost every day and aren’t even aware of it. A product of the Internet age, a blended word reflects how the English language has changed over time. It is composed of 2 existing words, combining them together to represent something new. Some blended words are simply slang, but others are used so often that we’ve added them to the dictionary and apply them to our everyday language. When you're first learning English, these words can seem quite confusing, but their origins are very simple! Take a look.


So how do you make a blended word?

A blended word can be created in many ways, such as the following

  1. Combining the end of a word with the beginning of another one

    Ex. Smoke + fog = smog

  2. Combining the beginning of 2 words

    Ex. Cybernetic + organism = cyborg

  3. Overlapping, which means that 2 words are combined though a common sequence of sounds                

    Ex. Motor + hotel = motel


Common blended words

Let’s take a closer look at some common blended words, exploring where they come from and what they mean.

  • Docudrama (documentary + drama): a movie based on real events that dramatizes the facts. Some of the most recently famous docudramas include Snowden and Frost/Nixon.
  • Emoticon (emotion + icon): a pictorial representation of a facial expression using punctuation marks, numbers, and letters. These are usually used to express a person's feelings or mood. The emoticons became very popular in recent years thanks to Social Media and smartphones apps such as Whatsapp.
  • Fanzine (fan + magazine): a magazine created, written, and produced by fans of a particular movement or phenomenon, such as movies, books, video games, and musical genres. In the 1970s, the fanzines helped to spread the Punk movement from the UK to US and the rest of the world.
  • Sitcom (situation + comedy): a genre of comedy used in television which is based on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms became very popular thanks to TV shows such as Friends, The Nanny, How I Met Your Mother, and The Big Bang Theory.
  • Workaholic (work + alcoholic): a person who is obsessed with or addicted to their job. Even if it’s not accepted as a medical condition, workaholism is a big issue in some societies.
  • Brunch (breakfast + Lunch): a popular practice that combines breakfast and lunch in one meal, often with a mix of sweet and salty food. A typical brunch consists of cooked eggs and bacon on toast and salad, accompanied by orange juice or cappuccino.


Do you know more? Of course you do… Let us know!


Don’t miss a thing!
top view people hands

Stay up to date on everything Kaplan with our newsletter


  • English

    Secure a deeper understanding of the English language 

  • Grammar

    Advance your grammar skills with our simple tips 

Share this article