Skip to navigation – Site map
Papers

A study on the ‘wordgasm’: the nature of blends’ splinters

Alejandro Barrena Jurado

Abstracts

The aim of this work is to study the nature of blends’ splinters, elements that have been often referred to as ‘final combining forms’, whose status remains unclear. Our specific objective is to analyze blends containing the element ‘-gasm’ to check tendencies in their formation. We intend to prove that the sequence ‘-gasm’ possesses a high degree of productivity and is used recurrently in the formation of new words. Through the analysis of the bases to which the splinter is attached and the study of the relationship existing between the component parts of the blends, we aim at discovering which mechanism is at work, while attempting to accommodate the operation within the theoretical framework of Construction Morphology, an approach to morphology within the overarching theory of Construction Grammar. This approach, proposed by Geert Booij, acknowledges the existence of constructions as pairings of form and meaning at word level, and thus it considers that abstractions allowing speakers to coin new complex words are based on actual instances of words that are memorized. We have compiled our own 200-sample corpus of novel English blends coined by native speakers of English and taken from a variety of sources (online corpora, websites listing neologisms, social networks, including Twitter, and even online discussion threads). For the data analysis, we proceed as follows: (i) identify the cases of hapax legomena in the corpus in order to account for the productivity of the process; (ii) recover the source words of all the blends subject to study and contextualize the items in our corpus, by providing an instance of each word in a wider context; (iii) analyze the relationships existing between the first and the second component of the novel coinages, according to different factors, such as the notion of causality and the cognitive and experiential relationship of cause and effect, the syntactic behaviour of the source words and the semantic roles fulfilled by these units; (iv) identify blends exhibiting a similar behaviour and propose constructional schemas to account for their creation. The results of our analysis show that the splinter analyzed appears to be highly productive, and that blends ending in ‘-gasm’ can belong to different groups, the most significant of which are the following: (a) cause and effect blends, in which the relationship between the source words is based on the notion of causality. Two different subsets can be identified in this group, depending on the meaning that ‘-gasm’ acquires in the resulting blend: that of physical pleasure, as in toygasm or that of a feeling of excitement or enthusiasm, as in neologasm; (b) experiencer blends, such as clowngasm, where the first participant fulfils the semantic role of an experiencer, that is, the first participant experiences the feeling of pleasure; (c) coordination blends, that is, blended words whose source words stand in a relationship of coordination, such as crygasm; (d) adjectival blends, in which the first element premodifies the feeling denoted by the second element, as in fakegasm. Based on our results, constructional morphology, and especially constructional schemas, seem to be a very appropriate tool for explaining the formation of these lexemes.

Top of page

Full text

I would like to thank Carmen Portero Muñoz, senior Lecturer at the University of Cordoba, for instilling in me a great love of morphology through her lectures. Her supervision and advice, but most of all, her passion and dedication, were fundamental for me to write this paper.

Introduction

1The use of blending as a morphological word-formation process does not cease to increase through the years. Some reasons behind this reality are probably blends’ creative effects, which may be used to capture people’s attention, or the degree of recognizability of the bases, which makes it very easy for language users to recover them. What is clear is the fact that, today, it is rare to read an article in a newspaper or scroll down your Twitter feed without coming across at least one of these creations.

2From a linguistic perspective, however, the process of blending is way more interesting than the acknowledgment of the speakers’ wittiness when they coin these words. In fact, the creation of blended words gives rise to what morphologists call ‘splinters’, that is, elements that are used recurrently in the formation of new words, such as ‘-oholic’ in shopoholic. The nature of splinters remains quite dubious. On the one hand, new blends containing them could be seen as coinages that take the same source word as an element of the lexeme. Following this approach, new words ending in ‘-oholic’ would be seen as blends which take alcoholic as their second source word. On the other hand, they might be treated as words that are formed by attaching a suffix to a base. Following this interpretation, we would be considering ‘splinters’ as affixes, that is, morphemic elements that acquire some meaning. In this way, new words containing ‘-oholic’ would not necessarily take the word ‘alcoholic’ itself as their second source word. Although this discussion remains open and it is difficult to support strongly one of these views, new approaches to grammar and morphology make it easier to account for the formation of these blends. One of these theories is Construction Morphology, which holds the belief that words, just like any other elements in the language, are constructions, that is, pairings of form and meaning.

3In any case, not every splinter is used with the same frequency. Some elements might be used in a limited number of blends, whereas some others could be used in hundreds of new words. Such is the case of ‘-gasm’, a sequence coming from the word orgasm, which seems to be the basis of a very large number of words. A deep study of the new words, as well as their semantics, might shed some light on the nature of this splinter. Furthermore, the use of constructional schemas appears to be quite appropriate when it comes to specifying the differences in use of this splinter.

1. Aims of the study

4The aim of this paper is to study the nature of blends’ splinters, elements that have been often referred to as ‘final combining forms’, whose status remains unclear. This work presents a case study in order to corroborate the fact that they are productive units, which are used recurrently to create new words, even though the new lexemes including them might have a very short lifespan. Among the different theories that have been developed, the possibility of the new words having been created by analogy and the idea that they are coined by suffixation stand out. Assuming the second option was the real situation, splinters would actually need to acquire a morphemic status and a suffix-like behaviour. Nevertheless, some other theories, such as construction morphology, favour the role of schemas as adequate tools for accounting for the phenomenon described above.

5The specific objective of this work is to study words containing the element ‘-gasm’ to check tendencies in their formation. Although productivity is quite difficult to calculate, this study attempts to prove that the sequence ‘-gasm’ possesses a high degree of productivity and is used recurrently in the formation of new words. Through the analysis of the bases to which the splinter is attached and the study of the relationship existing between the component parts of the blends, I intend to discover which mechanism is at work, while attempting to accommodate the operation within the theoretical framework of Construction Morphology.

2. Theoretical framework

2.1. Blending as a conceptual mechanism

6The theory of conceptual blending, also known as conceptual integration, was originally developed by Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner [1998] on the basis of some fundamental concepts in the realm of cognitive linguistics, namely frames, domains and mental spaces. Before delving into the study of conceptual blending, it is therefore necessary to define these preliminary concepts which will be used throughout this work.

7As Geerarts & Cuyckens [2007] point out, the notion of frame has not solely been used in linguistics, but also in some other fields, such as psychology and artificial intelligence. However, it has played a major role in cognitive linguistics, with Charles J. Fillmore being one of its most influential figures and exponents. Radden & Dirven [2007: 9-10] claim that “[the] coherent ‘package of knowledge’ that surrounds a category and is activated when we use or hear a word is known as a conceptual frame […] all our coherent bits of knowledge are structured in conceptual frames”. Thus, frames could be characterized as the pieces of information evoked by words. They are essential to foster communication and involve our perception of the world.

8Regarding the notion of conceptual domain, Radden & Dirven [2007: 11] state:

[it] is the general field to which a category or frame belongs in a given situation. For example, a knife belongs to the domain of ‘eating’ when used for cutting bread on the breakfast table, but to the domain of ‘fighting’ when used as a weapon. Whereas frames are specific knowledge structures surrounding categories, conceptual domains are very general areas of conceptualization. Some typical domains are those of ‘space’, ‘time’, ‘emotion’, ‘sports’, ‘travelling’, etc. Conceptual domains crosscut with frames and thus allow us to link frames to one another.

9Mental spaces are defined by Fauconnier & Turner [2002: 102] as follows:

Small conceptual packets constructed as we think and talk, for purposes of local understanding and action. They are very partial assemblies containing elements, structured by frames and cognitive models… [They] operate in working memory but are built up partly by activating structures available from long-term memory.

10They are described by Radden & Dirven [2007: 30-31] as “short-lived packages of knowledge evoked on-line in communication”. The scholars use this explanation as a starting point to introduce conceptual blending, which is described as “the integration of two or more spaces into a “blended space” [which] inherits partial structure from its input spaces and has emergent meaning of its own”. The consideration that the blended space has its own emergent meaning is supported by Ungerer & Schmid [1996: 259], who claim that the new blended space’s set up “differs from those of the two input spaces”.

11Taylor [2012] follows the same definition and illustrates conceptual blending with the example of someone imagining how a rug in a shop would fit their living room in their house. By doing so, the customer is creating a blended space (the image of the rug in their living room) through the fusion of elements from two different input spaces (the rug in the shop, its original location, as the first mental space; and the living room, without the rug, as the second space). Another very important aspect of conceptual blending highlighted by Taylor is the fact that it is not a compositional operation, but rather a selectional one. Taylor [2012: 265] points out that “the process is not compositional, with one (mental) space being added to, or superimposed on, the other. Integration involves selective activation of elements from the different spaces, whereby discrepancies are overlooked and differences in time and space are compressed”.

12In addition, the possibilities of conceptual blending are numerous, as the creation of a blended space is not only restricted to two input spaces. Fauconnier & Turner [2002: 8] argue that the process “can operate over any number of mental spaces as inputs. Blending can also apply repeatedly: The product of blending can become the input to a new operation of blending”. The previous statement underlines the recursive nature of the phenomenon subject to study.

2.2. Lexical blending

13Within the study of conceptual blending, many different elements and processes can be found. One of them is lexical blending, frequently referred to as ‘morphological blending’. In fact, Ungerer & Schmid [1996: 268] argue that morphological blends are the best exponent to study conceptual blending.

14The importance in use of these words has been a subject of debate throughout the years, with some authors claiming that lexical blending was not a common strategy in language at all, and therefore not a major morphological process. Nevertheless, some researchers disagree, including Cannon [2000], among others. Crystal [1995: 130] claims that “blending seems to have increased in popularity in the 1980s, being increasingly used in commercial and advertising contexts”, although he casts some doubt on the success of the words coined by this process, explaining that most of them might have a very short lifespan prior to their disappearance. Taylor [2012: 266] notes that these lexemes are “often employed to name new products, new institutions, and new practices and concepts”. What is clear is that the use of this process is becoming ever more common and anybody is likely to find new blends when reading online news or participating in social media.

15Lexical blends are defined by Arndt-Lappe & Plag [2013: 541] as “two-constituent compounds in which at least one constituent has lost some phonological material, and in which the left, or initial, part of Word 1 and the right, or final, part of Word 2 survives”. The structural pattern described by these scholars should not, however, be taken as a defining rule of morphological blends, as many instances of words formed by this process can be found which do not take the first and second elements from the first and second source words, respectively. One example is Whatsnap, a term coined by fusing the first elements of both WhatsApp and Snapchat. The previous case could be seen as an instance of clipped compounding, since both bases are equally clipped and semantically equivalent, i.e. one is not subordinated to the other. However, I will restrict clipped compounding to cases in which an already existing compound word is shortened.

16Beliaeva [2014: 30] proposes a similar definition of lexical blends, which encapsulates what previous scholars state about the process, but is not as problematic as regards their structure. She defines a blend as:

a lexical item formed by merging together two (or more) source forms, so that 1) only part of their orthographical and/ or phonological material is preserved, and 2) they have not been formed by concatenation of morphs.

17In terms of conceptual blending, Kemmer [2006: 71] provides a very insightful definition, characterizing blends as “words that are cognitively linked to pre-existing words which are co-activated when the blend is used”. This definition is highly concerned with the cognitive nature underlying this word-formation mechanism, and it is quite appropriate in order to understand lexical blending as a sub-type of a major, overarching category, that of conceptual blending. An important characteristic of blends is their iconic nature. As Fandrych [2008: 111] demonstrates, “the name ‘blending’ is metaphorical, as blends ‘mix’ random parts of existing lexemes (‘splinters’) – structurally and semantically – and there is the additional semantic component BLENDING/MIXTURE… their forms reflect their referents”.

18Although many aspects of blends are still to be studied, they might be one of the most important grammatical resources of the language, since, according to Taylor [2012: 266] they “can even give rise to what appear to be new morphological resources”. One example is the emergence of new affixes that might become productive, as will be discussed in the subsequent section of this work.

19The classification of blends has been diverse through the literature, and different taxonomies have been proposed. Pound [1914], for instance, distinguishes different categories depending on the origin or the cause of coinage of the words, whereas some other scholars categorize lexical blends in relation to their structure (see Algeo [1977]; Bauer [1983]; Beliaeva [2014]).

20Some research studies (see Algeo [1997]; Gries [2004b]; Kemmer [2006]) take into consideration the presence or absence of phonemic or graphemic overlap, that is, the presence in the blended words of phonemic elements or graphemes that are shared by both the two source words. Algeo [1997: 56-57] makes another distinction, differentiating syntagmatic blends, “the combination of two forms that occur sequentially in the speech chain”, such as Chicagorilla (Chicago + gorilla) from associative blends, where the source words are “linked in the word-maker’s mind and thence in his language”, as in words like shill (shiver + shill). A similar distinction is made by Bauer [2006: 502-503], who classifies blends into syntagmatic or paradigmatic according to their origin. Paradigmatic origin blends are those where the source words “are in a paradigmatic relationship with each other”, as in smog (smoke + fog), while in syntagmatic origin blends their source words are characterized by being “in a syntagmatic relationship to each other”, as it happens in motel (motor + hotel). Beliaeva [2014] classifies blends in purely structural terms, depending on the parts of each source word (initial, final) are kept in the blended word. Choroleeva [2015: 902] also distinguishes endocentric from exocentric blends, following a terminology that has long since been applied to classify compound words in English. According to her, in endocentric blends “the first component modifies the second one, the latter functioning as a semantic head. In this case, the two elements of the derived lexeme are in attributive relations”, whereas in exocentric blends “the derived form consists of components which are semantically on a par because both function as semantic heads”. Choroleeva’s distinction is thus equivalent to Bauer’s [2006].

21Similarity and recognizability are two fundamental characteristics in the formation of English lexical blends. The operation of conceptual integration can be easily identified in these types of coinages, since they are combinations of parts of the two source words, which might be clipped or overlapped but are not radically transformed. The source words are thus easily recoverable. In relation to this issue, Lehrer [1996: 366] claims that the degree of similarity between the blend and the source words has an impact in the levels of recognizability of the blend and in its understanding. He states that “the more material from the target word that is present, the easier the blend is to identify […] if one part of a blend is identified, its semantics will be relevant to identifying the other part”. In addition, Gries [2004b] explains that when coining blends, both source words are fused in such a way so as to remain recognizable and to be quite similar to the blend itself, as regards not only letters or graphemes, but also phonemes, length and prosodic aspects like stress pattern.

22One of the internal aspects of blends which has received most attention has been the location of their switch-point, that is, the place in the blend where the transition from the first to the second source words is found. However, no definite conclusions have been found and the generalizations proposed cannot be used to account for all the existing blends. The ideal situation in the case of blending is the existence of phonemic or graphemic overlap, so that the transition is quite natural. In these cases, identifying a specific location as the blend’s switch-point is an arduous task, as the material to be considered for that aim is shared by the two input words. Kelly [1998] notices that whole syllables tend to be preserved and the switch-point normally occurs within syllabic boundaries. Nevertheless, this is not always the case. Many scholars have used corpora to reach conclusions, but they have not reached an agreement. Even though their frequency varies, switch-points can be virtually found in any place within the syllabic constituents of the words constituting the blend.

23Another interesting feature of blends which has been extensively studied is their stress. There are two main perspectives on this issue. The first one, proposed by Cannon [1986: 746] establishes a relationship between the stress of the blend and the length of the source words, with the longer word dictating the primary stress of the blend. The second approach to blend stress highlights the importance of the second source word, arguing that it is always its stress pattern which is kept in the blend (see Gries [2004a]; Arndt-Lappe and Plag [2013]).

2.3. Splinters

2.3.1. The evolution of the term

24This section presents an overview of the notion of ‘splinter’, as well as a revision of the evolution of the concept through the literature. The term has been traditionally associated with the morphological process of lexical blending, as a label to identify what Bauer, Lieber & Plag [2013: 19] refer to as “a portion of a word that is non-morphemic to begin with but has been split off and used recurrently on new bases”.

25The term ‘splinter’ was originally used by Berman in 1961 to refer to these elements of a dubious nature. Berman [1961: 279] introduced the label in his definition of blending as “a process of coining new words under which a blend is formed by adding the splinter of the last initial word to the stem or to the shortened substitute of the stem of the first initial word (words)”. It is important to note that Berman uses the phrase ‘initial word’ to refer to what has been named ‘source word’ in this work. It is interesting to consider the fact that his definition does not view blends as fusions of elements from two words, but rather as the addition of a portion of a word to the stem of another lexeme. In his description of the process, Berman somehow equates the nature of ‘splinters’ to that of suffixes. Nevertheless, the scholar’s depiction of ‘splinters’ remains quite vague.

26Adam’s [1993: 142] treatment of the term is a little more informative. He makes it clear that these elements are neither morphemes nor ‘compound-elements’, stating that “usually splinters are irregular in form, that is, they are parts of morphs, though in some cases there is no formal irregularity, but a special relationship of meaning between the splinter and some ‘regular’ word in which it occurs”.

27Soudanek [1998] expands on the notion of splinter, distinguishing two different types: initial and final splinters. Fandrych [2008: 112] explains this difference on the grounds of the location of the element in the blend, by claiming that:

Initial splinters may be the first or the second element, while final splinters can only become the second element of blends. Overlaps, for example, motel, often result from the merging of initial and final splinters. Splinters can even give rise to new morphological units through reanalysis.

28Fandrych’s explanation includes some very interesting remarks that are relevant to any discussion of English blends. On the one hand, the scholar acknowledges the existence of initial splinters that could also be used recursively to create new blends, and the possibility that they can be the second element of the blended word, as in Whatsnap, a lexeme coined by fusing two initial splinters (coming from Whatsapp and Snapchat). On the other hand, the potential of these elements is emphasized, as Fandrych explains that the use of these elements could result in novel morphological units.

29López-Rúa [2002: 37] carries out an exhaustive study on blends providing one of the most detailed definitions of splinters up to date. She defines them as:

those graphic and phonemic sequences (not only in blends but also in peripheral initialisms) which are neither inflectional nor derivational morphemes, nor combining forms (electro-, -scope), and whose length generally allows their identification as belonging to a previous word. Consequently, splinters tend to be syllables or units larger than syllables in their sources, as Ox– and –bridge in Oxbridge (‘OXford and CamBRIDGE), or Digi– and –alt in Digiralt (‘DIGItal radar ALTimeter’). When they are shorter than syllables, their constituents are the syllable onset (i.e. the prevocalic consonant or consonants); the onset and the nucleus (prevocalic consonants + vowel); or the rhyme (vowel + postvocalic consonants or coda).

30In her definition, she stresses the idea that these sequences do not possess a morphemic status. It is also interesting to note that she distinguishes splinters from combining forms, a term that has often been used interchangeably with the previous, as mentioned by Correia Saavedra [2014: 56].

31Bauer, Lieber & Plag’s [2013: 459] definition of splinters as “originally (mostly) non-morphemic portions of a word that have been split off and used in the formation of new words with a specific new meaning” does not add much to the literature, but summarizes briefly the main aspects of these sequences that have been previously discussed.

32Beliaeva [2014: 32] clarifies some terminological issues by stating that:

this term is used in at least two different senses. According to one interpretation, any “shorter substitutes” of words (Adams 1973: 142) should be called splinters. The other approach is to use this term only for those word parts that have started to be used productively in more than one blend, e.g. –(a)holic,–(a)nomics (Bauer 2006: 503).

33Choroleeva’s [2015] work sheds new light on the topic, as she discusses the different approaches to the nature of splinters and the formation of English blends: one of them considers blends to be formed by suffixation, providing the elements subject to study with a morphemic status, whereas the other views blends as being created on the basis of analogical operations. In her work, Choroleeva [2015: 903] explains that:

Some linguists believe that elements of the type are morpheme-like and may in the course of time become free morphemes like burger if their productivity increases. This means that the words containing such suffixoidal elements should not be treated as telescopic. According to other authors, however, blend words bring about blend words, not new morphemes.

2.3.2. Morphemization

34As I stated before, one of the approaches to the nature of splinters is their consideration as suffixoids, that is, elements that function as morphemes and possess a morphemic status, such as ‘-gate’, attached to bases to form the words nipplegate or Monicagate. In that regard, splinters function in a similar way to suffixes, for they can be attached regularly to bases to coin new words.

35Nevertheless, Lehrer [1998] makes it clear that not every blend creates a new morpheme, that is, not every final splinter in a blend becomes, or is likely to become, an institutionalized suffix. In fact, this situation is rare if compared to the huge number of blends that are created every day. According to Lehrer [1998: 4]:

the creation of a blend does not necessarily result in a new combining form. It depends on whether the SPLINTER, that is, the truncated word, becomes productive, and since productivity is a matter of degree, there is a scale from highly productive morphemes like -holic to splinters that have been used only once (apparently).

36Some years later, Lehrer [2007: 121] expands on the topic and explains that “when a splinter becomes so common that people start using it frequently, it may lose its connection with the source word and can be considered as morpheme in its own right”.

37Lalic-Krstin [2014: 257-258] argues that lexical blending can lead to “morpho-semantic re-analysis and consequently (re)morphemization, which can then facilitate the production of whole series of what Bauer [1983: 96] calls ‘analogical formations’”. In her study, Lalic-Krstin [2014: 258] explains that “through recurrent blending a splinter can gain morphemic status. This happens as a result of morpho-semantic re-analysis during which a lexeme is reinterpreted and a phonological string that previously had no morpheme status is perceived as a constituent”.

2.3.3. Requisites for splinters to become morphemes

38The idea that splinters may acquire morphemic status is only supported by some research studies, in favour of the approach that considers splinters to be suffixoids, as opposed to viewing blends as the output of analogical processes. For this reason, the precise moment when a splinter can be treated as a morpheme remains unclear. The most obvious indicator of their status is the splinter’s productivity. Nonetheless, as Lehrer [1998: 5] affirms, “whether and when a splinter becomes productive appears to depend on nonlinguistic, mostly chance factors”, which complicates things when it comes to analyzing these forms.

39In fact, Lalic-Lrstin [2014: 258] follows some previous scholars and concludes that:

there is some disagreement as to what are the prerequisites for a splinter like this to become a legitimate morpheme. Warren 1990 believes a new morpheme emerges as soon as it participates in the formation of a new blend, whereas Lehrer 1998 finds it necessary for the splinter to gain some frequency in blend formation in order to become a fully fledged morpheme.

40Some scholars have attempted to quantify the necessary number of lexemes including a splinter to consider it a suffixoid. Among them, Fischer [1998: 65] claims that there might be at least three neologisms. Nevertheless, a consensus has not been reached, either for the number of neologisms or for the fact that frequency is an adequate measure tool to provide splinters with such a status.

41One of the latest efforts to account for the morphemization of splinters has been made by Correia Saavedra [2014], who has developed an automated method based on a script capable of processing huge amounts of data and to signal which splinters are good morpheme candidates. Nevertheless, the method stills needs to be revisited and updated to allow for an unsupervized analysis of splinters and their classification as morphemes.

2.4. Blends within a theory

42As Kemmer [2006: 7-8] observes, “despite the interest they attract due to their creative nature and their typological unusualness, lexical blends have been little more than a footnote in the study of morphology in modern linguistics”. She interestingly notes that “the amount of similar structure (in blends) can vary a great deal, so it is impossible to state a general formal rule that will license some blends and exclude others”. This peculiarity of blends, whose nature can only be described by positing tendencies, does not find a place in traditional rule-based approaches to grammar. In fact, Kemmer [2006: 9] argues that “it seems as though, instead of rules, speakers are operating with a facility for global pattern-matching that allows similarities on many different dimensions to count, as long as there are enough of them (with “enough” not being precisely quantifiable)”. This vision may be linked to the fields of paradigmatic morphology and construction grammar. Taylor [2012: 263] favours this interpretation of blends, by stating that:

blending turns out to be a potent source of new expressions and new constructions and thus offers itself as a serious alternative to the rule-based mechanisms of generative theory
[…]
Previously encountered expressions, and the schematic constructions that they instantiate, can be the source of new linguistic expressions. Speakers can introduce variations to performed expressions, they can extend accepted usage patterns, and they can blend existing resources to create hybrid expressions which inherit some aspect of their inputs.

2.4.1. Paradigmatic morphology

43Most morphological processes have traditionally been described from a syntagmatic perspective, based on the notion of concatenation (or the attachment of elements to bases) or from a paradigmatic point of view, considering groups of lexemes to be related to one another [Bauer, Lieber & Plag 2013].

44Bauer, Lieber & Plag [2013] argue that every word is part of a paradigmatic morphological relation with other words sharing the same base or suffix. They use the label “morphological category” to categorize words containing the same affix and “morphological family” to include words which share the same base. Many experiments, mainly lexical decision tasks, have been carried out by researchers to prove the psycholinguistic reality of the previous concepts, as detailed by Schreuder & Baayen [1997] and Plag & Baayen [2009].

45In any case, paradigmatic morphology is not restricted to the previous cases. It is also concerned with the study of words that are orthographically, phonetically or semantically related.

46The concept of analogy has often been used by scholars, like Becker [1993] or Ardnt-Lappe [2014] to illustrate cases where a new lexical unit is coined through comparison with other words, as in the creation of deverbal adjectives ending in ‘-able’. Other authors, like Burzio [1998], Steriade [2000] or Raffelsiefen [2004] use the terms ‘multiple correspondence’, ‘paradigmatic uniformity’ or ‘stem selection’, respectively, to make reference to complex words with phonological properties influenced by groups of related words. Bauer [2001: 76] describes that the principle of analogy in derivation dictates that any new derivative is created provided there is “a suitable pattern for it to be formed on”.

47The process of blending, whose main characteristics have been described above, is hard to describe from a syntagmatic point of view, and thus paradigmatic approaches seem to be able to provide a more plausible explanation of it. Kemmer [2006] is one of the first scholars to work on blending using this approach and explaining that rule-based morphology is not adequate for a correct study of these formations. In Kemmer [2006: 9], the scholar constructs her theory on the basis of the concept of schema, which she defines as “a cognitive representation consisting of perceived similarities across many instances of usage. Schemas are essentially routinized, or cognitively entrenched, patterns of experience”. The researcher provides a detailed explanation of schemas, signalling their most interesting features and their cognitive basis, and linking their emergence to productivity. Kemmer [2006: 10] indicates that:

Schemas, being simply what two or more forms or meanings have in common, are not restricted by the kinds of sequencing required by rules, nor are they restricted to information of particular types or levels. Schemas allow for competing factors in licensing expressions, and for multiple possible sanctioning structures, thus giving rise to variation and to possible non-unique analyses for linguistic expressions. And, importantly, schemas are sensitive to frequency: frequency measures repetition of instances, which leads to conventionalization (cognitive entrenchment and degree of dispersal in a group of speakers) which itself affects the possibilities licensed by the system: instances of use, over time, shape the very system that gives rise to them.

48In addition, recent grammatical models belonging to Construction Grammar have paved the way for the study of blends as constructions.

2.4.2. Construction Grammar

49Constructionist approaches take the notion of construction as their basic elements. As explained by Goldberg [2006], they understand constructions as autonomous abstract entities which are perceived to be psychologically real by language users. These approaches also hold the idea that constructions exist independently of the lexical items that fill them. According to these approaches, any type of lexicogrammatical unit, such as a morpheme, a word, or an idiom, is considered to be a construction, that is, a pairing of form and meaning.

50Construction grammar emerges as a reaction against Chomsky’s generative grammar, and deviates from it by positing a number of considerations. One of the main views of this trend is that the totality of our knowledge about language is structured in interrelated constructions. Construction grammarians oppose to Chomsky’s belief that grammar and lexicon are two separate modules. Goldberg [1995: 7] argues that “lexical constructions and syntactic constructions differ in internal complexity […] but both lexical and syntactic constructions […] pair form and meaning”. Construction grammars also consider semantics and pragmatics to be part of a continuum, without clear-cut boundaries.

51Nevertheless, Goldberg [1995: 7] highlights the generative nature of construction grammar “in the sense that it tries to account for the infinite number of expressions that are allowed by the grammar while attempting to account for the fact that an infinite number of expressions are ruled out or disallowed”.
Goldberg [1998: 205] defines constructions as follows: “C is a CONSTRUCTION iff def n C is a form-function pair, such that some aspect of the form or some aspect of the function is not strictly predictable from C’s component parts”. Later on, in Goldberg [2002: 813], she defines a construction as “a pairing of form with meaning/use such that some aspect of the meaning/use is not strictly predictable from the component parts or from other constructions already established as existing in the language”.

2.4.3. Construction Morphology

52Construction Morphology is an approach to morphology within the overarching theory of Construction Grammar. It was developed by Dutch linguist Geert Booij. Construction Grammar is not solely a theory of syntax and the notion of construction is also relevant to the study of morphology. Words, being essentially pairings of form and meaning, are an instance of constructions. In fact, Goldberg [2006: 18] specifies that “the network of constructions captures our grammatical knowledge of languages in toto, i.e. it’s constructions all the way down”.

53Construction morphology is a usage-based approach. As explained by Booij [2015: 425], “language users first acquire words, and only once they have acquired a sufficiently large set of words of a certain type can they conclude to abstract morphological patterns”. This is an important idea, as it implies that this approach to morphology rejects the rule-list fallacy, or what Booij [2010: 4] identifies as “the unwarranted assumption that linguistic constructs are either generated by rule or listed, and that being listed excludes a linguistic construct from being linked to a rule at the same time”. Booij actually defends the idea that abstractions allowing speakers to coin new complex words are based on actual instances of words that are memorized.

54Within morphological constructions, we can find both inflectional and derivational cases. Some examples of inflectional constructions are the plural construction (which has unpredictable form and meaning, as well as idiosyncratic properties) or the past tense construction. An instance of a derivational construction is that which enables us to create adjectives ending in ‘-able’, as in ‘drinkable’. We can say that word formation processes correspond to linguistic generalizations. The generalization allowing us to interpret and create new cases is a construction.
Regarding lexical blending, there are formal generalizations in the minds of speakers.

55Morphological constructions are represented by means of constructional schemas in this approach to grammar. Some examples, taken from Booij [2015], are the following:

(1) <[x]Vi er]Nj ↔ [Agent of SEMi]j>

(2) <[x]Ni less]Aj ↔ [Property of being without SEMi]j>

56In his work, Booij [2015: 425] explains that:

In these schemas, the double arrow indicates the correlation between form and meaning. By means of co-indexation the systematic relationship between form and meaning is specified. The index i in these examples serves to indicate that the meaning of the base word (SEM) recurs in that of the corresponding complex word. The index j indicates that the meaning of the construction as a whole correlates with the form as a whole. The angled brackets demarcate a constructional schema.

57It is important to distinguish constructions from constructs. While the former refers to abstract schemas, the latter makes reference to instantiations, which are, according to Booij [2015: 431] “individual words that inherit the information specified in the schema, thus making parts of the information contained in the lexical entries for these words redundant”. Abstract schemas and their instantiations are both regarded as constructions, but they exhibit different degrees of abstraction.

58Booij [2015: 431] also introduces the notion of subschemas which make it possible to “express generalizations about subsets of complex words”. In the case of compounds, for instance, there are constructions with different degrees of complexity. The endocentric compound construction, for example, has several subschemas, such as the NN compound construction or the Top-N compound construction, a subschema underlying instantiations like ‘top-achievement’, ‘top-experience’.

59An important issue as regards morphological constructions is productivity. Hilpert [2014: 81] argues that “the productivity of a schematic morphological construction describes the degree of cognitive ease with which speakers can produce or process new complex words on the basis of that construction”. Productivity is a gradient notion, and it is quite difficult to measure. With the aid of corpora, we can estimate the degree of productivity of a construction through type frequency and token frequency. Type frequency refers to the number of instantiations of a schematic morphological construction. In the case of blends containing the same splinter or affixoid element, type frequency would refer to the number of words containing that specific element. Token frequency, on the other hand, refers to the number of times that the same word is found within a corpus, that is, the number of different examples found for a single word. In the study of token frequency, hapax legomena stand as a clear indicator of high productivity, these being cases where there is only one token of a type, the lowest possible frequency [Plag 2003: 54]. Not all hapaxes are neologisms, but the existence of many may be a clue of the cognitive ease needed to create new words on the basis of a constructional schema. The more instantiations found, the higher the productivity of the schema.

3. Methodology

60The first step in the development of this work has been the creation of a corpus containing words including the sequence ‘-gasm’. In order to do so, three different online corpora have been used: the Global Web-Based English (GloWbE, available at https://corpus.byu.edu/​glowbe/​), the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA, available at https://corpus.byu.edu/​coca/​) and the English Web Corpus (EnTenTen2015, accessible through the corpus management system SketchEngine: https://www.sketchengine.eu/​). The main reason for choosing these corpora has been their size: EnTenTen2015 contains over 18 billion words, GloWbE includes more than 1.9 billion, and COCA is composed of 560 million words, making them three of the largest online collections of words. The longevity of each of the corpora has been another important factor, for the three of them have been updated and new words have been added to them on a regular basis. In addition, another determining factor for choosing the three previous tools has been their heterogeneous nature, as they comprise words coming from a wide variety of sources. The GloWbE corpus, for instance, includes texts from twenty different countries. Furthermore, all of them are made up of different types of texts, from transcribed spoken pieces of language to academic texts. Nevertheless, some other opportunistic sources have been used. The decision to do so was based on the nature of the process of blending itself: due to the creative effects that can be reached by using it, blends are generated with a very high frequency. The majority of blends, however, do not become very popular and they are not often included in the texts that form part of online language corpora, but rather they are commonly found in social media. For that reason, some blends ending in ‘-gasm’ have been taken from Twitter, blogs and newspapers’ websites and even online discussion threads consulted randomly. Some examples of blends coming from these sources are Gagasm (Gaga + (or)gasm, meaning ‘a state of excitement or pleasure produced by listening to music by Lady Gaga) or Swirllgasm (Swirll + (or)gasm, meaning ‘a state of extreme pleasure as a result of eating Swirll yoghurt).

61The same procedure was followed to extract words containing the element ‘-gasm’ from GloWbE and COCA. I introduced the sequence “*gasm” under the List label, in order to obtain all the words where any type of material preceded ‘-gasm’. I changed the search options to allow the corpora to display up to 500 results, in case there were more words than expected containing the suffixoid element. Additionally, the search options were set to obtain all words with a minimum frequency of one token. Given the nature of the process of blending itself, it is often difficult to find many instances of a single word. In fact, the existence of hapax legomena (only one token for word in a corpus) is an indicator of the productivity of the process, which is a very useful point of departure for this work. As regards the EnTenTen2015 corpus, I accessed it through SketchEngine and searched for the words using the Word List tool. I changed the default filter options to only list words containing ‘gasm’ by introducing the command “.*gasm”, and I changed the minimum frequency of appearance to one token, for the reasons explained above. Once they had been retrieved, the words were revised in order to avoid any confusion, since the corpus tools occasionally provided variations of the same word, mainly linked to their spellings, with many lexemes written as the hyphenated variants of others. Such is the case of geek-gasm, which was listed as a different word from geekgasm. In these cases, the different variants were subsumed under a single lexeme, and the number of tokens of each were put together. Moreover, some words were discarded, since they lacked a context in the corpora or the context was a sequence of seemingly random words that showed signs of having been automatically coined by advertisement tools. Some other words containing neoclassical elements, like ‘mega’ or ‘micro’, were also excluded, as they remain closer to affixation in nature than to lexical blending, although others, such as cyborgasm, were kept, due to their dubious nature (it could have taken “cybernetic” as its source word, as opposed to the neoclassical element ‘cyber’ on its own). After following the aforementioned steps, 131 words ending in ‘-gasm’ were obtained from EnTenTen2015. GloWbE delivered 61 words, whereas COCA provided me with 13. On many occasions, the same word was listed in the three corpora, so the total amount of different words containing ‘-gasm’, taking into account the combined results of the three corpora, is 173. Six more words were taken from the other sources, which added to the rest made up a corpus of 179 neologisms. In order to measure their productivity, the words extracted from the online corpora were listed in a table, to quantify the number of tokens for each and reach any conclusions.

62Subsequently, the source words of all the blends subject to study were identified and a structural analysis was carried out with the intention of determining the type of bases to which ‘-gasm’ is attached, as well as the possible variations of the sequence ‘-gasm’. The number of syllables of the first source words and the resulting new blends were computed. As regards the semantic analysis of the output words, several factors were taken into account. The first stage in their classification was to contextualize the words. For that aim, an instance of each of the words used in a wider context was recovered using the corpus tools that enabled the compilation of the corpus. When no context could be recovered (in cases where the word appeared in isolation, or was a part of an advertisement, among other reasons), I used other resources, such as Urban Dictionary (https://www.urbandictionary.com), an online dictionary where users can upload new words, to obtain definitions or sentences including the words I was interested in. Additionally, a definition for each of the words was searched. The source of each definition is listed with the examples. When no definition could be retrieved from the web, I provided my own definition of the word ending in ‘-gasm’ based on the context.

63Taking into account the source words of the blends and the context in which they appeared, I proceeded to analyze them in terms of their semantics, according to the relationships existing between the first and the second component of the novel coinages. The relationships between the source words of the blends were studied according to different factors, such as the notion of causality, the syntactic behaviour of the source words and the semantic roles fulfilled by the said source words. All the words that exhibited a similar behaviour were grouped under the same label and a constructional approach based on the existence of schemas and subschemas was used to account for these formations. The use of schemas to explain the creation of the blends was based on Booij’s [2010] work.

4. Analysis and results

4.1. Productivity of the process

64In relation to the specific objective of this study, an approximation to the degree of productivity of the element ‘-gasm’ has been calculated. As we described in the revision of the literature, the productivity of a given process can be measured by taking into account type frequency and token frequency. Table 1 in Appendix 1 shows the relevant frequencies and the distribution of the words in the three corpora used: EnTenTen2015, GloWbE and COCA.

65The combined type frequency of words ending in ‘-gasm’ is 173. As regards the token frequency of each type, it varies depending on the corpus used. However, one of the most significant aspects of Table 1 is the huge gap in token frequency between the word orgasm and the rest of the source words. We can conclude, therefore, that the rest of words take the lexeme orgasm as their point of departure. It is unclear from the data, however, if all the words have been directly modelled upon orgasm or whether some of them have been coined by analogy with other words ending in ‘-gasm’ different from orgasm. The present case study suggests the idea that new lexemes are in fact created taking other blends ending in ‘-gasm’ as their input. The notion of schemas and subschemas might also be potentially used to account for these creations. For the aims of this study, the words whose token frequency is quite low are very interesting, especially those whose frequency is of one word only. These are hapax legomena. If we consider each of the three corpora separately, we find that there are 55 hapax legomena in the EnTenTen2015, 34 in GloWbE, and 11 in COCA. If we only take into account the words which are simultaneously instances of hapax legomena in the three corpora (or in one of them, if the new lexeme is not included in the others), we find 88 cases. As we discussed above, hapax legomena are an indicator of high productivity. The existence of such a big number of hapax legomena for words ending in ‘-gasm’ is therefore an indicator that this splinter is quite productive, as it is attached very regularly to new bases to coin new words. This finding supports several approaches to the nature of splinters. On the one hand, it fits the idea that these elements are subject to morphemization. The sequence ‘-gasm’ might be interpreted as an emergent derivational morpheme, as its occurrence with a wide variety of bases has been proven to be possible. On the other hand, the data also supports the appropriateness of using a constructional approach to account for the nature of these elements. The existence of many hapax legomena may indicate that a schema based on actual words containing ‘-gasm’ has been developed in the mind of speakers.

66The previous results might serve as a possible indicator of the autonomy of the splinter ‘-gasm’, which could be used to create new blends without directly taking orgasm as their second source word.

4.2. Structural properties of the blended words

4.2.1. Variations of ‘-gasm’

67This section is concerned with the analysis of the structural properties of the words in my corpus, which have been created on the basis of orgasm. The first thing that has drawn my attention in their study has been the fact that there are some variations of the splinter used to coin new words. Although the main realization of this sequence is ‘-gasm’, this splinter changes to ‘-ogasm’ on some occasions. A few words are formed by attaching the whole form orgasm, instead of the back-clipped sequence ‘-gasm’, and others contain the sequence ‘-agasm’.

68The words taking orgasm to create new words seem to have been directly coined on the basis of the original word, in its full form. The majority of them are cases where we find both graphemic and phonetic overlap, that is, some material is shared by both the first source word involved in the blend and the term orgasm. Such is the case of carnivorgasm (carnivore + orgasm), explorgasm (explorer + orgasm), floorgasm (floor + orgasm), gorgasm (gore + orgasm), horrorgasm (horror + orgasm), horgasm (horticulture + orgasm), morgasm (more + orgasm), prorgasm (programmer + orgasm), schizorgasm (schizophrenia + orgasm), and snoorgasm (snooze + orgasm). However, we also find some cases of blends including the whole word ‘orgasm’ where there is no overlap. These words are cyborgasm (possibly cybernetic + orgasm), femaleorgasm (female + orgasm) and Obamaorgasm (Obama + orgasm). The reason why these words take the whole form of the second source word is unclear, especially in the case of the two last words, for which the alternative versions femgasm and Obamagasm can be found, respectively. One possible explanation is that the speaker who has coined these words wants to highlight the fact that the new blends are directly linked to the word orgasm. All these words, therefore, seem to have been created as novel blends, taking orgasm as their second source word, as opposed to being formed by the addition of a splinter.

69The group of words containing ‘-agasm’ instead of ‘-gasm’ do not serve as an indicator of the existence of ‘-agasm’ as a variant of ‘-gasm’, for the grapheme ‘a’ is part of each of the source words. They simply reflect the situation in which ‘-gasm’ is attached to clipped versions of source words ending in ‘-a’ before the new blends are formed. Seven words conform this group: Berbagasm (Berbatov + -gasm), cameragasm (camera + -gasm), exploragasm (exploration + -gasm), extravagasm (extravagant + -gasm), ideagasm (idea + -gasm), Obamagasm (Obama + -gasm), and operagasm (opera + -gasm).

70However, ‘-ogasm’ seems to behave like a real variant of ‘-gasm’ in some words, like luxogasm (luxury + -ogasm) or delish-o-gasm (delish + -o-gasm). Given the context in which ‘-ogasm’ is attached in these cases, one possible explanation for this variant is the need for vocalic support, as the splinter ‘-gasm’ is attached to a (sporadically) clipped base consisting of several final consonants. The addition of the vowel ‘o’ before the splinter could be due to the attempt to avoid the creation of a very long consonantic cluster. Another possibility is the use of this linking element by analogy with many neoclassical compounds.

4.2.2. Blend length

71As regards the length of the words ending in ‘-gasm’, two things have been taken into account, namely the length of the bases to which the splinter is attached (the first source word of all the new blends) and the length of the novel blends themselves.

72In relation to the length of the first source words, ‘-gasm’ is combined with bases of one syllable in 54.50% of the cases (97 out of 178 words), as in artgasm (the first source word being ‘art’). It is attached to 50 bases of two syllables, as in papergasm (accounting for a 28.09% of the cases), 23 bases of three syllables, as in Obamagasm (12.92% of the total), 7 bases of four syllables, as in literarygasm (3.93%) and one base of five syllables (0.56%), electrogasm, whose first source word is ‘electricity’.

73Concerning the length of the new blends, we find 106 new lexemes with two syllables, like eargasm, accounting for a 59.55% of the corpus, 51 three-syllable blends, such as drawergasm (28.65%), and 19 words with four syllables, like cameragasm (10.67% of the cases). In addition to these preferred patterns, we also find 2 blends with five syllables, literarygasm and Obamaorgasm (accounting for 1.12% of the cases).

74The previous distribution is not surprising at all, for, as I mentioned in the revision of the literature, one of the most important aspects of lexical blending is the degree of similarity between the blend and its source words, as well as the recognizability of the source words that constitute a blend. These results, consequently, go in accordance with previous research by Lehrer [1996] and Gries [2004b]. As mentioned above, the most frequent pattern for words ending in ‘–gasm’ is that where the sequence is added to a monosyllabic case to create a disyllabic word. This makes perfect sense, and it is, in fact, a rather ideal situation, since these output blends preserve their first source words in their totality, making them highly recognizable. Furthermore, by using monosyllabic words as the first element in the blends, speakers mirror the length of the original word orgasm, and reproduce the syllabic pattern in their new creations.

4.3. Semantic properties of the blended words

75The analysis of the relationship existing between the two elements in each blend (the first source word and the sequence ‘-gasm’, coming from orgasm) has enabled me to distinguish different categories whose characteristics I will present below. Although some of the words in the corpus do not fit into any of these groups, given their lack of a sufficient context so as to determine the relation between the words in a precise way, the majority of the blends can be classified using these categories, namely cause-and-effect blends, experiencer blends, coordination blends, predication blends and adjectival blends. All these groups are described in this section, and detailed examples of each group are provided.

4.3.1. Cause and effect blends

76I have labelled this group of words as ‘cause and effect blends’ because the relationship between the two source words in each blend is based on this notion. All the lexemes contained in this group follow the same pattern: the first source word is used as the cause which provokes an effect in a person (an orgasm, a feeling of pleasure or excitement). On the basis of the study conducted in this work, most words ending in ‘-gasm’ seem to belong to this category, since cause and effect appears to be the most common relation between their constituents. 125 words out of 178 in the corpus exhibit this property, accounting for 70.22% of the total. The first source word of these blends is always a noun. We only find 4 cases which do not conform to this generalization, namely chillgasm (whose first source is a verb), cutegasm (adjective), gamingasm (verb) and scoregasm (verb). The nature of the nouns involved in the formation of the blends, however, is varied, including common nouns, such as food in foodgasm, proper nouns, such as Bieber in Bievergasm or abstract nouns, like fear in feargasm.

77Additionally, another characteristic of this group of blends is the fact that their first source tends to be used metonymically, that is, standing for something else, as will be explained below. This property can be seen in words like heartgasm, where ‘heart’ does not stand for a body organ, but rather for ‘love’, or bookgasm, where ‘book’ does not stand for an actual copy of a book, but for the activity of reading a book instead.

78An exhaustive semantic analysis of the words in this category has showed that two more specific groups can be distinguished, based on the specificity in meaning of the sequence ‘-gasm’. Although this constituent expresses an effect in all of the blends, we may find a slight variation in the meaning that the original second source word orgasm takes in the resulting blends. Thus, one group of words seem to replicate the original meaning of orgasm. In these words, the second element, which designates the effect, is used with the meaning ‘physical or bodily pleasure’. In a second group of blends the meaning of ‘-gasm’ appears to deviate from the original meaning In these words, the second element of the blend means ‘a feeling of excitement or enthusiasm’.

4.3.1.1. ‘-gasm’ meaning ‘physical or bodily pleasure’

79As has been mentioned above, the words in these groups follow the cause-and-effect pattern, where ‘-gasm’ is the effect and stands for the original meaning of orgasm, that is, physical or bodily pleasure (related to, or provoked by the first element of the blend).

80The theory of Construction Morphology, proposed by Geert Booij, seems to provide the necessary tools to explain the formation of these words based on the idea of schemas. In fact, the creation of this group of blends may be explained by means of the following schema:

<[[X]Ni gasm]Nj ↔ [A sensation of physical or bodily pleasure produced by SEMi]j>

81It is important to note that the first word in this schema is also semantically variable, as in some cases it consists of concrete entity (footgasm) while in others, it is an activity (yogasm).

82The majority of words in the previous group seem to be metonymic. More precisely, it is in the first source word where metonymy appears to be at work. The most common metonymy in these cases is that of a participant for the action or the activity in which that participant is involved. This can be seen in cases like footgasm, where foot has the semantic role of patient or locative, participating in the action ‘massage on foot’. Metonymy can also be considered to be at work in cases like yogasm, although it is not as evident as in footgasm, since the first source word of the former refers directly to an activity, that is, the degree of contiguity between the concepts is higher.

83The word foodgasm, included in the previous list, illustrates another group of words that share a semantic property. Foodgasm makes reference to the feeling of pleasure one gets when eating something. An example of the word in use is the following: “One of the diners at an adjacent table had a noisy foodgasm over this dessert, so we tried it on our second visit” (www.magoguide.net). (EnTenTen15).

84Using the theoretical framework of Construction Morphology, the subschema resulting from the word foodgasm can be described as follows:

<[[x]Ni gasm]Nj ↔ [A sensation of physical or bodily pleasure produced by eating or drinking SEMi]j>

4.3.1.2. ‘-gasm’ meaning ‘feeling of excitement or enthusiasm’

85In a different group of words in the corpus, the sequence ‘-gasm’ does not reproduce the original meaning of orgasm, but a slight variation. This element is used with the meaning of ‘a feeling of excitement or enthusiasm’, produced by the first element of the blend.

86Following the framework of Construction Morphology, the following schema can be used to account for these coinages:

<[[X]Ni gasm]Nj ↔ [A feeling of excitement or enthusiasm produced by SEMi]j>

87In addition, these words have something in common with the blends in the previous group: metonymy is also at work in the first element of many of these words. In many cases, therefore, the feeling of excitement is not caused by the entity denoted by the first word, but by the activity in which that entity participates instead. In TVgasm, for instance, the feeling of excitement is not caused by a television as an object, but rather by the activity of watching something one loves on television.

88As in the group of blends where ‘-gasm’ means ‘physical or bodily pleasure’, in this second group, where ‘-gasm’ stands for a ‘feeling of excitement or enthusiasm’, we find a case which is semantically more specific and has probably paved the way for subsequent creations.

89Eargasm makes reference to a feeling of maximal enthusiasm or excitement experienced when listening to music. The word audiogasm can also be considered as the origin of other creations, as it stands for the feeling of excitement experienced when listening to an audio track one particularly loves.

90Using the principles of Construction Morphology, the new subschema can be accounted for as follows:

<[[X]Ni gasm]Nj ↔ [A feeling of excitement or enthusiasm produced by listening to music by / the sound of SEMi]j>

91This second order schema presents a higher degree of specificity at the semantic level. All the words created on the basis of this subschema maintain the meaning of the general schema, while expanding on it and specifying that the feeling of enthusiasm is produced by the activity of listening to a specific type of music, the sound of an instrument or a song by a singer.

4.3.2. Experiencer blends

92The reason why I have labelled this group of blends as ‘experiencer blends’ is that the relationship between their source words is such that the first source word has the semantic role of experiencer, that is, an entity that is aware of or is affected by the action or state denoted by a predicate, the second source word. It is important to draw a distinction between an agent and an experiencer at this point, since the agent is the participant that instigates an action. For this reason, the first elements of these blends should not be confused with elements fulfilling the role of agent, for they are entities that are affected by the feeling of pleasure described by the second element, but do not have control of it. As expected, the first source words of all the words that constitute this group are nouns (some of them proper names). These blends can be paraphrased as “(an) X has/experiences an orgasm/pleasure”.

93The cases of experiencer blends in our corpus account for 11.80% of the data, with 21 words characterized by this feature out of the 178 subject to study. Although they form a small group if compared with ‘cause and effect’ blends, they are part of the second biggest group that has been identified.

94Following the theory of Construction Morphology, a general schema for the creation of words that follow this pattern could be represented as follows:

<[[X]Ni gasm]Nj ↔ [A feeling of pleasure or excitement experienced by SEMi]j>

95Lower-level schemas also seem to operate in the case of experiencer blends, as we find two clearly distinguished groups: one of them consisting of blends with initial proper nouns, and another one with common nouns. These subschemas, which differ in the semantics of the first element constituting the blend, are represented below.

<[[X]PNi gasm]Nj ↔ [A feeling of pleasure or excitement experienced by SEMi]j>

96In this case, PN stands for the semantic specificity of the nouns that are used to create the new words, that is, proper nouns.

<[[X]CNi gasm]Nj ↔ [A feeling of pleasure or excitement experienced by SEMi]j>

97In the second case, CN stands for common noun, as the first source word of the formations coined through this schema are semantically different from the ones which originate from the previous subschema.

4.3.3. Coordination blends

98This group has been named ‘coordination blends’ because the source words of the blends stand in a relationship of coordination. This group is restricted to only 7 words out of the 178 in the corpus, accounting for a 3.93% of the total. Despite its small size, it is an interesting pattern, as it consists of words which describe the situation in which a feeling of pleasure or excitement and an additional sensation are experienced together by a person.

99Following the principles of Construction Morphology, the schema explaining the creation of words of this nature is expressed below.

<[[X]Ni gasm]Nj ↔ [A feeling of pleasure or excitement experienced together with (a feeling of) SEMi]j>

4.3.4. Adjectival blends

100Although this group is not as clear-cut as the three previous categories, we find some words that have been formed by blending an adjective as their first source word and the word orgasm. In these cases, the word orgasm seems to maintain its full original meaning, or at least it is acknowledged as the direct second source word for the blend, and the first source words behave as premodifiers, attributing some qualities to the feeling of pleasure experienced by a person. In fact, these blends seem to behave like phrases and can be written as such. For that reason, all these words seem to have a semantic head, corresponding to the second source word. Six cases of words following this pattern can be found in the corpus, accounting for a 3.37% of the total.

101A general schema explaining the formation of the blends could be the following:

<[[X]Ai gasm]Nj ↔ [An orgasm of the nature described by SEMi]j>

4.3.5. Predication blends

102Only one word has been found in the corpus to support the existence of this group. For that reason, it is unclear whether more words have been formed following this pattern or if some others will be coined in the future. However, the case found in the data is quite interesting, as the first source word is used as a predicate of orgasm. The word that exhibits this characteristic is artgasm. We could simplify the analysis in the absence of a surrounding context by saying that this word is an instance of a ‘cause and effect’ blend, where ‘art’ stands for ‘the activity of admiring a work of art’. However, the context where the word appears favours a different interpretation.

(3) Artgasm. “The paper presents the Artgasm project that stimulates its participants into orgasm. The orgasm was physically induced to volunteer participants through a specialized, medical crafted “orgasmotron” and mediated to the audience through real time video, projected onto a large screen outside the performance space. With the help of qualified medical personnel, the project manipulates its male audience/participants to experience the maximum corporal pleasure, i.e. orgasm. In this manner, the Artgasm project literally presents orgasms as both an ultimate form of art and aesthetic experience” (www.teatrutv.ubbcluj.ro). (EnTenTen15).

103As can be observed, the meaning of the word when used in this context is ‘the consideration of an orgasm as being a work of art’. Furthermore, the blend could be paraphrased as ‘An orgasm is art’, where we can see very clearly that ‘art’ is a subject predicate, attributing qualities to orgasm.

104Some other words in the corpus have been left out. The reason for this has been the difficulty at establishing the relationship between their source words. On many occasions, this difficulty is due to the lack of an appropriate context.

4.4. Final overview

105This section aims at summarizing the schemas described in this study, which seem to be used by speakers in the creation of new words. All of them result in the formation of blended words ending in ‘-gasm’.

106Some blends show a relationship of cause and effect between their source words. The words that behave in this way are instantiations of the following schemas:

(1) <[[X]Ni gasm]Nj ↔ [A sensation of physical or bodily pleasure produced by SEMi]j>
(2) <[[X]Ni gasm]Nj ↔ [A feeling of excitement or enthusiasm produced by SEMi]j>

107The main difference between the schemas in (1) and (2) is the precise meaning of the resulting feeling triggered by the cause. While this is a feeling of physical of bodily pleasure in the first case, it is actually a feeling of excitement or enthusiasm in the second. An example of a word created by means of the schema in (1) is toygasm. The word neologasm, on the other hand, is an instantiation of the schema in (2).

108In addition, lower-level schemas have been identified for both cases. They are represented as follows:

(1.1.) <[[x]Ni gasm]Nj ↔ [A sensation of physical or bodily pleasure produced by eating or drinking SEMi]j>
(2.1.) <[[X]Ni gasm]Nj ↔ [A feeling of excitement or enthusiasm produced by listening to music by / the sound of SEMi]j>

109Each of the subschemas presented above differ from their general schemas in the degree of semantic specificity of the causing entity. In (1.1.), the cause resulting in a pleasurable effect is the activity of eating or drinking something, as can be seen in beefgasm, while in (2.1.), the cause is differently specified, and is restricted to cases where the feeling of excitement is produced by the activity of listening to a specific type of music or sound, as in guitargasm.

110In other blends, like clowngasm, the first participant fulfils the semantic role of an experiencer, that is, the first participant experiences the feeling of pleasure. The constructional schema accounting for these words is the following:

(3) <[[X]Ni gasm]Nj ↔ [A feeling of pleasure or excitement experienced by SEMi]j>

111Two subschemas can be found within the group of experiencer blends, whose main difference is the nature of the first source word. As represented below, the first source word is a proper noun in (3.1.), as in Horgasm, while it is a common noun in (3.2.), as in geekgasm.

(3.1.) <[[X]PNi gasm]Nj ↔ [A feeling of pleasure or excitement experienced by SEMi]j>
(3.2.) <[[X]CNi gasm]Nj ↔ [A feeling of pleasure or excitement experienced by SEMi]j>

112Another schema for the creation of words in ‘-gasm’ is the one represented in (4). This schema is responsible for the formation of coordination blends like crygasm, that is, blended words whose source words stand in a relationship of coordination.

(4) <[[X]Ni gasm]Nj ↔ [A feeling of pleasure or excitement experienced together with (a feeling of) SEMi]j>

113The schema represented in (5) is different from the rest in that the first source word is an adjective. The use of this schema results in adjectival blends in which the first element premodifies the feeling denoted by the second element. One instance of these blends is fakegasm.

(5) <[[X]Ai gasm]Nj ↔ [An orgasm of the nature described by SEMi]j>

5. Conclusion

114The present study has proved that the splinter ‘-gasm’ is very productive. It is included in a huge list of words and many of these words are cases of hapax legomena in the corpus used, that is, words that appear with the minimum possible frequency in a corpus. This is an indicator that novel words containing ‘-gasm’ are created regularly by speakers, who seem to use the sequence quite naturally expecting other language users to recognize and understand their coinages.

115The semantic analysis of the relationships between the blends’ source words has allowed for the classification of blends in different categories. In this way, I have distinguished blends that are based on a relationship of causality from the rest. Within this group, two situations are found: in some of them, the splinter seems to maintain the meaning of the original word it comes from. In others, however, the meaning of the splinter presents slight variations from the original one. Another group of blends is characterized by a first source word with the semantic role of experiencer, an entity that is affected by a feeling of pleasure or excitement, denoted by the sequence ‘-gasm’. In addition, some blends seem to have been formed by means of coordination. In these words, we cannot identify a semantic head, as both source words seem to be equally important. Furthermore, these words denote a feeling of pleasure or excitement accompanied by another feeling. Blends formed by an adjective followed by ‘-gasm’ seem to form another category, as their semantic behaviour is constant, with the adjectives in all the words acting as premodifiers of the meaning of ‘-gasm’ (pleasure or excitement). Some other words could be considered to form other minor groups or be a part of the previously described ones, but the corpus does not contain sufficient data to set up new groups.

116As opposed to purely concatenative approaches to morphology, Construction Morphology has proved to be an appropriate tool to account for these formations. The use of schemas and subschemas appears to be very useful to explain the formation of the blends in the corpus, as well as the differences between them.

117Future research should attempt to find more differentiated groups of blends according to the nature of their source words. Moreover, they should study other cases of blend splinters to check whether the same patterns that have been described in this work can be identified in blends containing other sequences.

Top of page

Bibliography

Adams Valerie, 1973, Introduction to Modern English Word-Formation, London: Longman.

Algeo John, 1977, “Blends, a structural and systematic view”, American Speech 52, Durham: Duke University Press, 47-64.

Ardnt-Lappe Sabine, 2014, “Analogy in suffix rivalry: the case of English –ity and -ness”, English Language and Linguistics, 18(3), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 537-568.

Ardnt-Lappe Sabine & Plag Ingo, 2013, “The role of prosodic structure in the formation of English blends”, English Language and Linguistics, 17(3), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 537-563.

Bauer Laurie, 1983, English word-formation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bauer Laurie, 2001, Morphological Productivity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bauer Laurie, 2006, “Compounds and minor word-Formation types”, in Aarts Bas & McMahon April (Eds.), The Handbook of English Linguistics, Hoboken, New Jersey: Blackwell, 483-506.

Bauer Laurie, Lieber Rochelle & Plag Ingo, 2013, The Oxford Reference Guide to English Morphology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Becker Thomas, 1993, “Back-formation, cross-formation and ‘bracketing paradoxes’”, in Booij Geert & Van Marle Jaap (Eds.), Yearbook of Morphology, 1993, Dordrecht: Springer, 1-25.

Beliaeva Natalia, 2014, “A study of English blends: From structure to meaning and back again”, in Paster Mary, Rainer Franz, Spencer Andrew & Stump Greg (Eds.), Word Structure, 7, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 29-54.

Berman J.M., 1961, “Contribution on Blending”, Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, 9, Germany: Walter De Gruyter, 278-281.

Booij Geert, 2010, Construction Morphology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Booij Geert, 2015, “Construction Morphology”, in Hippisley Andrew & Stump Gregory (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Morphology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 424-448.

Burzio Luigi, 1998, “Multiple correspondence”, Lingua, 104(1), Amsterdam: Elsevier, 79-109.

Cannon Garland, 1986, “Blends in English word formation”, Linguistics, 24, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 725-753.

Cannon Garland, 2000, “Blending”, in Booij Geert, Lehmann Christian & Mugdan Joachim (Eds.), Morphology: An International Handbook on Inflection and Word-Formation, Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 952-956.

Choroleeva Kornelia, 2015, “Morpho-semantic groups of lexical blends”, Scientific Works Of University Of Food Technologies, 62, 902-904.

Correia Saavedra David, 2014, “Automatically identifying blend splinters that are morpheme candidates”, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 31(1), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 55-71.

Crystal David, 1995, The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Fandrych Ingrid, 2008, “Sub-morphemic elements in the formation of acronyms, blends and clippings”, Lexis, 2, 103-121.

Fauconnier Gilles & Turner Mark, 1998, “Conceptual integration networks”, Cognitive Science, 22(2), 133-187.

Fauconnier Gilles & Turner Mark, 2002, The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind’s Hidden Complexities, New York: Basic Books.

Fischer Roswitha, 1998, Lexical Change in Present Day English: A Corpus Based Study of the Motivation, Institutionalization, and Productivity of Creative Neologisms, Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.

Geeraerts Dirk & Cuyckens Hubert, 2007, The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Goldberg Adele E., 1995, Constructions: A Construction Grammar approach to argument structure, Chicago and London: Chicago University Press.

Goldberg Adele E., 1998, “Patterns of experience in patterns of language”, in Tomasello Michael (Ed.), The New Psychology of Language (Cognitive and Functional Approaches to Language Structure), Vol. 1, Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 203-219.

Goldberg Adele E., 1998, “Construction grammar”, in Nadel Lynn (Ed.), Encyclopedia of cognitive science, London: MacMillan.

Goldberg Adele E., 1995, Constructions at Work: The Nature of Generalization in Language, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gries Stephan Th., 2004a, “Isn’t that Fantabulous? How Similarity Motivates Intentional Morphological Blends in English”, in Achard Michel & Kemmer Suzanne (Eds.), Language, Culture, and Mind, Stanford: CSLI Publications, 415-428.

Gries Stepha  Th., 2004b, “Shouldn’t it be breakfunch? A quantitative analysis of blend structure in English”, Linguistics, 42, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 639-667.

Hilpert Martin, 2014, Construction Grammar and its application to English, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Kelly Michael H., 1998, “To “brunch” or to “brench”: some aspects of blend structure”, Linguistics, 36(3), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 579-590.

Kemmer Suzanne, 2006, “Schemas and lexical blends”, in Cuyckens Hubert, Berg Thomas, Dirven René & Panther Klaus-Uwe (Eds.), Motivation in Language: From Case Grammar to Cognitive Linguistics. A Festschrift for Günter Radden, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 69-97.

Lalic-Krstin Gordana, 2014, “Forms and meanings of the source word Armageddon in English lexical blends”, in Prćić Tvrtko et al. (Eds.), Engleski jezik i anglofone književnosti u teoriji i praksi: Zbornik u čast Draginji Pervaz, Filozofski fakultet: Novi Sad, 257-273.

Lehrer Adrienne, 1996, “Identifying and interpreting blends: An experimental approach”, Cognitive Linguistics, 7(4), Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 359-390.

Lehrer Adrienne, 1998, “Scapes, holics and thons: The semantics of English combining forms”, American Speech, 73(1), Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 3-28.

Lehrer Adrienne, 2007, “Blendalicious”, in Munat Judith (Ed.), Lexical Creativity, Texts and Contexts, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 115-133.

López-Rúa Paula, 2002, “On the Structure of Acronyms and Neighbouring Categories: a Prototype-based Account”, English Language and Linguistics, 6(1), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 31-60.

Plag Ingo, 2003, Word-Formation in English, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Plag Ingo & Baayen Harald, 2009, “Suffix ordering and morphological processing”, in Carlston Greg & Stump Gregory (Eds.), Language, 85(1), New York: Linguistic Society of America, 109-152.

Pond Louise, 1914, Blends: Their Relation to English Word Formation, Heidelberg: Winter.

Radden Gunter & Dirven René, 2007, Cognitive English Grammar, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Raffelsiefen Renate, 2004, “Absolute ill-formedness and other morphophonological effects”, Phonology, 21, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 91-142.

Schreuder Robert & Baayen Harald, 1997, “How complex simple words can be”, Journal of Memory and Language, 37, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 118-139.

Soudanek L.J., 1998, “The Relation of Blending to English Word-Formation: Theory, Structure, and Typological Attempts”, in Dressler Wolfgang & Meid Wolfgang (Eds.), Proceedings of the Twelfth International Congress of Linguists: Vienna, August 28-September 2, 1977, Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft der Universität Innsbruck, 462-466.

Steriade Donca, 2000, “Paradigm uniformity and the phonetics-phonology boundary”, in Broe M. & Pierrehumbert J. (Eds.), Papers in laboratory phonology V: Acquisition and the lexicon, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 313-334.

Taylor John R., 2012, The Mental Corpus: How Language is Represented in the Mind, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ungerer Friedrich & Schmid Hans-Jörg, 1996, An Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics, London: Longman.

Top of page

Appendix

Appendix 1

Table 1: Frequency of the words ending in –gasm in the corpora

FREQUENCY

Word

En TenTen15

GlowBe

COCA

orgasm

39,845

5,966

1,744

Afrigasm

4

6

Allahgasm

1

Amerigasm

1

Artgasm

8

Asianporngasm

1

Assgasm

5

Astrogasm

1

Audiogasm

7

Aurgasm

419

Bassgasm

10

Bedgasm

1

Beefgasm

1

Beergasm

1

Berbagasm

3

Berlinergasm

5

Biebergasm

1

1

Blissgasm

1

Blogasm

7

Bookgasm

10

5

Bootygasm

1

Braingasm

4

Breathgasm

2

Cakegasm

2

Cameragasm

1

Cargasm

1

2

Carnivorgasm

1

Chartgasm

1

Chillgasm

1

Chocgasm

2

Chocogasm

4

Choirgasm

1

Christgasm

1

Clowngasm

2

Colbertgasm

1

Coregasm

4

1

Crabgasm

1

Crygasm

3

Cutegasm

1

Cyborgasm

6

Dancegasm

1

Deathgasm

94

Debtgasm

1

Deli-gasm

1

Delish-o-gasm

1

Designgasm

2

Drawergasm

1

Dreamgasm

1

Eargasm

122

17

Electrogasm

1

Exploragasm

1

Explorgasm

2

Extravagasm

2

Eyegasm

17

1

Factgasm

3

Failgasm

1

Fangasm

65

3

1

Fashiongasm

1

Feargasm

1

Femaleorgasm

18

Femgasm

6

Femmegasm

3

Flavourgasm

1

Floorgasm

2

Foodgasm

114

14

Footgasm

1

Forevergasm

1

Fruitgasm

1

2

Gamegasm

1

Gamingasm

1

Gastronogasm

1

Geekgasm

37

4

1

Goalgasm

2

1

Googasm

2

Goregasm

7

2

Gorgasm

11

Guitargasm

1

Heartgasm

4

Hentaigasm

2

Herogasm

8

Horrorgasm

2

Horgasm

2

Hortgasm

2

Ideagasm

1

Infogasm

2

Internetgasm

1

Joygasm

12

4

Ladygasm

86

Lashgasm

5

Leathergasm

1

Lesbigasm

1

Lightning-gasm

1

Literarygasm

1

Luxogasm

1

Macgasm

61

9

Mapgasm

1

Mangasm

60

Meatgasm

6

Metalgasm

1

Mindgasm

6

1

Moneygasm

1

Mooregasm

6

Moregasm

43

4

Morgasm

23

1

Mouthgasm

12

3

Mustangasm

1

Neologasm

2

Nerdgasm

139

30

1

Newsgasm

5

Nipplegasm

1

Noisegasm

11

Obamagasm

17

2

Obamaorgasm

1

Operagasm

8

Orbgasm

1

Orchidgasm

1

Oreogasm

2

Orgygasm

1

Oxtailgasm

1

Papergasm

3

Photogasm

2

Pinkgasm

1

Plankgasm

1

Plantgasm

1

Polishgasm

1

Popgasm

4

Porkgasm

1

Porngasm

17

Prayergasm

3

Prorgasm

2

Pyrogasm

1

Queergasm

1

Ragegasm

2

Releasegasm

1

Rockgasm

1

Scenerygasm

1

Schizorgasm

1

Scoregasm

3

Sexgasm

1

Shoegasm

1

Showgasm

7

Skygasm

1

Snoorgasm

1

Snoregasm

1

Soapgasm

1

Soulgasm

18

Soundgasm

1156

Sportsgasm

1

Squeegasm

6

2

Storygasm

7

Studygasm

1

Stylegasm

1

Suregasm

1

Tabloidgasm

1

Tastegasm

1

Thoughtgasm

1

Tintingasm

2

Torygam

7

Tourgasm

11

2

1

Toygasm

1

Trigasm

1

TVgasm

2

1

Twittergasm

1

Vampiregasm

1

Vetogasm

2

Vowelgasm

1

Wargasm

32

2

4

Whoregasm

4

Winegasm

1

Wordgasm

1

Yawgasm

1

Yawngasm

7

Yogasm

1

Appendix 2

Table 2: Cause and effect blends where ‘-gasm’ means ‘physical or bodily pleasure’

Word

Definition

Example

Asianporngasm

An orgasm reached by watching Asian porn.

Asianporngasm - extremely hot resource with a lot of beautiful and sexual Asian chicks” (www.nakedsexblogs.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Assgasm

A feeling of physical pleasure reached through the stimulation of the anus.

“Hayley enjoyed her anal adventure especially since she was able to experience multiple assgasms” (www.mobilecarriers.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Birthgasm

A feeling of physical pleasure experienced while giving birth to a child.

“We spoke to one mum who, without realising what it was, had a birthgasm while giving birth to her second child, and never told anyone about it.” (www.netmums.com).

Chillgasm

“An orgasm as a result of being really, really relaxed” (UrbanDictionary).

“My god. That chillgasm was so worth the money we spent on all that Indo” (UrbanDictionary)

Coregasm

“An orgasm achieved while performing a core exercise during a work-out” (UrbanDictionary).

““coregasm,” named thusly because abdominal exercises tend to spark the sensation.” (www.healthland.time.com).

Failgasm

“When a fail feels good” (UrbanDictionary)

“I had a failgasm yesterday” (UrbanDictionary).

Feargasm

“When a sudden event like the sighting of a cop on the highway causes electric-like jolts of fear to shoot throughout your body. Reminiscent of an orgasm but not as fun, especially if followed by speeding ticket.” (UrbanDictionary)

“Why are you hyper-ventilating?” "iPhone feargasm! I can’t find it anywhere!” (UrbanDictionary)

Foodgasm

The feeling of pleasure one gets when eating something.

“One of the diners at an adjacent table had a noisy foodgasm over this dessert, so we tried it on our second visit” (www.magoguide.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Footgasm

An orgasmic feeling obtained when getting a very good foot massage.

“Megan footgasms when I rub her feet nice and hard” (UrbanDictionary).

Hentaigasm

An orgasm reached by watching hentai, that is, animated, cartoonish porn.

“Raw Hentaigasm - Stream Hentai” (www.mirvramke.by). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Laughgasm

When a good full-bodied laugh can certainly help you experience the relief, release and feeling of refreshment you might have from an orgasm” (www.mirthmaven.wordpress.com).

“You can even get a laughgasm from laughing so hard” (www.neologisms.rice.edu). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Mouthgasm

A feeling of pleasure obtained by eating something one loves.

“We tried all kinds of fair fried things and we had a mouthgasm when we had fried oreos.” (www.addymeira.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Nipplegasm

An orgasm resulting from the stimulation of the nipples.

“Some women can orgasm just through stimulation of breasts and nipples. No, nipplegasms aren’t a myth!” (www.girlsandbabes.in). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Orgygasm

An orgasm resulting from taking part in an orgy.

“Haired bosses will have an orgygasm” (www.slashdot.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Porngasm

An orgasm experimented while watching porn.

Porngasm is waiting for you to enjoy free adult video chat” (www.chaturbate.com).

Sexgasm

An orgasm reached when talking about or dealing with sex.

“Do you want sexgasms, playgasms, orgasms and laughgasms? Then this is the perfect raucous, information-packed, fun, play shop for you” (www.pamelamadsen.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Toygasm

An orgasm experienced when using sex toys for stimulation.

Toygasm! “The Insider’s Guide to Sex Toys and Techniques” (COCA).

Yogasm

“An almost sexually blissful feeling experienced via practicing yoga that is so physically and spiritually fulfilling that it is akin to an orgasm” (UrbanDictionary)

“When that 90 minutes of hot horror was over, I had the biggest yogasm ever!!!” (UrbanDictionary)

Appendix 3

Table 3: Cause and effect blends modelled on ‘foodgasm’

Word

Definition

Example

Beefgasm

Pleasure obtained by eating beef.

“The Wagyu beef just melts in my mouth whilst the grain fed beef is so tender and juicy. #Beefgasm” (www.annna.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Beergasm

Pleasure obtained by drinking beer.

“I also love beer and will be hosting the Beergasm on Thursday afternoon!” (www.porcfest2015.sched.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Cakegasm

“A mind blowing double orgasm induced by cakes.” (UrbanDictionary)

“I nearly had a cakegasm at the table” (www.goodreads.com).

Chocgasm, Chocogasm

A feeling of pleasure derived from eating chocolate.

“it was nice to know that I could create such a pleasurable working environment by just bringing in a five dollar cake... and the chocgasms that followed were only a bonus” (www.straightwhiteguy.mu.nu). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Crabgasm

Pleasure obtained by eating a crustaceous.

“Walk in, get a table pretty easily, and be prepared to have a crabgasm” (www.ohjoy.blogs.com).

Deligasm

Deligasm can be eating great pastrami, corned beef sandwiches at a good Jewish, kosher or other kosher-style deli restaurant.” (UrbanDictionary)

Delish-o-gasm

Pleasure obtained by eating something delicious.

Flavourgasm

“Used to liken the pleasure of eating flavorful food to the euphoria experienced during sexual release” (www.neologisms.rice.edu). Taken from EnTenTen15.

“That steak was so juicy and tender that I think I just had a flavorgasm in my mouth” (www.neologisms.rice.edu).

Fruitgasm

Pleasure derived from eating a piece of fruit.

“Judy just had a Fruitgasm from that piece of watermelon!” (UrbanDictionary)

Meatgasm

Pleasure obtained by eating meat.

“We were there for the cheeseburger meatgasm... Seriously, you’ve never seen such joy” (www.evilbastard.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Oreogasm

Pleasure obtained by eating Oreo biscuits.

“Lisa is also a contributor to Funny Times newspaper where her parody of Oreo cookies was recently featured alongside humor greats Dave Barry and Garrison Keillor--an experience she found so stimulating, she had an Oreogasm” (www.myfunnybooks.biz). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Oxtailgasm

Pleasure derived from eating something containing oxtail.

“It’s the oxtail soup. Oxtailgasm” (www.kualalumpur-travel.info). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Porkgasm

Pleasure obtained by eating pork.

“Just because I have this recipe listed under Porkgasm in my recipe file doesn’t mean it’s a fetish” (www.bbqaddicts.com). Taken from GloWbE.

Soupgasm

Pleasure obtained by drinking soup.

“Sorry to bombard you with sloppy foods. I know the last post was pretty much a soupgasm. You may be worried this blog is going to become reduced to a soup blog” (www.ckrecipes.com). Taken from GloWbE.

Swirllgasm

“A state of ecstasy achieved during the consumption of Swirll frozen yogurt similar to that achieved during intercourse” (www.neologisms.rice.edu).

“I would be up for Swirll; I haven’t had a Swirllgasm in a couple of weeks” (www.neologisms.rice.edu).

Tastegasm

Pleasure obtained by eating something tasteful or delicious.

“The other tastegasm of 2011 came at Metamorfosi with Chef Roy Caceres’ glazed eel paired with ground spelt and a punchy carpione onion and vinegar sorbet” (www.parlafood.com). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Winegasm

Pleasure obtained by drinking wine.

“We were well into a winegasm when the second course arrived” (www.magoguide.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Appendix 4

Table 4: Cause and effect blends where ‘-gasm’ means ‘a feeling of excitement or enthusiasm’

Word

Definition

Example

Afrigasm

A feeling of enthusiasm experienced when dealing with or watching images from Africa.

Afrigasms feel as good as they do because they confirm the way media . . . taught us to view the continent” (www.vijana.fm). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Amerigasm

“Having intense joy or passion upon extreme patriotism for the U.S” (UrbanDictionary).

“Listening to Toby Keith’s song “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)” gave me an Amerigasm” (UrbanDictionary)

Astrogasm

A feeling of excitement related to the stars and the universe.

Astrogasm is about being and having an explosion of excitement about the stars, cosmos, and life” (www.astrogasm.com). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Bedgasm

“Bedgasm (n): a feeling of euphoria experienced when climbing into bed” (www.architecturendesign.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

“It was a three hour drive in the middle of the night, I could barely stay awake. When I got home, I climbed under the covers and had a ten-minute bedgasm” (UrbanDictionary)

Berbagasm

The feeling of euphoria or excitement derived from watching football player Dimitar Berbatov play a good match.

“Again it’s all hearsay as we can’t change the past but I’m pretty sure my timeline would all have a Berbagasm if he was to help bring home the title for us.” (www.thefaithfulmufc.com). Taken from GloWbE.

Berlinergasm

A feeling of euphoria of a Berliner due to their place of residency.

“I don’t know the right word for it, so I’m coining “Berlinergasms”. I was on the tram recently and overheard an English guy turning to his two friends and saying loudly “I fucking love living in Berlin. I just love it. It’s just so fucking great”” (www.uberlin.co.uk). Taken from GloWbE.

Blogasm

“The feeling you get when you check your blog stats and you see way more visitors than you expected” (UrbanDictionary).

“Dude, last night I wrote a new blog post about that crazy new action movie. This morning when I checked my stats and saw I had over 2,000 visits, I had a serious blogasm!” (UrbanDictionary).

Bookgasm

Feeling of enthusiasm experienced when reading a book.

Bookgasm – reading material to get excited about” (www.netfacet.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Cameragasm

Feeling of enthusiasm experienced when using a camera to take pictures.

“If you really want to have a cameragasm have him take you up to the pro floor and take a look at the Hassys” (www.shutterstock.com). Taken from GloWbE.

Cargasm

Feeling of excitement or enthusiasm when seeing or owning a car.

“I know the car isn’t “beautiful” by Ferrari standards, but it still satisfies every cargasm and luxogasm need any of us may ever have” (www.hotelroomsdirect.uk). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Chartgasm

Feeling of enthusiasm experienced when finding or using charts.

“Prepare for chart-gasm and graph-overload. And prepare to probably say, ‘Grr’” (www.fazed.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Christgasm

Excitement derived from the religious belief in Jesus Christ.

“Most likely the expression on their faces as they pore over their “proofs” is the same as a Christian fundy in the throes of a Christgasm” (www.blogs.discovermagazine.com). Taken from GloWbE.

Cutegasm

“The reaction one feels when being exposed to something overly cute. this may be an emotional, physical or even sexual response” (UrbanDictionary).

“When Holly saw the baby trying to dance, she had a cutegasm” (UrbanDictionary).

Deathgasm

“A strong feeling of excitement brought on by anything dark or of death, such as music and art felt by death enthusiasts” (UrbanDictionary).

“That necrophile creep had a deathgasm in the morgue looking at all those bodies” (UrbanDictionary).

Designgasm

A feeling of enthusiasm derived from architecture and the activity of designing.

“And what architecture-porn would be complete without a designgasm” (www.nolandgrab.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Drawergasm

A feeling of excitement or enthusiasm experienced when opening and closing drawers that slide perfectly.

“They were tricky (my first drawers), but once they were finished they slid like butter, and latched so sweetly (Laura Goldhamer called opening and closing them a “drawergasm”)” (www.freeteaparty.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Eargasm

A feeling of maximal enthusiasm or excitement experienced when listening to music.

“I nearly had an eargasm while listening to his performance of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto” (UrbanDictionary).

Eyegasm

A feeling of excitement or enthusiasm when seeing something overwhelmingly beautiful.

“New York’s Times Square has always been an eyegasm of advertising” (www.ringofstars.ru). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Factgasm

A feeling of excitement when discovering new facts.

“Welcome to the first edition of Calais Migrant Factgasm, in which I quite metaphorically round up every piece of internet about the Calais migrants and incarcerate it in the detention centre of my blog” (www.davidcharles.info). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Fashiongasm

A feeling of excitement experienced when watching fashion items, such as clothes or shoes.

“Brix’s ultimate test for a product is the “fashiongasm”. That is, if something fills her with an explosive, must-have sense of need then she knows she’s onto a hit. FYI, Brix’s recent fashiongasms have come from NEWGEN shoe designer Sophia Webster and the leather tote bags of Sophie Hulme” (www.fashioneditoratlarge.blogspot.com). Taken from GloWbE.

Floorgasm

A feeling of excitement experienced when dancing on a dancefloor.

“Ballroom addict 1: Say, did you watch that PBS America’s Ballroom Challenge?

Obsessed Ballroom Addict: OMG did you SEE Ben and Shalene? Floorgasm!” (UrbanDictionary)

Gamegasm

A feeling of excitement of enthusiasm given by the visual components, aesthetics, or contents of a game.

“When playing Command and Conquer 3 it sounded and looked so good I had a gamegasm” (UrbanDictionary).

Gamingasm

A feeling of excitement given by the activity of playing a game

“Easily the most deluxe gaming product I’ve ever seen! #gamingasm” (Twitter).

Goalgasm

A feeling of excitement obtained when one’s favourite team scores a goal.

“Bench! Ball! Goal! Arjen Robben watched the ball from the bench for 54 minutes. He was subbed on. And celebrated his personal goal-gasm with his first touch of the ball after 37 seconds” (www.espnfc.us). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Googasm

A feeling of enthusiasm by the success of Google.

“Tech media starting to catch on that nothing Google can make will spell the end for Microsoft. Some writers fake a Googasm and manage to fool an inexperienced few readers, but those of us in the know can spot the act” (www.theregister.co.uk). Taken from GloWbE.

Goregasm

A feeling of enthusiasm experienced when doing anything related to Al Gore.

“The word Goregasm was invented to describe the feelings an Al Gore lover gets when doing anything Al Gore related, an event referred to as a Goregy when occurring collectively” (www.realcty.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Gorgasm

Name of a band, presumably denoting a feeling of excitement derived from gore-related, that is, sanguine-related things.

Horrorgasm

Probably a feeling of excitement when facing horror-related things or activities.

Hortgasm

Taking ‘horticulture’ as its first source word, this word stands for the feeling of enthusiasm of excitement experienced when seeing beautiful plants and flowers.

“This is truly one of the most elegant plants in the genus arum, and to catch them in perfect flower was a true “hortgasm” moment” (www.juniperlevelbotanicgarden.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Ideagasm

A feeling of excitement produced by having a wonderful idea.

“Holy cow that is such a good idea!!! I think I just had an ideagasm” (UrbanDictionary).

Internetgasm

A feeling of excitement produced by surfing the Internet.

“Why does it feel so good just to answer and delete emails? #internetgasm” (Twitter).

Lashgasm

Name of a product for beauty aimed at getting perfect eyelashes. Presumably standing for a feeling of enthusiasm produced by having perfect eyelashes.

Leathergasm

The feeling one gets when admiring a beautiful leather work.

“I’m intoxicated by the smell of real leather and fascinated by the rawness of handmade leather goods. #leathergasm” (Twitter).

Lightning-gasm

Excitement or enthusiasm resulting from a good use of lightning techniques in a film.

Luxogasm

A feeling of enthusiasm produced by seeing or owning luxury items.

“I know the car isn’t “beautiful” by Ferrari standards, but it still satisfies every cargasm and luxogasm need any of us may ever have” (www.hotelroomsdirect.uk). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Macgasm

A feeling of excitement when using or owning a Mac product designed by Apple.

Mapgasm

A feeling of enthusiasm produced by looking at maps.

“This is post number six in the ongoing #mapgasm series of posts on maps found on the interwebs that I like. Yes, it’s another map. Yes, it’s another Tube map” (www.vicchi.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Moneygasm

A feeling of excitement produced by receiving a quantity of money.

“The Super Bowl is an enormous money-gasm, but it is so far more for the TV people than the NFL” (www.sportschump.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Mustangasm

A feeling of enthusiasm produced by admiring a Mustang car.

“On the next row over was the exclusive Mustang Club. More Mustangs than you could ever want or dream about were all lined up for your personal Mustangasm” (www.barry-stein.net). Taken from GloWbE.

Neologasm

Excitement from coining or finding a neologism.

“Volunteers submit over 1000 new definitions to Urbandictionary every day. It ain’t fo the money; it’s all about the neologasms” (UrbanDictionary).

Newsgasm

A feeling of excitement experienced when having or displaying news.

“Put simply, if there was even a remote possibility of us being turned into a colony the Daily Mail would have a newsgasm and put it all over pages 1-27” (www.tboverse.us). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Noisegasm

Name of an electronic music duo. Probably the feeling one gets when hearing loud noises.

Obamagasm, Obamaorgasm

A feeling of excitement or enthusiasm related to ex-President Barack Obama or any policies issued by his government.

“If your so happy paying subsidies, then your gonna have an ObamaGasm when you get your bill for the Socialist Medical Program (National Health Care)” (www.fullertonsfuture.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Orbgasm

In the context provided, a feeling of excitement people experience when talking about Donald Trump touching a glowing orb in a visit to Saudi Arabia.

“Newsweek promised to demystify the viral orbgasm in an article published Sunday called “Why Donald Trump Touched a Glowing Orb in Saudi Arabia”. The article cooly explains that the image depicts Trump at the opening of the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology in Riyadh” (www.theslot.jezebel.com).

Orchidgasm

A feeling of excitement produced by seeing beautiful Orchid flowers.

“The challenge: have fun in Singapore ... the mist house, the cool house, and the VIP Orchid Garden. I think I had an orchidgasm” (www.greenteafrappuccino.loseweightquickly.space). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Papergasm

A feeling of excitement experienced when looking at stationary material or items made of paper.

“Ultimate want. I just had a papergasm here” (Pinterest).

Pinkgasm

Feeling of excitement related to the use of the colour pink.

Plankgasm

Feeling of excitement experienced when being capable of doing plank abdominal exercises.

“Another plankgasm! Yay! It seems I am now just getting on with the planks. If you are looking for more challenging plank variations, check this out” (www.thepeakconditionproject.com). Taken from GloWbE.

Plantgasm

A feeling of enthusiasm when admiring beautiful plants or flowers.

“You can read some about this at Plantgasm, if you’re interested. Passiflora caerulea and maybe other Passiflora spp. (passion flower)” (www.plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com). Taken from GloWbE.

Pyrogasm

A feeling of enthusiasm or excitement experienced when admiring pyrotechnics.

“if Michael Bay put out a movie called “Sh*t Blows Up” and made two hours of a seat-shaking, AC/DC blaring, mushroom-clouded pyrogasm of splodey bits, in super-mega 4D (enveloping you in a smog smelling of burnt rubber and man sweat) it would be the biggest selling movie of all time” (www.tor.com). Taken from GloWbE.

Releasegasm

A feeling of enthusiasm produced by the commercial release of a new product (in the example provided, the product being a software).

“Lubuntu , Mythbuntu , Edubuntu , Kubuntu , and Ubuntu Studio , have all been updated, absorbing and expanding upon various features present in Ubuntu 11.04. Absolute 13.2.2, a light-weight version of Slackware, rounds out the releasegasm of the last 24 hours” (www.matias.root.zone). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Scenerygasm

The feeling of excitement one gets when admiring the beautiful scenery of a film or a work of art.

“Can you say scenerygasm: The Princess and the Frog” (www.derynsharp.tk). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Scoregasm

A feeling of excitement obtained when a footballer of one’s favourite team scores a goal.

“Palace can thank Hugh O’Higgins for a 90 th minute 45 yard piledriver to seal victory while Scoregasms will be grateful to Ladzio player Ronald Carroll who found himself taking an early bath after picking up two yellow cards, both for dissent towards the referee” (www.collegetribune.ie). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Shoegasm

A feeling of excitement when seeing a pair of beautiful shoes.

“When I saw those pink Mary Janes, I had the most amazing shoegasm of my life” (UrbanDictionary).

Showgasm

A feeling of enthusiasm produced by attending or watching a wonderful show.

“Have you seen the new episode of Doctor Who? man that show gives me the best showgasm” (UrbanDictionary).

Soundgasm

A feeling of excitement experienced when hearing something.

“Elly had a soundgasm every time she heard a cat meow” (UrbanDictionary)

Sportsgasm

A feeling of enthusiasm or excitement when playing or watching sports.

“I’ve been reserved so far, but I feel a sports-gasm coming on that won’t subside until the end of the NFL season” (www.andrewdupont.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Storygasm

Enthusiasm derived from reading or listening to a story.

“Join Storygasm, the queer storytelling and roleplaying collective, to tell collaborative stories!” (www.nineworlds.co.uk).

Stylegasm

A feeling of excitement produced by the style of a film, a person or another object.

“Directed by Pierre Koralnik and starring Anna Karina, the movie might best be described as an 87-minute stylegasm” (www.thesamecinemaeverynight.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Tabloidgasm

A feeling of enthusiasm produced by reading an article in a tabloid.

Thoughtgasm

A feeling of excitement when having or coming up with new thoughts and ideas.

“I believe I just experienced a thoughtgasm from staring at Mrs. Smith’s ass!” (UrbanDictionary).

Tintingasm

Enthuasiasm related to the Tintin character or film.

“Oh, and yes -Spielberg needs to make that Indianapolis movie! Maybe after he gets this Tintingasm out of his system he can make another actual movie” (www.aintitcool.com). Taken from GloWbE.

Tourgasm

A feeling of excitement of a musician when going on tour or a fan when going to concerts.

TVgasm

A feeling of excitement when watching material one loves on TV.

“Greys Anatomy, Scandal & How to get away with murder!!! #tvgasm” (Twitter).

Twittergasm

A feeling of excitement when reading a post on Twitter.

“People on social media seemed to have a simultaneous twittergasm when it was over, and it’s easy to see why” (www.chortle.co.uk). Taken from GloWbE.

Vampiregasm

A feeling of enthusiasm produced when dealing with something related to vampires, such as documentaries or films where they appear.

Vetogasm

A feeling of excitement produced by imposing a veto on something or someone.

“Looks like they’re scared that Cameron may pull another vetogasm surprise moment, especially with no Lib Dem fifth columnist minister in the FO” (www.politicalbetting.com). Taken from GloWbE.

Vowelgasm

A feeling of pleasure or excitement when listening to vowel sounds.

“The Italian accent is a vowelgasm that reflects the spectrum of Italic experience” (www.twmagazine.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Wargasm

A feeling of excitement related to war.

“If Israel attacks Iran, John Bolton will have such a wargasm that his head might explode” (UrbanDictionary).

Wordgasm

Presumably a feeling of excitement or enthusiasm when using or reading a word or when reading a text that somebody has written.

“Upon Jeans reading those words, she may experience a wordgasm” (UrbanDictionary).

Appendix 5

Table 5: Cause and effect blends modelled on ‘eargasm’

Word

Definition

Example

Bassgasm

Feeling of enthusiasm when listening to the sound of a bass.

“His sound is a majestic blend of overblown hyperbole and meaningless adjectives that actually have nothing to do with music. Each festy season he journeys across the land inducing immersive cutting-edge bassgasms and killin’ it” (www.artoutside.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Biebergasm

Feeling of excitement when listening to music by Canadian singer Justin Bieber.

“North Korean Beliebers are going to have a Biebergasm when they see what we’ve put together” (www.ssy.org.uk). EnTenTen15.

Choirgasm

A feeling of enthusiasm produced by listening to the music of a choir.

Choirgasm : An Evening of Coral Pleasure” (www.oica.upd.edu.ph). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Gagasm

A feeling of excitement when listening to music by American singer Lady Gaga.

“2008 with Gaga in Miss Universe was your gagasm” (www.gagadaily.com).

Guitargasm

A feeling of excitement when listening to the sound of a guitar. Occasionally, it can be used to refer to the feeling of pleasure obtained while playing the guitar.

“Dude i just bought jackson kelly and i think i also need a change of pants because i just had a guitargasm” (UrbanDictionry).

Metalgasm

A feeling of excitement when listening to metal music.

“The Metalgasm comes about four minutes in, when Halford goes from death metal growls up through the octaves to a scream that would summon Thor himself” (www.metaltalk.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Operagasm

Feeling of excitement when listening to an opera piece or attending an opera performance.

“-Soprano/tenor *sings high C*. -Audience member: *operagasms*” (UrbanDictionary).

Popgasm

A feeling of enthusiasm when listening to pop music.

Rockgasm

A feeling of excitement experienced when listening to rock music.

“It doesn’t take any real prominence until the song bursts into a full out rockgasm after the arresting tremolo bass bridge with the unsettling line “One of these days I’m going to cut you up into little pieces!”” (www.sourceaudio.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Soulgasm

A feeling of excitement when listening to soul music.

“We are grateful that there is now a Soulgasm Music Label” (www.girlpr.motionforum.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Appendix 6

Table 6: Experiencer blends ending in ‘-gasm

Word

Definition

Example

Carnivorgasm

Feeling of pleasure experienced by a carnivore (when they eat meat).

“The Carnivorgasm at The Vortex Bar & Grill (Atlanta) is one pound of grilled sirloin patties topped with pulled smoked pork, bacon, sliced ham, turkey, cheddar cheese and whiskey pimento cheese, covered in Vortex barbeque” (www.reviewtravel.info). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Clowngasm

A feeling of pleasure experienced by a clown.

“Meanwhile, the clown had another clowngasm” (www.tenka.seiha.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Exploragasm, Explorgasm

A feeling experienced by an explorer.

“’Wow man, where’d you find this restaurant?’ ‘I was trying to go to Jenny’s house and had an explorgasm!’” (UrbanDictionary)

Fangasm

A feeling of excitement experienced by a fan of someone or something.

“We have the following two little tid bits of information, which is guaranteed to produce fangasms from even the most casual ‘Star Wars’ fan” (www.scifipulse.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Femaleorgasm,

Femgasm, Femmegasm

A feeling of physical pleasure experienced by a female.

“FemaleOrgasm Sex Guide” (www.lending.estate). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Geekgasm

A feeling of excitement or enthusiasm experienced by a geek, a huge fan of someone or something.

“Growing up with the Tintin books by Belgian artist Hergé, hearing news of it being turned into a movie by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson gave me a geekgasm” (www.sugoistuff.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Herogasm

This is the name of a comic for adults. It probably stands for the feeling of pleasure experienced by the hero.

Horgasm

Feeling of pleasure or excitement experienced by (Torstein) Horgmo.

Horgasm: This is going to be an in-depth look at the highs, the lows, the pressures and orgasmic releases that make up every damn frickin’ second of Torstein’s (Horgmo) existence” (www.whitelines.mpora.com). Taken from GloWbE.

Ladygasm

A feeling of pleasure experienced by a lady.

“you also have the power and the ability to ensure you get the level of sexual satisfaction you want by using Ladygasm toys” (www.womenmasturbation.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Lesbigasm

A feeling of pleasure experienced by a lesbian.

Mangasm

A feeling of pleasure experienced by a man.

“The Mangasm Edge is sure to bring you to an incredible orgasm, massaging both your prostate, and your balls with its intense vibrating power” (www.jerking-off.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Mooregasm

This word is used to refer to one of Shannon Moore’s signature moves while wrestling. The term stands for the feeling of excitement or pleasure experienced by (Shannon) Moore.

Nerdgasm

A feeling of excitement or enthusiasm experienced by a nerd, a huge fan of something or someone.

“As a HUGE Star Trek fan I am having a huge nerdgasm over today’s announcement Star Trek is coming back to TV!” (www.statestimes.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Prayergasm

A feeling of excitement experienced by a prayer.

“As my Bitachon, my trust of Creator, grew, my need for control let go and the fuel of prayergasm has taken me on a whirlwind tour of my devotional soul ever since!” (www.jewrotica.org). EnTenTen15.

Prorgasm

A feeling of pleasure or excitement experienced by a programmer.

“A prorgasm is what particularly keen programmers get when they have finally completed a program that has been giving them grief for some time” (www.meta.uncyclomedia.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Queergasm

A feeling of pleasure experienced by a person who identifies himself or herself sexually as being queer.

Torygasm

Feeling of excitement experienced by Tories.

“Walton tells of the Torygasm: Thatcher funeral will cost £10 million and involve 700 military personal. Big Ben will be silenced” (www.cyberunions.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Whoregasm

A feeling of pleasure experienced by a woman who works in the prostitution business.

“Dude ,I just had sex with a Latino prostitute and she totally had a Whoregasm all on my lap” (UrbanDictionary)

Appendix 7

Table 7: Coordination blends ending in ‘-gasm

Word

Definition

Example

Blissgasm

A feeling of bliss accompanied by a feeling of physical pleasure.

“I began using several of my favourite tantric techniques to circulate sexual energy between me and Sydney. Before I knew it, a little blissgasm shivered up my spine, followed by an actual clitoral orgasm... I was so amazed, I had to stop and lean against a wall” (www.guardian.co.uk). Taken from GloWbE.

Crygasm

A feeling of physical pleasure occurring simultaneously with the activity of crying.

“This was very pleasurable, and triggered a series of deep clitoral orgasms, accompanied by a burst of emotion, which I call a crygasm” (www.sexecology.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Dreamgasm

This term is used to express something is someone’s dream and simultaneously produces a feeling excitement in that person.

“Have you seen this thing? This sexy macho bloated Hot Wheels fantasia dreamgasm of a car-like drunken child’s funbot crayon sketch?” (www.commondreams.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Joygasm

A feeling of joy one experiences accompanied by a feeling of pleasure or excitement.

Ragegasm

A feeling of rage experienced by a person, occurring together with a feeling of pleasure or excitement.

“Rick was just having a little ragegasm at being caught lying. There’s the shame of lying, coupled with the shame of dutifully doing so on behalf of the Party” (GloWbE).

Yawgasm, Yawngasm

A yawn which co-occurs with a feeling of physical pleasure.

“when these people who take this drug yawn, they have an orgasm. They -- it’s called -- you know, I’m doing this as a public service. I am -- I’m a highly trained broadcast specialist, ladies and gentlemen. This -- do not -- many of you are thinking that I am advocating this kind of thing. I’m simply warning you. They’re calling this effect the yawgasm” (COCA).

Appendix 8

Table 8: Adjectival blends ending in ‘-gasm

Word

Definition

Example

Aurgasm

This blend is formed by the fusion of ‘aural’ and ‘orgasm’.

Aurgasm seeks to bring you an eclectic menagerie of aural pleasures” (www.aurgasm.us).(EnTenTen15).

Fakegasm

In this case, it is clear that the word orgasm keeps its original meaning. It is fused with the adjective fake to create a new word meaning ‘a fake orgasm’.

“The Fakegasm: where faking it until you make it doesn’t work. Ever fake an orgasm?” (www.sexologyinternational.com).

Fauxgasm

Faux + orgasm, meaning ‘a false/faux orgasm’.

“Have you seen this thing? This sexy macho bloated Hot Wheels fantasia dreamgasm of a car-like drunken child’s funbot crayon sketch?” (www.commondreams.org). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Forevergasm

This expression is used to refer to an orgasm lasting for a very long period of time.

Gastronogasm

In this case, the adjective gastronomical is used as modifier or orgasm. The word means ‘a feeling of gastronomical pleasure’.

“the Surfing Goat Dairy where I had a gastronogasm over the fresh flavored cheeses. (*Gastronogasm* I think I made up a new word!)” (www.tobyneal.net). Taken from EnTenTen15.

Literarygasm

The source words of this blend are literary and orgasm.

Top of page

References

Electronic reference

Alejandro Barrena Jurado, « A study on the ‘wordgasm’: the nature of blends’ splinters », Lexis [Online], 14 | 2019, Online since 16 December 2019, connection on 24 January 2020. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/lexis/3916 ; DOI : 10.4000/lexis.3916

Top of page

About the author

Alejandro Barrena Jurado

Independent researcher
l32bajua@uco.es

Top of page
  • Logo Centre d’études linguistiques
  • Logo Université Jean Moulin – Lyon 3
  • Logo DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals
  • OpenEdition Journals