WICK’S PORTMANTEAU

Wick and Lewis Carroll – that’s the necessary pairing here. Remember Jabberwocky? Well, Wick’s ‘meretriculous’ is a portmanteau word, as the OED explains:

1872 ‘L. CARROLL’ Through Looking-Gl. vi. 127 Well, ‘slithy’ means ‘lithe and slimy’… You see it’s like a portmanteau: there are two meanings packed up into one word. Ibid. 129 ‘Mimsy’ is ‘flimsy and miserable’ (there’s another portmanteau for you).

So ‘meretriculous’ means ‘meretricious and meticulous.’ I’d better stop there.

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