| Lists |

Top 5 Most Obnoxious Food Portmanteaux

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

I have no objection to a clever and useful portmanteau. Tween, hazmat and Spanglish come to mind, not to mention less obvious ones embedded in everyday parlance such as dumbfound (dumb + confound) and goodbye (God + be(with) +ye). In the food world, however, there are many, many portmanteaux that are stupid, unnecessary and/or just plain obnoxious. Here are five in particular that annoy me:

5. Spork (spoon + fork). Not the worst but not the best either. There's risk of mistaking the fused elements as "spam" and "pork" or "sausage" and "pork." Plus, its necessity is dubious: Are people really using these things anymore? Hopefully, the term's extinction will follow as the utensil's popularity declines.

4. Turducken (turkey + duck + chicken). I know I'll get some pushback on this one given that turduckens can be quite tasty. My main issue with this word is its sound, specifically the scatological allusion with the initial morpheme turd. Poop does not get me in the mood for Thanksgiving.

3. Kentaco Hut (Kentucky Fried Chicken + Taco Bell + Pizza Hut). I cannot deny these things exist and we need to call them something. But that something should not be "kentaco hut," which suggests some sort of depraved Star Wars-themed restaurant.

2. Lupper (lunch + supper). I'm cool with brunch and brinner; the former describes a meal that has evolved into a unique dining experience and the latter is a useful descriptor for eating bacon and eggs at night. Are we really eating such vastly different things at lunch and supper that we require a middle term to merge them linguistically? Also, when is this meal served so it won't be confused with a late lunch or an early dinner? Just between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.? That's teatime, fools.

1. P'zone (pizza + calzone). Thank Pizza Hut for this ridiculous neologism. Albeit similar in taste and ingredients, pizzas and calzones are two separate dishes with distinct culinary and cultural traditions. What Pizza Hut actually made in combining them is more like a stromboli. Are there any Italian-Americans in their R&D department? Sigh.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.