Clipped compound

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In linguistics, a clipped compound is a word produced from a compound word by reducing its parts while retaining the meaning of the original compound.[1] It is a special case of word formation called clipping.

Clipped compounds are common in various slangs and jargons.[1]

Clipped compounds are similar to blend words because they may be made of two or more parts. However they differ from blends: in a blend the components may have independent meaning (motel= motor+hotel), while in a clipped compound the components were already in the function of producing a compound meaning (pulmotor=pulmonary motor).[1] In addition, a clipped compound may drop one component completely, e.g., "hard" for "hard labor", "mother" for "motherfucker" (a process called ellipsis).[1] Laurie Bauer suggests the following distinction: if the word has the compound stress, it is clipping, if it has a single-word stress, it is blend.[2]

Clipped compounds may overlap with acronyms, especially for compounds of short constituent words.[citation needed]

In the Russian language, a clipped compound may acquire extra suffixes indicative of the intended grammar of the formed word. In particular, the suffx '-k-' is commonly used, e.g., askorbinka for askorbinovaya kislota (ascorbic acid).[3]

Compound clipping is a common form of gairaigo formation in Japanese language, e.g., "convenience store" -> konbiniensu sutoa -> konbini

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Elisa Mattiello, "An Introduction to English Slang: A Description of Its Morphology, Semantics and Sociology", 2008, ISBN 8876991131, pp. 146-148
  2. ^ Laurie Bauer, English Word-Formation (1983), Cambridge, “Cambridge textbooks in linguistics”, Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  3. ^ Larissa Ryazanova-Clarke, Terence Wade, The Russian Language Today, 2002, ISBN 0203065875, p. 49

Further reading[edit]