Gerrymandering is the re-drawing of district lines in elaborate twisted ways to unfairly influence the weight of votes by district. It’s a cruel political move to dilute the power of demographic areas. In 1812, Governor Elbridge Gerry changed the shapes of districts to skew voting towards his political party. A newspaper commented that the new contorted shape looked like a salamander, and the term was coined. Gerrymandering is an eponym and a portmanteau at the same time. Yeah. That is pretty awesome.

Gerry + salamander = Gerrymander

I’ve been thinking about eponyms and portmanteaus a lot recently, because I need a dissertation topic, and those two kinds of word formations make me happy. However, I can’t think of a specific question I could ask and answer in 4 months, and I haven’t found any great research as a jump-off point, so for now I’m just pleased to find a word that combines these two concepts.

Appreciate a word today!

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January 23, 2012

in animals,eponyms,politics,portmanteaus,wordnik,Words & Origins


April 25, 2011

in #17,2011,fish,highbrow,Monday Comic,new yorker,political cartoon,politics,Webcomic


February 7, 2011

in #6,2011,government,Monday Comic,politics,SNL,Webcomic

1. The Great Dictator (1940)

2. Dr Strangelove (1964)

3. Dave (1993)

4. V for Vendetta (2005)


June 15, 2010

in hell yes ty,movie lists,Movies,politics,thanks andy