The Atlantic Wire, “The Rise of the Term ‘Glasshole,’ Explained by Linguists”

April 22, 2013

Rebecca Greenfield, “The Rise of the Term ‘Glasshole,’ Explained by Linguists” (The Atlantic Wire, Apr. 22, 2013)

“There’s a reason ‘glasshole’ came first — it’s more intuitively obvious,” linguist Ben Zimmer told The Atlantic Wire. […] Further, there is a linguistic reason to choose glasshole: all the glass + ass profanity mixtures are what linguists call satisfying blends because they derive from two words whose sounds overlap, as another linguist explained back when we pondered the hatred toward the word “phablet,” which is an unsatisfying blend. All the Glass + wipe, hat, hole, etc work as these blends. But glasshole is more obvious than the others because it has been used in other blend combinations before. “‘Asshole’ has already generated other similar blends, notably ‘Masshole’ as an epithet for an inconsiderate Massachusetts driver,” Zimmer explained.

Read the rest here.

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