This may be Greek to many but this is the latest concern of investors in the wired world market. And this has a close Greek connection too.
The term was first coined by two Citi economists Willem Buiter and Ebrahim Rahbari in a February 2012 note and has remained part of the market lexicon since then.
A portmanteau word for Greek and exit, it refers to the apprehension among investors, particularly in emerging economies, that a possible default by Greece in loan repayment and its exit from the Eurozone could cause a domino effect for other debtchoked European economies like Portugal, Spain and Italy. This would spark panic and global investors will be more likely to cut exposure to emerging markets like India which ships bulk of its exports to Europe.
Having made sense of Grexit, you may ask what is a portmanteau word or expression? It is one formed by taking a part each from two words and having a combined meaning of the two. And why this nomenclature? Because a portmanteau is a type of travelling bag that opens into two parts. Both the parts have strings attached to them so when the strings are pulled the two sides get telescoped into each other, closing the bag.
You come across many a portmanteau word daily in newspapers, magazines and books.
Here’s a list of some of them which may appear quite often: stagflation (stagnant+inflation); advertorial (advertising + editorial); Microsoft (microcomputer+software); motel (motorists’ hotel); brunch (breakfast+lunch); smog (smoke mixed with fog); infotainment (information about entertainment).
Liger and tiglon (or tigon) are two interesting portmanteau coinages. The first refers to a cross between a male lion and a female tiger and latter to a cross in which the male is a tiger.
Those of you who have read ‘Through The Looking Glass’ by Lewis Carrol will realise that he coined the word chortle by blending the sounds of chuckle and snort.
Two proper names can also be put together in creating a portmanteau word in reference to the partnership between people, especially in cases where both persons are well- known. So you have celebrity couples like Brangelina, TomKat or Bennifer. If you can’t decipher these, go ask a Hollywood movie buff.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines