What is the difference between a contraction and a portmanteau?

Contractions and portmanteaus are similar in that they are both formed by combining two words and omitting some letters. However, there is a difference between them:

  • Contractions usually combine two words that are often used together (e.g., “do not” becomes “don’t”). A contraction has the same meaning as its uncontracted form.
  • A portmanteau is formed by blending two words together to create a new word with a different meaning. For example, “brunch” is a combination of “breakfast” and “lunch.” This is also called a neologism.