# What is the name for "mash-up" sentences like "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Malfunction?" or "How I Met Your Mother Theresa?"

On Jeopardy, there are clues called "Before and After" which asks contestants to answer questions like

Period of rest in Genesis where working parents leave toddlers
SEVENTH DAY CARE CENTERS


However, I'm sure this form of wordplay has a name and existed before Jeopardy. I once stumbled across a list of examples of people chaining together 30+ words in this way, but I can't for the life of me find it. Does anybody have any references to what these are called, or where I can find impressively long chains?

• Man, I love those Jeopardy questions. Jul 30 '20 at 16:12
• There's a very similar game on Richard Osman's House of Games (UK TV). It's called Answer Smash. uk.video.search.yahoo.com/search/… - However the syllables of consecutive words can overlap. Jul 30 '20 at 17:23
• The Jeopardy ones were inspired by Wheel of Fortune, which runs a similar category! Jul 30 '20 at 18:31
• I know this isn't the correct term, but I've heard people calling them portmanteaus. Typically, a portmanteau refers to a blending of sounds in one word, though, not an entire sentence or phrase. Jul 30 '20 at 18:39
• I don't think there's another name for these?
– Deusovi
Jul 30 '20 at 18:57

Found it! They are apparently called "Phrasal Overlap-Portmanteaus", although I suggest we find a better name (Word Play Dough?)

• Word Play Dough sounds very fitting! Jul 31 '20 at 6:17
• word-play-manteaus Aug 1 '20 at 1:58
• Love the dough, but I might slightly prefer the more exciting sounding "wordplaying with fire"
– Bass
Aug 1 '20 at 14:42
• Great answer! Although you faithfully reproduce your citation, I'd like to argue for 'portmanteaux' here (or else your awesome alternate suggestion). Aug 2 '20 at 22:25

Linguists use the term "garden path sentences". I would say it is somewhat broader than wnat your examples are aiming at, but it subsumes them. And obviously, the usage is not game-specific, they have been more studied in literature than in games, I believe.

• Garden path sentences are gramatically correct sentences, unlike what is being asked about here. Garden path sentences are sentences where the first half has two different grammatical interpretations (e.g. by words which can be both nouns and verbs) which only gets resolved in the second half of the sentence. They usually get resolved to the less obvious interpretation, so that you have to re-read and re-interpret the sentence from the start. See wiki. Jul 31 '20 at 11:30
• @JaapScherphuis yes, I know that about garden path sentences. The examples fulfill your definition. Take "The L, the W and the Wardrobe malfunction" - here, the first grammatical interpretation is that "wardrobe" is a third noun in a list of nouns, the second interpretation is that "wardrobe" is a modifier in the noun phrase "wardrobe malfunction", and the reader starts with the first interpretation until suddenly realizing that the second is the correct one. What the OP describes are not prototypical examples of garden path sentences, but it is still within the category. Jul 31 '20 at 11:39
• @rumtscho I think the category OP's trying to point to also might also include ungrammatical sentences. (Perhaps not.) Though, since these aren't prototypical examples, this feels like a non-central answer, like answering “these are phrases”. Jul 31 '20 at 23:27
• @wizzwizz4 I think I get where your feeling of "non-central" answer comes from, you are hoping for a more precise word that doesn't also cover other cases (it is something I certainly look for when I am looking for a term). I think it is still interesting to highlight this categorization, since it can lead people to find a lot of interesting research in that area - it of course doesn't reduce the value of a different, more precise answer, if it exists. Aug 1 '20 at 10:25

In our trivia group we call them "banda"s. Obviously short for Before and After.

Portmanteau can refer to a word or phrase like that. I hope that's what you're looking for.

Wheel of Fortune calls these "Before & After". https://wheeloffortunehistory.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_categories