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Fantabulous

adjective; blending
Utterly amazing in quality or effect. (‘the fantabulous show’) Apparent meaning, etymology, and type of word formation: The word fantabulous means utterly amazing in quality or effect. This neologism is a blend between “fantastic” and “fabulous”, which both share practically the same form, but rather than purely blending the word into a form such as “fantulous”, this word utilizes insertion of the syllable “(f)ant” (presumably from fantastic) with the remainder of “fabulous”. The word “fabulous”, meaning wonderful or marvelous, comes from Middle English derived from the Latin fābulōs-us, from fābula ‘discourse, narrative’ and the suffix –ous, originating from the classical Latin adjective suffix form –ōsus, suggesting ‘abounding in, full of’. The adjective “fantastic”, ‘excellent, beyond expectation,’ has roots in both the Greek and Latin languages: beginning with Middle English fantastic, fantastical, from Middle French fantastique, from Late Latin phantasticus, from Greek phantastikos ‘producing mental images,’ and from phantazein ‘to present to the mind.’ The remaining puzzle is why the speaker did not create a pure blend such as “fantulous” and instead added an extra syllable—the opposite of typical word evolution in which words are clipped and become more easily pronounceable. Most likely if the word had been purely blended, it would not retain nearly as strong associations with “fabulous”, and an analysis of the resulting word would have resulted in something like “full of fantasy” (parsing by the individual morphemes, using the –ous suffix) rather than taking the meaning of the two blended words as a whole. Possible reason used: Combining the words “fantastic” and “fabulous”, two words which in colloquial speech are practically synonyms, a word combining these two words provides more power and indicates the strong emotion that the speaker felt in response to the theater production. Such a new word draws attention to itself and increases the emphasis on the spectacular production. In the speaker’s mind most likely the typical words could not sufficiently convey her excitement for the musical. This word has a bit of a childish overtone, and would most likely only be used by teens or children, and especially would not be used in formal conversation.
 
The production of Wicked I saw was fantabulous!
Etymology : “fantastic” ‘excellent, beyond expectation,’ ME fantastic, fantastical < Mid. Fr. fantastique, < Late L. phantasticus,< Gr. phantastikos ‘producing mental images,’ and phantazein ‘to present to the mind’ blended with the word “fabulous” from L. fābulōs-us, f. fābula ‘discourse, narrative’ and the suffix “–ous,” < classical Latin–ōsus ‘abounding in, full of’
Source : friend
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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