The Mars Volta Portmanteau Game

words by Josh Diamond | Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Mars Volta

A portmanteau is a linguistic blend of two or more different words to create a single new word. Plenty have entered the cultural lexicon, like “spork,” “turducken,” or “blaxploitation.” Portmanteaux have been used in song and album names for years, but few musicians have an obsession that rivals that of The Mars Volta.

The Mars Volta’s new record is fantastic, but it was the third (out of six) to feature a portmanteau in the title. They clearly enjoy coming up with these semantic combinations, especially ones that contain words with medical, religious, or scientific meaning, or evoke disturbing imagery. The album name, Noctourniquet, sounds like something that Weird Al would make up to parody the band. Their ridiculous wordplay also includes “Amputechture,” “Meccamputechture,” “Televators,” “Vedamalady,” “Dyslexicon,” “Molochwalker,” and “Comatorium” — and these are all just in the titles of the songs and albums.

This gave me the idea to come up with fake Mars Volta song titles for an all-portmanteau album. I’d like to open this up to the internet to come up with new, ridiculous, fictional Mars Volta tracks. If you need some ideas to get the ball rolling, see the word bank below. Bonus points for combining English and Spanish, which I am unable to do.

Here’s the track list for my fictional Mars Volta album, Deuteronomyanmarzipangea:

01. Conventricle
02. Gerrymandrake
03. Palindromosomes
04. Formaldehydeandseek
05. Hermaphrodynasty
06. Sanskritters
07. Megalodonkey
08. Crowphylactic
09. Synapormorphine
10. Bazaarcophagus, Part One: Deuteronomyanmar
11. Bazaarcophagus, Part Two: Marzipangea

Word Bank

Amoeba  Communion  Corrosive  Aorta  Psalms  Cyst  Paleozoic Moleskin  Exoskeleton  Serrated  Neurons  Lapel  Gomorrah  Subconscious  Albatross  Cuticle  Epidemic  Blasphemy  Stereoscopy  Saboteur  Roulette  Metallurgy  Staphylococcus  Babylon  Holocene  Tabla  Zygote  Sulfur  Morgue  Bedlam Tartan  Vermin  Asphyxiation  Khartoum  Tentacles  Bludgeoned  Omega  Enzyme  Androgyny  Bathsheba  Leech  Hades  Mnemonic  Ephemera  Septum  Smoldering  Bandage  Abscess  Hepzibah  Vacancy  Nephrolith  Silhouette

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