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Low, B. (1927). An Interesting Invented 'Portmanteau' Word. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:73-74.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:73-74

An Interesting Invented 'Portmanteau' Word

Barbara Low

The following has some interest as an example of a spontaneously made-up word suited to express some conflicting ideas in the unconscious of a patient during one of his analytic hours. The patient, a man of thirty-three, very much interested in words, a writer by profession, had begun speaking of his attitude towards dirt, his repulsion for it, and yet his inexplicable interest in it. He said: 'I can't account for it, yet I sometimes feel as if I should like to wallow in dirt'. Then he found himself murmuring, 'Patrer, patrer', and exclaimed, 'How odd that I should think of that word: it's the French for "to roll in", but does not convey anything objectionable as "wallow" always does'. He then passed on to another matter, and soon after the period ended. Next day, as soon as he arrived, he said, with some amusement: 'Do you know, I discover that there is no such word as "Patrer" in the French language, and I can't think where I got it from.' (It may be noted he is very well acquainted with the French language, a fluent reader and speaker, and has lived much in France.)

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