Tuesday March 22, 2005

-zilla

First there was Godzilla, from the Japanese gojira, a portmanteau word combining gorira 'gorilla' and kujira 'whale'.  Next came Mozilla, presumably the combination of mosaic (the old-school NCSA web browser) and Godzilla.  In addition to these, we also have hogzilla, south Georgia's monster hog, and the (newly coined?) catzilla for a huge feline terrorizing London.  I think it's time to recognize a new productive morphological process in English for monsterizing or humongofying any noun: combine the first syllable of that noun with the suffix -zilla.  Some other examples I found with Google: truckzilla, lawzilla, and medzilla.  Also, note the difference in hit count between properly-formed choczilla (one syllable before the -zilla, 92 ghits) and the malformed chocozilla (two syllables, 7 ghits).

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Comments

Note Dav Pilkey's children's book (c) 1993 Dogzilla

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0152239456/ref=sib_dp_pt/102-4066394-0328916#reader-link

and, as an alternative monsterizer Kong, as in the same author's Cat Kong

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0152420371/ref=sib_dp_pt/102-4066394-0328916#reader-link

Posted by: J at Mar 22, 2005 1:01:45 PM

The one I've heard of more than your examples is "bridezilla". Gripping stories can be found here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/wedindex.htm .

Posted by: Margaret S. at Mar 22, 2005 1:03:53 PM

I think you just coined a new word in this post. humongofying get's zero ghits. Congratulations

Posted by: Blinger at Mar 22, 2005 1:45:53 PM

Schweet! But, on second glance, I think I should have spelled it "humongify", and there's a few Google hits for that (and the progressive form "humongifying") already.

Posted by: The Tensor at Mar 22, 2005 2:25:42 PM

For a hilariously (?) unprintable and impolite addition, see the lyrics to the Red Hot Chili Peppers' song "Get on Top" - found on google most easily by searching as follows:
lyrics rhcp salmonella

Posted by: e-nonymous at Apr 13, 2005 2:33:13 PM