[a portmanteau [pawrt-man-toh] is just a clever way of saying that two words fused together make a new word e.g. breakfast and lunch = brunch]
Unless you’ve been living under a stone for the last decade you’ve probably heard of ‘Brangelina’, ‘Tomkat’ and ‘Kimye’ (to name but a few) – celebrity couples whose names have been fused together to create one ‘super couple’. But it was way back in 2002 when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez got together that the first celebrity portmanteau was coined: and ‘Bennifer’ was born.
Many more celeb portmanteau’s have followed but what I want to know is, how many have stayed together? Being given a celeb portmanteau might be a sign you’ve made it as a power couple – but could it actually be a curse?
Let’s take a look:
The original: Bennifer (Ben Affleck & Jennifer Lopez) 2002 – 2004
The two got together way back in 2002 while filming Gigli (not heard of it? No, the film flopped spectacularly). However, after working together on several joint projects, the two split in 2004.
It has been claimed that Ben Affleck said that this relationship was bad for his career – could it have been down to the new nickname?
Bennifer 2.0 (Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner) 2004 – present?
Ben Affleck can’t have hated the nickname that much as he ended up marrying another Jennifer and the name stuck. Bennifer 2.0 first met on the set of Pearl Harbour in 2001, but it wasn’t until they co-starred in Daredevil in 2003 that they fell in love, waiting a further seven months before starting to date in 2004.
This celeb couple are currently awash with stories of their impending divorce, but as yet that hasn’t happened – keep dodging that curse you two.
TomKat (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes) 2005 – 2012
Katie Holmes became Tom Cruise’s third wife in 2006 following a year of dating. They managed six years of marriage, and had a child together, but alas, the portmanteau curse struck again in 2012. Neither have formed a power couple portmanteau since.
Brangelina (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie) 2006 – 2016
Constantly blighted by rumours of a split, this celebrity couple finally succumbed to the curse and announced in September 2016 that they were getting divorced after 10 years together. After breaking up what was considered the sweetest Hollywood coupling (Brangelina famously met while filming Mr & Mrs Smith in 2004, while Brad was still married to Jennifer Aniston), this split surely has to be the biggest shock.
Speidi (Spencer Pratt & Heidi Montag) 2007 – present
Proof that not all celebrity portmanteau’s are power couples! The pair met on the American constructed reality show The Hills back in 2007. Spencer Pratt famously invented the nickname himself, and perhaps that is also the reason the couple are still together – could they become the longest running celeb portmanteau?
Kimye (Kim Kardashian & Kanye West) 2012 – present
Kimye might just be one of the most well known celebrity portmanteaus around, but this is another celeb powerhouse rumoured to always be on the rocks – keep watching for the curse to strike.
Hiddleswift (Tom Hiddleston & Taylor Swift) June 2016 – September 2016
Taylor Swift is no stranger to a celebrity portmanteau (Tay-Squared (Taylor & Taylor Lautner), Talvin (Taylor and Calvin Harris)… need we go on). However, poor Tom Hiddleston, of Thor and Avengers fame, just wasn’t used to the fame circus that came with dating a star as huge as Taylor and unfortunately Taylor’s latest pairing couldn’t swerve the curse either.
So…it looks like the power of the curse might just be stronger than the power couple! With five of the seven portmanteau couples above splitting, my advice would be – if you are going to form a power couple, find someone whose name doesn’t blend well with yours and you might just have a chance!