Encyclopedia > Nickname

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A nickname is a short, clever, cute, derogatory, or otherwise substitute name for a person or thing's real name, (for example, Nick is short for Nicholas). As a concept, it is distinct from a pseudonym, though there may be overlap between the two.

Etymology: In Middle English the word was ekename (from the verb to eke, "enlarge"; compare Swedish öknamn). Later, an ekename developed into a nickname.

Lots of things have nicknames

People and their Nicknames

Types of personal nickname:

1. A nickname may relate directly to a person's first name. Examples:

  • Ted, Ned for Edward
  • Ricky, Dick for Richard
  • Nell for Eleanor
  • Peggy, Maggie, Meg, Marg for Margaret
  • Chuck for Charles
  • Sam for Samuel or Samantha
  • Andy and Andie for Andrew and Andrea
  • Kate or Katie for Katherine

2. A nickname may relate directly to a person's surname. Examples:

  • Mitch for someone with the surname Mitchell

3. It may also relate indirectly to a surname. Examples:

  • Chalky for someone with the surname White
  • Sandy for someone with the surname Brown
  • Dicky for someone with the surname Bird

4. A nickname may relate to the person's job. Examples:

5. It may relate (offensively or otherwise) to a person's nationality or place of origin. Examples:

6. It may relate to a person's physical characteristics. Examples:

  • Tubby for a fat person
  • Lofty for a tall person
[Conversely, it may be used ironically for someone with the opposite characteristic, e.g. Curly for someone with straight hair]

7. It may relate to a person's character. Examples:

  • Grumpy
  • Swotty
  • Romeo

8. It may relate to a specific incident or action. Example: Capability Brown was so called because he used the word "capability" instead of "possibility".

9. It may compare the person with a famous or fictional character. Examples:

  • Napoleon or Hitler for someone with a dictatorial manner

10. A famous person's nickname may be unique to them:

11. A person's nickname may have no traceable origin. For example a person named "Harold" may be nicknamed "Fred" for no apparent reason, or a man who was named after a relative may ask his friends to call him "Chip" to avoid confusion.

Cities and their Nicknames

Things and their Nicknames

much to add here, this is a start

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