Word of the Day

Monday, July 14, 2014

hypocorism

\hahy-POK-uh-riz-uhm, hi-\ , noun;
1.
a pet name.
2.
the practice of using a pet name.
3.
the use of forms of speech imitative of baby talk, especially by an adult.
Quotes:
This must be an offshoot of my brother's enthusiasm for hypocorism. He was always inventing idiotic nicknames for people.
-- Adam Davies, Goodbye Lemon, 2006
Powsoddy, a now obsolete name for a pudding, was also used as a hypocorism in the late sixteenth century, paralleling the affectionate use of the word pudding itself in our own century, though lovers usually alter the pronunciation to puddin.
-- Mark Morton, The Lover's Tongue, 2003
Origin:
Hypocorism entered English in the 1840s from the Greek word hypokórisma meaning "pet name." It came from the verb hypokor(ízesthai) meaning "to play the child, call by endearing names."
POWERED BY 4INFO
Get Word of the Day
Free Email Sign Up
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Our Blog Suggest a Word Help