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Sep 24, 2013
This week's theme
Words about words

This week's words
shibboleth
hypocorism
polysemous
lapsus linguae
paregmenon

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

hypocorism

PRONUNCIATION:
(hy-POK-uh-riz-uhm, hi-)

MEANING:
noun
1. A pet name.
2. The practice of using pet names.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek hypokorisma (pet name), from hypo- (under) + kor- (child). Ultimately from Indo-European root ker- (to grow), which is also the source of other words such as increase, recruit, crew, crescent, cereal, concrete, crescendo, sincere, and Spanish crecer (to grow). Earliest documented use: 1850.

USAGE:
"This must be an offshoot of my brother's enthusiasm for hypocorism. He was always inventing idiotic nicknames for people."
Adam Davies; Goodbye Lemon; Riverhead; 2006.

See more usage examples of hypocorism in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy. -F. Scott Fitzgerald, novelist (1896-1940)

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