Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ



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

This week's words
shibboleth
hypocorism
polysemous
lapsus linguae
paregmenon

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
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)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2018 Wordsmith