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Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

How Did We Get the Word Nickname?

How Did We Get the Word Nickname?

A nickname is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place, or thing, for affection or ridicule. A nickname is often considered desirable, symbolizing a form of acceptance, but can sometimes be a form of ridicule.

Do you have a nickname? Many people have nicknames made by shortening their first names – “Mike” for “Michael,” for example.

Because a nickname is often a shortened name, some think that the word “nickname” comes from “nick,” meaning “to cut.”

Actually a nickname has nothing to do with a nick. It comes from the early English word “eke,” meaning “added.” So an extra name was known as an “ekename,” later becoming “nickname.”

Sometimes nicknames describe a person’s characteristics. A person with red hair may be called “Red,” and so on.

Content for this question contributed by Dan Willis, resident of Pendleton, Umatilla County, Oregon, USA