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Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

Where Does the Word Nickname Come From?

Where Does the Word Nickname Come From?

Some think that the word nickname is derived from nick, meaning “to cut,” since a nickname is often a shortened name. Actually, the “nick” in nickname comes from the early English word eke, meaning “added.” The word was originally eke name, and it meant an “added name.” So a nickname is a name “added” to those you have.

Nicknames are often abbreviations of names, such as “Mike” (Michael). Or they describe a person – someone with red hair may be called “Red.” They may also represent surnames (“Smitty” for “Smith”). A nickname is a special name that your friends and family call you. It shows that they know you well, and usually that they like you too.

A nickname is often considered desirable, symbolizing a form of acceptance, but can sometimes be a form of ridicule. Nicknames are everywhere – for politicians, for sports teams, even for buildings and countries. You will have also used nicknames on the internet, which are usually known as handles, your online nicknames or user names.

Content for this question contributed by James Flores, resident of, Santa Cruz, Laguna, Philippines