Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of research on the structural and sociolinguistic properties of nicknames, detailing the range of their form, content, and function. In form, nicknames vary from short hypocorisms to elaborate phrasal units reminiscent of Homeric epithets. In content, nicknames vary between forms internally derived from formal names to items coined via more creative processes. In function, nicknames vary between usage as 3rd person reference or vocative address. Furthermore, some nicknames are used personally within a community, while others are used by the general public for famous referents. Sociolinguistic patterns are also emergent; for example, nickname coinage reflects relative power of coiners over recipients, while nicknames for males and females tend to have different patterns of phonemic structure, coinage, and semantic content. The affective component of creative nicknaming is closely related to its fit as a form of address.

Keywords: nickname, hypocorism, hypocoristic, Homeric epithet, vocative, phonemic structure, coinage, truncation, byname, address

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.