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  • A well-known example of a nurse name (from a surname) is "Chips" (Professor Arthur Chipping from the 1969 film "Good-bye, Mr. Chips".)

    Prior to Professor Chipping's marriage, however, and his subsequent personality change, his pupils called him "Ditchy," short for "dull as ditch-water."

    Not sure if "Ditchy" is a "nurse name" since it isn't a term of endearment, but it is a nickname of sorts.

    Ha, regarding your Great Aunt Lalla. My guess is that numerous "nurse names" found their origins via baby talk or a toddler's (temporary) fluency disorder.

    See also sobriquet.

    January 26, 2018

  • Well done, vm. Thank you. From the citation Tank gives I am thinking that “Popkiss” might be a “nurse name” for “Hopkins.” I had a grand aunt called Lalla. Her actual name was Ellen, but when my father was a toddler he could not pronounce that and said “lalla” instead. So she remained for the rest of her life. It is a little harder to understand such developments in surnames.

    January 24, 2018

  • A nurse name is a hypocorism, a diminutive form of a name. Hypocorisms include pet names or calling names, often a diminutive or augmentative form of a word or a given name when used as a nickname or term of endearment.


    As described in some old texts, a nurse name is a contraction or an affectionate nickname. One example I found was HUBE, a "nurse name" for HUBERT. Other examples weren't shortened versions of one's given name but as terms of endearment, such as LITTLE ANGEL or DEAR ONE.

    January 24, 2018

  • On pg 28 of this surname book, the footnote says "Popkiss may be derived from some " nurse name in the same way."

    English Surnames: An Essay on Family Nomenclature, Historical ..., Volume 2

    By Mark Antony Lowe

    https://books.google.com/books?id=Bj8nAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA29&dq=conquergood+surname&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjcyNbf_-_YAhUQ5WMKHR46DesQ6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q=conquergood%20surname&f=false

    I don't know why the quotation mark is used before nurse name and I don't know what nurse name means and googling it just gets me a list of famous nurses.

    January 24, 2018