Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A name of endearment; a pet name.
  • noun The use of such names.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A pet name.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A term of endearment; a pet name.
  • noun Baby-talk, e.g. bow-wow for dog, choo-choo for train.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a name of endearment (especially one using a diminutive suffix)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin hypocorisma, from Greek hupokorisma, from hupokorizesthai, to call by endearing names : hupo-, beneath, secretly; see hypo– + korizesthai, to caress (from koros, boy or korē, girl; see ker- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Late Latin hypocorisma, a loan from Ancient Greek noun ὑποκόρισμα (hypokórisma) from the verb ὑποκορίζομαι (hypokorízomai, "to talk in a childish manner"). The Ancient Greek verb ὑποκορίζομαι (hypokorízomai) is compounded from ὑπό (hypo-, "under, beneath, secretly") + κορίζομαι (korízomai, "to caress"). In the verb you can see the word κόρος (kóros, "boy") or κόρη (kórē, "girl").

Examples

  • It is what Sidney Baker (The Australian Language) calls a hypocorism, a form ending in - ie, - y, or - ey, or

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol VII No 2

  • Now you would think President Obama's stimulus bill would have a earmark to rebuild these levees around the country but it does not but the outrage the liberals threw at Bush for doing nothing smells of hypocorism.

    CNN Political Ticker

  • Now you would think President Obama's stimulus bill would have a earmark to rebuild these levees around the country but it does not but the outrage the liberals threw at Bush for doing nothing smells of hypocorism.

    CNN Political Ticker

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • a pet name

    July 26, 2007

  • Don't let it fool you, this word is pronounced very strangely.

    July 26, 2007

  • Fortunately for me I don't expect to be asked to pronounce it anytime soon!

    July 26, 2007

  • Pronunciation: \hī-ˈpä-kə-ˌri-zəm; ˌhī-pə-ˈkȯr-ˌi-\

    February 23, 2008