from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Pertaining to a nickname, usually indicating intimacy with the person.
- n. A nickname, especially one indicating intimacy and formed through a shortening of the original name.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Endearing; diminutive.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Greek and Latin grammar, same as diminutive.
The initial element _Caed_ -- or _Cead_ (probably adopted from British names in which it represents _catu_, war) appears combined with an Old English terminal element in the name _Caedbaed_ (cp., however, the Irish name Cathbad), and hypocoristic forms of names containing it were borne by the English saints Ceadda (commonly known as St Chad) and his brother Cedd, called Ceadwealla in one MS. of the _Old English
Simple names appear to have been more frequent in early times, but some are in reality hypocoristic, i. e., abbreviated forms of compound names as Saul (asked), David (beloved) Nathan (he gave), etc., which were probably combined with a Divine name, Yah or 'El. Simple Names
It could be a hypocoristic or baby-talk form of hysterical, or it might be from the imitative word hiss; or perhaps it is a variant of another dialect term, jesse, meaning a ` severe scolding, 'which is probably from a Biblical allusion.
Linguistic boffins have no problems with a statement like "dim. of BAUGH, from W bychan, hypocoristic form of bach little."
Besides phonetic and morphological arbitrariness, there is an unpredictable element in the semantics of hypocoristic forms, at least in Australia.
Perhaps what all hypocoristic forms have in common is an atmosphere of familiarity.
&c., most of these being "hypocoristic affixes," corresponding in a measure to modern pet-names.
Of the simple names a few seem to have been suggested by particular circumstances attending the child's birth: e.g, Jacob (the supplanter), Joseph (possibly an hypocoristic name: "Whom God added"