Definitions

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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A pet name.

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

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

Etymologies

Late Latin hypocorisma, from Greek hupokorisma, from hupokorizesthai, to call by endearing names : hypo-, beneath, secretly; see hypo- + korizesthai, to caress (from koros, boy or korē, girl).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)

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

Comments

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

    February 23, 2008

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

    July 26, 2007

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

    July 26, 2007

  • a pet name

    July 26, 2007