Dictionary

1nickname

noun nick·name \ˈnik-ˌnām\

: a name (such as “Moose” or “Lady Bird”) that is different from your real name but is what your family, friends, etc., call you when they are talking to you or about you

Full Definition of NICKNAME

1
:  a usually descriptive name given instead of or in addition to the one belonging to a person, place, or thing
2
:  a familiar form of a proper name (as of a person or a city)
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Examples of NICKNAME

  1. His mother gave him the nickname Winky when he was a baby.
  2. Earvin Magic Johnson got his nickname from the way he handled a basketball.

Origin of NICKNAME

Middle English nekename additional name, alteration (resulting from misdivision of an ekename) of ekename, from eke eke, also + name name
First Known Use: 15th century

2nickname

verb

: to give (someone) a name that is not that person's real name : to give a nickname to (someone)

Full Definition of NICKNAME

transitive verb
2
:  to give a nickname to
nick·nam·er noun

First Known Use of NICKNAME

1536
NICKNAMER Defined for Kids

1nickname

noun nick·name \ˈnik-ˌnām\

Definition of NICKNAME for Kids

1
:  a usually descriptive name used in addition to a person's given name <My brother had the nickname “Nosy.”>
2
:  a familiar form of a proper name <“Bill” and “Willie” are nicknames for “William.”>

Word History of NICKNAME

In the Middle Ages there was an English word ekename that meant an extra name. It was made of a word eke that meant extra part added to the word name. It started with a vowel, so an was used with this word instead of a. When an ekename was said fast, it sounded a bit like a nekename. As a result, some people thought the word started with n and began to pronounce it nekename. They did not know they were taking n away from an, adding it to ekename, and so making a new word. From this new word came the word nickname that we use now.

2nickname

verb
nick·namednick·nam·ing

Definition of NICKNAME for Kids

:  to give a usually descriptive name to that is additional to a given name

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