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 (hī-pŏk′ə-rĭz′əm, hī′pə-kôr′ĭz′əm)
1. A name of endearment; a pet name.
2. The use of such names.

[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).]

hy′po·co·ris′tic (hī′pə-kə-rĭs′tĭk) adj. & n.
hy′po·co·ris′ti·cal·ly adv.


(haɪˈpɒkəˌrɪzəm) or


1. (Linguistics) a pet name, esp one using a diminutive affix: "Sally" is a hypocorism for "Sarah".
2. (Linguistics) another word for euphemism1
[C19: from Greek hupokorisma, from hupokorizesthai to use pet names, from hypo- beneath + korizesthai, from korē girl, koros boy]
hypocoristic, hypocoristical adj
ˌhypocoˈristically adv


(haɪˈpɒk əˌrɪz əm)

1. a pet name.
2. the use of pet names.
3. the use of forms imitative of baby talk.
[1840–50; < Greek hypokórisma pet name. See hypocoristic, -ism]


1. the creation or use of pet names, as Dick for Richard.
2. a pet name.
3. baby talk. — hypocoristic, adj.
See also: Names
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hypocorism - a name of endearment (especially one using a diminutive suffix); "`Billy' is a hypocorism for `William'"
name - a language unit by which a person or thing is known; "his name really is George Washington"; "those are two names for the same thing"
References in periodicals archive ?
The same observation can be made when studying Slovene PUs whose component is a common Slovene name or hypocorism.
16) Affectivity and informality are attested by the fact that this suffix is used, according to the same dictionary, to form diminutives, nicknames and hypocorisms (such as nightie, auntie, Tommy, foodie, Francie, etc.
Yale (1996) describes a particular form of this as hypocorisms.