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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 ?
We know names such as Nouren [phrase omitted], "Rabbit's benevolence"; Nouzi [phrase omitted], "Rabbit's son"; Nouxiang [phrase omitted], "Rabbit's girl"; and Nouzhu [phrase omitted], "Rabbit's pearl[-like daughter]." (40) We also have a hypocorism, Anou [phrase omitted].
WHY do people in Liverpool shorten words (a practice technically known as hypocorism, as noted in the last article)?
I expressed to Joshua my extreme distaste for his hypocorism. He just chuckled and said, "You do you, and I'll do me."
He also demonstrates that the diminutive from 'child' "lies at the heart of many pragmatic uses of diminutive suffixes", including "hypocorism, patronymics, names of tribes, countries, and languages, various kinds of nominalizations and assorted metaphorical formations [e.g., contempt or affection], words of approximation, and often as a general method of producing new adjectives or nouns" (1996: 565).
Technically called 'hypocorism', it can apply to everything from people's names (there was an Australian player in the World Cup called 'Leckie' - presumably his full name was 'Electricity'), to places, things - almost anything in fact.