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1. A descriptive name added to or replacing the actual name of a person, place, or thing.
2. A familiar or shortened form of a proper name.
tr.v. nick·named, nick·nam·ing, nick·names
1. To give a nickname to.
2. Archaic To call by an incorrect name; misname.

[Middle English neke name, from a neke name, alteration of an eke name : eke, addition (from Old English ēaca; see aug- in Indo-European roots) + name, name; see name.]

nick′nam′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


someone who gives nicknames to people or things
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
(3) This is a category of verbal schemes that reaches the mind through the ear: 'The eare is no lesse ravished with their currant tune, than the mind is with their sententiousness.' Defining paronomasia as one of these auricular figures that serve the purposes of both ornament and efficacy, he gives as usual his own English name for a foreign term: 'Ye have a figure by which ye play with a couple of words or names much resembling, and because the one seemes to answere th' other by manner of illusion'--he means mocking--'and doth, as it were, nick him, I call him the Nicknamer' (p.
Like President Bush, soldiers and particularly Graner were profligate nicknamers, and even in court Shooter, Shitboy, Taxicab, Froggie, the Iraqi Houdini, and Gilligan were often used in lieu of the victims' known names.
John in a 1968 interview that he and Hemingway "were both great nicknamers. It seemed to be more the custom in those days" (151).