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hypocorism

[hahy-pok-uh-riz-uh m, hi-]
noun
  1. a pet name.
  2. the practice of using a pet name.
  3. the use of forms of speech imitative of baby talk, especially by an adult.
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Origin of hypocorism

First recorded in 1840–50, hypocorism is from the Greek word hypokórisma pet name. See hypocoristic, -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for hypocorism

hypocorism

noun
  1. a pet name, esp one using a diminutive affix`` Sally '' is a hypocorism for `` Sarah ''
  2. another word for euphemism (def. 1)
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Derived Formshypocoristic (ˌhaɪpəkɔːˈrɪstɪk), adjectivehypocoristically, adverb

Word Origin

C19: from Greek hupokorisma, from hupokorizesthai to use pet names, from hypo- beneath + korizesthai, from korē girl, koros boy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012