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This article survived a vote for deletion found here.

History of spellings[edit]

Re the point, "a reduction (in English) of a longer word...." If anyone can give me a brief idea on the origins/difference between the y spelling and the ie spelling I would greatly appreciate it. My name is Lachlan; my mum spells it Lachie, I spell it Lachy. My feeling is y is the more Celtic in origin whereas ie is a French adaptation. ( (talk) 01:47, 18 June 2013 (UTC))

It seems whollie arbitrarie to me. —Tamfang (talk) 07:49, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

History and psychology[edit]

Some discussion on the history and psychology behind hypocoristics would be good, and probably protect it from WP:WINAD. I don't think Diminutive covers (or can cover) hypocoristics, or their history, well enough.

Anybody know much about them before I cobble together something? Until then, should this be marked as a stub? --Mark 16:34, 21 May 2006 (UTC)


Given the many, and special, meanings of "diaphragm" in English I'm not keen on correcting this, but isn't the pitch of speech sounds dependent on the larynx? The way it it is said now, I think of big and small croaking frogs ... klaus -- 17:05, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Japanese -chan and -tan[edit]

Strictly speaking, -tan is a diminutive of -chan which is a diminutive of -san which is a diminutive of -sama, which is an honorific. It is thus not part of the name itself.

I'm not sure about -pi.

While I'm commenting, the article should probably mention the almost universal dropping of "-ko" and "-mi" from girl's names. For example, a girl named Haruko might be called Hatchan by her closest friend(s), and Haru-chan by the rest of the class. Only strangers, distant relatives, and adults who were telling her off would bother with the full "Haruko-chan" form. -- (talk) 04:34, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Ernesto not Che[edit]

I deleted Che for Ernesto. Ernesto Guevara was called "Che" for his use of the interjection "che"; it doesn't mean that other Ernestos would have that nickname. (talk) 21:22, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

v. pet name[edit]

According to the OED, Hypocoristic is an adjective not a noun, and given that the OED actually defines Hypocoristic in terms of pet name: "of the nature of a pet name [Greek hupokoristikos from hupokorizomai ‘call by pet names’]" (Concise Oxford, 9th edn.) I have to question why pet name redirects here rather than vice versa. This is an unbelievably obscure word, why use Greek when there is a perfectly good English word that everyone knows? Checking the Shorter Oxford, the noun form is hypocorism (=pet name) (and it was already marked as "rare" several decades ago) so I have to say I think using Hypocoristic as the head word is factually incorrect. Samatarou (talk) 23:05, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't know why the OED would say that, but linguists (like me) certainly use it in the plural "hypocoristics", and you will get thousands of hits for this on google (put a '+' in front of it to prevent Google from stripping the 's'). So it is a noun in English (and maybe an adjective too).
That doesn't address the issue of rarity, of course. But as a linguist, I would never have thought to look for this article under 'pet name'.Mcswell (talk) 00:31, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Mcswell, your response is unbelievable. Your claim to be a 'linguist' is questionable. If you truly are a trained linguist, you need to ask for your money back from the University where you received your training. Here in the United States, you first have to successfully complete four (4) years of high school English before you are eligible to be considered for acceptance at an accredited College or University. Your answer carries a hint that you are not even aware of who or what OED is. ("...I don't know why the OED would say that..."). Apparently, for you, Google search results outweigh any entry in the OED. In an apparent attempt to 'prove' that your erroneous misuse is 'okay', you invite us to Google-search for a different word (hypocoristics, rather than hypocoristic). Your apparent claim that 'thousands of hits' for that different word (hypocoristics) somehow justifies your misuse of an adjective (hypocoristic) as a noun is mind-boggling. The correct noun-form of hypocoristic is 'hypocorism'. The number of hits from a Google search is meaningless and irrelevant.
As proof of the meaninglessness of 'number of Google hits' as proof of anything, let's punch the misspelled word, Anabapist, into Google (missing the first 't'). Good Glory to God, I get over 500 hits! Using your methodology, the misspelling must be correct! We got tons of Google hits! NOT
Let's try another... let's punch in the misspelled 'Numerolgy' (missing the second 'o'). Good Glory God Almighty! I get over TEN THOUSAND hits! Using your methodology, the misspelling must be correct! We got thousands of Google hits! NOT
We could go on and on. Punch into Google Search ANY misspelling or incorrect usage and you'll get numerous 'hits' -- all meaningless when accuracy and correctness are desired.
This is not a personal attack against Mcswell. She has claimed that an incorrect usage is A-Okay. Somehow now the incorrect is correct because SHE says it is correct-- notwithstanding the contrary evidence found in a published reliable source, the OED. In a further attempt to bolster her wrongness and 'win' the argument, she makes a claim that she is a 'linguist'. This post of mine here is only a direct response to her clearly understood claim that 'wrong is right because Mcswell says so'. In fine, wrong is not right by any authority of Mcswell; the word 'hypocoristic' is an adjective; the noun-form of hypocoristic is 'hypocorism'; and, the name of this page should be Hypocorism (the noun), not hypocoristic (the adjective). Joe Hepperle (talk) 22:50, 28 May 2009 (UTC)


Sarah → Sally where in the word is Sally a short form of Sarah? It's not even shorter, for one thing —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:46, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

So it says at Sarah (given name) and Sally, though I'm not sure where citations for such a claim could be gotten. Mary → Molly → Polly is similar. Since Hypocorism apparently means "baby-talk", and since the "Derivation" section mentions reduplication, possibly "shorter form" should be removed from the definition. "Easier form"? "Relaxed form"? (talk) 17:29, 20 August 2010 (UTC)


Is it worth pointing out that the brits seem to use more of this sort of thing in their slang? Compared to other english speakers they seem to have a lot of baby talk. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:51, 5 May 2009 (UTC) No original research. --Mr. Guye (talk) 20:26, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Bad Usage[edit]

Hypocorism is the encyclopedic subject. The term 'hypocoristic' is an adjective. The fact that, as in all languages, some few people misunderstand, are ignorant, or were taught incorrectly by ignorant predecessors does not 'validate' the error of usage. This article has only one reference listed, from OED, and that reference is from OED's entry on HYPOCORISM, not 'hypocoristic'. Several posters on the talk page have already made this point, apparently to deaf ears (so-to-speak) of other editors. I am initiating a page rename request: From 'hypocoristic' to 'hypocorism'. Those who wish to persist in their error have no need to worry. Entering 'hypocoristic' in the search box will still get you here because a redirect will exist. Joe Hepperle (talk) 20:53, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Historical examples?[edit]

Is there a place for historical examples, perhaps in a different article? For example, the daughter of Abigail Adams, was also named Abigail, but in the family she was called "Nabby" to distinguish her from her mother. --DThomsen8 (talk) 14:02, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Not only names, but words as well? Also, "Gogo" in S. Africa[edit]

This article, from my quick scanning of it, seems to focus on hypocorisms of given names, when the summary mentions words as well. Examples of the latter would be helpful. (Sorry that I'm posting this without carefully reading the article, but I'm at my limit tonight.)

I ran across the hypocorism article while adding in a referenced definition for Gogo (South African for Granny) at:

So, there's one hypocorism, complete with reference, that does not substitute for a given name. I think. I'm very tired (lopsided grin). I'm documenting this request and info tidbit here for whoever can take up the research and revision, and to those people, I give my sleepy thanks. Thank-yawwwwn-ks! --Geekdiva (talk) 09:40, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

IPA pronounciation guide - correct?[edit]

Is the given pronounciation, /hˈpɒkərɪzəm/ correct? I would have expected /hpəˈkɒrɪzəm/.

You sure these are all hypocorisms?[edit]

Most of these examples just look like nicknames to me. --Mr. Guye (talk) 20:24, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

French examples lacking[edit]

There are some very typical French pet names which characterise a common way they do it that are not listed here.

Micheline → Mimi

Philipe → Fifi

My mother is French and I have spent time with my relatives in Normandy, so this is first hand information. There are many others like this.

Geoffpointer (talk) 00:14, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Inconsistency, cleanup help needed.[edit]

The listing in the English section is very inconsistent. This article is referenced in MOS:NICKNAME, as a basis to decide for example whether to put a nickname in quote marks in the lead sentence of an article. It should be reasonably accurate. For example, "John → Jack" was listed as a "shortening" - in which case it should not be used in the lead sentence - and also under "A short form that differs significantly from the name", in which case it should. See Talk:John F. Kennedy#Semi-protected edit request for the uncertainty that produced. I've cleaned up the John/Jack entries, but a lot more work needs to be done. There are a number of other names that inconsistently appear both in "shortening" or "diminutive" as well as in "short form that differs significantly", e.g. Dorothy → Dot → Dottie; James → Jamie, Jim →Jimmy; etc., or are in an inappropriate category such as Adelaide → Heidi being in "shortening" when it ought to be in "short form that differs significantly". There are also some rather dubious entries like "Anne → Annie; Nan → Nancy". Furthermore, although it doesn't affect MOS:NICKNAME decisions as much, most "diminutive" names are duplicated in the "shortening" section, though some like Rosemary → Rose → Rosie are only listed in "diminutive" and not "shortening". It would be great if people could help clean it up! --IamNotU (talk) 17:54, 28 July 2018 (UTC)