I'm pretty sure I used to know the term for a nickname that was longer or an expansion of a person's name.

EXAMPLE: My name is Sunny but friends sometimes call me Sunshine.

Though longer, Sunshine is still a nickname since nicknames don't have to be shorter than the original. But I'm sure there's a specialized term for this sort of reverse construction. Help!

  • 6
    If you're prepared to accept, say, Mo as both a nickname and a diminutive of Maurice, then note this citation from the full OED: Compared with 'capello' = ‘a hat,’ the Italian word 'capellone' = ‘a great hat’ is an augmentative. My link there is to dictionary.reference.com, because most people won't be able to access subscriber-only OED. Aug 11, 2015 at 13:09
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    That isn't really an antonym, though. The antonym of nickname would be real name or proper name. Aug 11, 2015 at 13:35
  • @FumbleFingers, I think you're getting close to the one I can't quite remember. Like your suggestion, I think it took a nickname term (diminutive) and negated the root (augmentative). Aug 11, 2015 at 13:51
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    Short nicknames are called "Nicknames" Long nicknames are called "Nicholasnames"
    – Zain Rizvi
    Aug 22, 2015 at 0:31
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    Why would you expect a nickname that is longer than the name to have a special name? Do you also expect a nickname that is shorter than the name to have a special name?
    – Drew
    Aug 22, 2015 at 1:41

1 Answer 1


You may be thinking of

Epithet: OED

  1. A significant appellation.

1728 J. Morgan Compl. Hist. Algiers I. vi. 201 He assumed the proud Epithet of Sultan or Monarch of Tunis and all Barbary.

and Encyclopedia Britannica

William I, byname William The Bad, ...Norman king of Sicily, .... His epithet was bestowed on him by his hapless enemies.

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