: a name, title or alias Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
He gave himself the moniker of Drew Danburry, hit the road with his guitar and never looked back Kuer
Everyone knew her as Nancy.
Dear Word Detective: I have often been puzzled by the derivation of
the word "Monica" or "Moniker" when used in the context "Can you
please stick your moniker on here," meaning "can you please sign this"
or "can you please put your signature on here." In the past I have
been told that it was possibly used in a kind of coded slang used by
Irish Americans. But even if that were true, it still doesn't explain
the derivation. I would have thought it much more likely to be cockney
rhyming slang -- I'd love to bet there was a famous socialite called
Monica Rignature or something ("Rignature - Signature"). Ha Ha! --
Well, that's not absolutely impossible, since a couple of the theories
that are considered possible explanations for "moniker" (as it is
usually spelled) are nearly as odd. That's a sort of backhanded way of
admitting that no one knows exactly where "moniker," meaning "a name,
especially an assumed one," or "a nickname," came from, but at least
we have some entertaining possibilities to poke at.
"Moniker" first appeared as slang around 1851 in several different
spellings, including "monaker," "monarch," "monekur," "monikey,"
"monnick," and "monniker." By the 20th century, the spelling "moniker"
seems to have largely won out, although the variant "monica" is cited
in the Oxford English Dictionary from 1968.
The pioneering etymologist Eric Partridge favored the notion that
"moniker" is related to "monarch," in the sense of "king," in that
one's name "partly rules" one's life. Frankly, this seems a bit of a
stretch to me (and rather literary for what was, after all, originally
Another interesting theory explains "moniker" as originating in
"back-slang" (a reverse slang common in Britain) for "ekename."
"Ekename" was the original form of our modern word "nickname," "eke"
being an old English word meaning "additional." (Through a process
called "metanalysis," the "n" in "an" in the phrase "an ekename"
drifted over and gave us "a nickname." The same process transformed "a
napron" into "an apron.")
Anyway, the reverse slang for "ekename" would be "emaneke," which
gradually mutated, according to this theory, to "moneker" and so on.
Again, this is far from impossible, but seems a bit too elaborate.
Perhaps the simplest theory (and I like simple theories) is that
"moniker" is just a blending, perhaps originally jocular, of
"monogram" and "signature." The Word Detective