3

I came to this website when I was looking for a particular word - but did not use a thesaurus because I could not think of a good synonym.

Instead I searched for

Word for changing or shortening or abbreviating a given name

After amending the original search to try to get what I am seeking & so far what is here is the nearest but I KNOW there is a word for exactly that which I seek.

THIS is getting to be a long entry and unlikely to attract any, let alone many readers.

I am writing in England and am 66 years old - the word 'fanny' in my era is slang for the most intimate part of a woman's body, yet means other things in other versions of English, and is indeed used as a woman's nickname in England on some occasions. So what I am after is something about renaming akin to a nickname - I had hoped it will come back to me but it has not yet!

All this was prompted by the sight of a product supplied in a can - I am not sure where from - that contains what I know as tuna fish but is called 'Fanny' and therefore if it were seen in a British provision store might produce a smirk or embarrassed giggles because some, such as me, would consider it rude - I have said too much.

My wife could not help, she compared it to 'Betty' as an alternative to Elizabeth - but I do not think that is quite the same - as Betty - to me seems - a definite abbreviation of Elizabeth.

I may have posted this in the wrong place - I am happy for it to be repositioned perhaps with a more accurate subject line - BUT I just want to recall that blessed word and improve my grammar!

I imagine my sentence might be -

In the family she is known as Fanny because that is how we have XXXXXXXXXXX her formal name of Ermintrude/Glorianna/(or whatever)

  • "Although her formal name is [X], we have nicknamed her [Y]." I realize others mentioned "nickname", but this is how I would rephrase your sentence to use it as a verb. (By the way, as an American, I wouldnt touch a can of Spotted Dick with a ten-foot pole!) – Brian Hitchcock Nov 7 '15 at 18:10
4

hypocorism: (also known as a pet name or calling name), is a shorter or diminutive form of a word or given name, for example, when used in more intimate situations as a nickname or term of endearment.

James --> Jimmy
Charles --> Charlie

  • Thank you to Jimmy - I am sorry I did not see his answer before today. – Andrew_S_Hatton Jun 16 '16 at 8:36
7

You are probably looking for a word diminutive which is a noun:

A diminutive word is a "cute" version of a regular word, "Maggie" is the diminutive of "Margaret." per vocabulary.com

So your "have XXXXXXXXXXX her formal name" = "have formed a diminutive of her formal name."

4

You named it yourself, nickname is the term you're looking for.

nickname

(n.) a familiar form of a proper name, as Jim for James and Peg for Margaret Random House

(v.) to give a nickname to American Heritage® Dictionary

  • Not to begrudge you the upvotes but the OP does mention "nickname" in his question: So what I am after is something about renaming akin to a nickname – Mari-Lou A Nov 7 '15 at 18:32
  • @Mari-LouA I overlooked that fact actually. I've just updated my answer accordingly. – Elian Nov 7 '15 at 20:11
0

Wikipedia suggests the following verbs: abbreviate, modify, contract, and shorten. Alternatively, the verb truncate could be used, which means to chop the head or the tail of something.

Abbreviation or modification

A nickname can be a shortened or modified variation on a person's real name.

  • Contractions of longer names: Margaret to Greta.

  • Initials using the first letters of a person's first and last name.

  • Dropping letters: With many nicknames, one or more letters, usually R, are dropped: Fanny from Frances, Walt from Walter.

  • Phonetic spelling : Sometimes a nickname is created through the phonetic spelling of a name: Len from Leonard

But perhaps the OP is thinking of the expression pet name, which isn't the name you give to a pet but to a dear friend, or a member of the family. It usually has no bearing with the owner's given or first name (once called Christian name).

Oxford Dictionaries tells us is:

pet name
A name that is used instead of someone’s usual first name to express fondness or familiarity

  • And ‘Pinky’ is a name (more of a pet name, really) that both men and women choose or are given.
  • Thanks to all - I have either invented something I thought I knew that never existed or still not found how to ask for the term that I seek - I am sorry to have caused work for contributors and hope there is benefit for some readers in what is been undertaken in an attempt to assist me. I deserve only down votes and no up votes for my effort - memory is an asset and yet at time a curse - especially for a dyspraxic person like me who can be certain something is 'in there somewhere' but just cannot grasp it - because it happens so frequently - I am truly sorry. – Andrew_S_Hatton Nov 8 '15 at 12:15
  • @Andrew_S_Hatton hey, no problem. I'm sorry I didn't reply earlier, must have missed your comment. If one or some of the answers helped you that's great. – Mari-Lou A Nov 8 '15 at 18:27
  • Thanks for the encouragement Mari-Lou A (I have yet to learn how to tag other contributors) – Andrew_S_Hatton Jun 16 '16 at 8:29
  • @Andrew_S_Hatton you need to preface a username with @ if that person is not the author of an answer or question. Hope this helps. – Mari-Lou A Jun 16 '16 at 8:35
  • Thanks - I must have my StackExchange settings adjusted incorrectly as I did not get an email notice I had received a response or been tagged – Andrew_S_Hatton Jun 16 '16 at 9:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.