Definition of nickname in English:

nickname

noun

  • A familiar or humorous name given to a person or thing instead of or as well as the real name.

    ‘Mallender's fair complexion gave rise to his nickname ‘Ghost’’
    • ‘It is not uncommon for an estate owner to be known by a nickname or abbreviated name.’
    • ‘Bob Clarke gave me the nickname and instead of discouraging it, I went along with it.’
    • ‘Will had given their proper names, instead of their shortened nicknames.’
    • ‘But then I also have trouble changing from a full name to a nickname for people.’
    • ‘In some places the victims even learn the names or nicknames of those who abused them.’
    • ‘There are a lot of different kinds of railway cars, their names and nicknames familiar to most people, but there are only a few that bear the name of their inventor.’
    • ‘Finally, I have to regret the use of first names and nicknames for women, while men are given surnames, honorifics and initials.’
    • ‘It was his first name, but we always went by nicknames or first names.’
    • ‘It was clearly ruled that members should be referred to by their correct names, not by nicknames.’
    • ‘He told her again, feeling her head jerk as he used her nickname instead of her full name.’
    • ‘However, the names or the nicknames of the authors, unlike print encyclopaedias, do not appear at the bottom of the articles.’
    • ‘They were using familiar nicknames for each other since the child was very close to his mentor and defender.’
    • ‘Many Vikings also had a nickname which was used instead of their family name.’
    • ‘Most people weren't generally familiar with his nickname; he was too serious a person.’
    • ‘He said that people were known by their nicknames rather than their real names, so he would not have known him as Fred.’
    • ‘Amara is not my real name, it is a cruel nickname forced upon me by the spoiled daughters of the master.’
    • ‘My advice - don't store the email addresses of friends and family under their names, but under nicknames…’
    • ‘No, the member cannot refer to members by nicknames or Christian names.’
    • ‘The four-times World Cup champions are the only major sporting country in which athletes are most commonly known by their first names or nicknames.’
    • ‘My mom uses baby talk with her, calling her new-found names and nicknames on the spur of the moment.’
    sobriquet, byname, tag, label, familiar name, epithet
    View synonyms

verb

  • with object and complement Give a nickname to.

    ‘an area nicknamed Sniper's Alley’
    • ‘The new entertainment centre has such a distinctive shape the young people around town have nicknamed it already.’
    • ‘And being nicknamed the Toffeemen isn't harming Everton, currently fourth in the Premiership.’
    • ‘Some who have heard the ‘piano man’, as he has been nicknamed, believe he may be a professional musician.’
    • ‘We nicknamed her Skippy cos she skips around when she dances!’
    • ‘In the US it is nicknamed the ‘devil's drug’ and blamed for addiction and social problems.’
    • ‘She has been nicknamed the lioness of the African radio waves as she tears into politicians with her no-holds-barred approach.’
    • ‘Her care for children led to her being nicknamed Auntie Joan.’
    • ‘Hospital chaplains have even nicknamed the ducklings the 12 disciples.’
    • ‘The best that can be said for providing the nickname here is that Bush's propensity for nicknaming everyone is so well known that no one is misled that the ‘Kenny Boy’ nickname means anything.’
    • ‘You can answer almost any question people ask, and have thus been nicknamed Jeeves.’
    • ‘On their barrels the crews have nicknamed their armoured behemoths.’
    • ‘He said he nicknamed her ‘eight-ball’ because of the black bruising on her face.’
    • ‘From what I have read, Chicago is nicknamed the windy city for different reasons.’
    • ‘Miss Wilcox had worn the cap almost every day since buying it a year ago and was nicknamed Ted and Edward because of the brand name.’
    • ‘He had two motorbikes, which he nicknamed Jessie James and Valerie James.’
    • ‘London has been nicknamed Harare North; Edmonton in Canada has been christened Bulawayo.’
    • ‘Skipjack tuna, or skippies, as they are nicknamed, can be seen flashing their silver just under the surface.’
    • ‘He was nicknamed Starlight because his character changed so much once the stars appeared.’
    • ‘It's the sort of extreme pronouncement one has come to expect from Chávez, known for nicknaming the stations ‘the four horsemen of the apocalypse.’’
    • ‘Meantime her relationship with her screen love-interest Richard Gere turned arctic as he grew impatient with her erratic behaviour, calling her unstable and nicknaming her ‘Nervous Nellie’.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from an eke-name ( eke meaning ‘addition’: see eke), misinterpreted, by wrong division, as a neke name.

Pronunciation

nickname

/ˈnɪkneɪm/