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.

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

verb

  • with object and complement Give a nickname to; call by a nickname.

    ‘his fraternity brothers nicknamed him “The Bird” because of his skydiving skills’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He said he nicknamed her ‘eight-ball’ because of the black bruising on her face.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘Hospital chaplains have even nicknamed the ducklings the 12 disciples.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On their barrels the crews have nicknamed their armoured behemoths.’
    • ‘You can answer almost any question people ask, and have thus been nicknamed Jeeves.’
    • ‘Some who have heard the ‘piano man’, as he has been nicknamed, believe he may be a professional musician.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘She has been nicknamed the lioness of the African radio waves as she tears into politicians with her no-holds-barred approach.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘From what I have read, Chicago is nicknamed the windy city for different reasons.’
    • ‘He was nicknamed Starlight because his character changed so much once the stars appeared.’
    • ‘Skipjack tuna, or skippies, as they are nicknamed, can be seen flashing their silver just under the surface.’
    • ‘Her care for children led to her being nicknamed Auntie Joan.’
    • ‘And being nicknamed the Toffeemen isn't harming Everton, currently fourth in the Premiership.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The new entertainment centre has such a distinctive shape the young people around town have nicknamed it already.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

nickname

/ˈnikˌnām//ˈnɪkˌneɪm/