Late Latin hypocorisma, a loan from Ancient Greek ὑποκόρισμα (hupokórisma, noun) from the verb ὑποκορίζομαι (hupokorízomai, “to talk in a childish manner”). The Ancient Greek verb ὑποκορίζομαι (hupokorízomai) is compounded from ὑπό (hupó, “under, beneath, secretly”) + κορίζομαι (korízomai, “to caress”). In the verb you can see the word κόρος (kóros, “boy”) or κόρη (kórē, “girl”).
hypocorism (plural hypocorisms)
- A term of endearment; a pet name.
2003, Mark Steven Morton, The Lover's Tongue:
- Cabbage, however, has enjoyed unlikely success as a hypocorism, a usage that dates back to the mid nineteenth century; this usage arose as a direct translation of chou, which French lovers had been calling each other for a long time: "Oh, mon petit chou"—"Oh, my little cabbage."
- Baby-talk, e.g. bow-wow for dog, choo-choo for train.