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Late Latin hypocorisma, a loan from Ancient Greek noun ὑποκόρισμα ‎(hupokórisma) 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).


  • IPA(key): haɪˈpɒ.kəˌrɪ.zəm


hypocorism ‎(plural hypocorisms)

  1. A term of endearment; a pet name.
    • 2003, Mark Steven Morton, The Lover's Tongue[1]:
      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."
  2. Baby-talk, e.g. bow-wow for dog, choo-choo for train.


Derived terms[edit]