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See also: Nickname


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From Middle English nekename, alteration (due to a rebracketing of an ekename as a nekename) of earlier ekename (nickname), from eke (also, additional) + name (name).[1] Compare Old Norse aukanafn, auknafn, auknefni (nickname), Faroese eyknevni (nickname), Danish øgenavn (nickname), Swedish öknamn (nickname), and German Low German Ökelname (nickname).

For other similar cases of incorrect division, see also apron, daffodil, newt, orange, umpire.


  • IPA(key): /ˈnɪkneɪm/
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nickname (plural nicknames)

  1. A familiar, invented name for a person or thing used instead of the actual name of the person or thing, often based on some noteworthy characteristic.
    "The Big Apple" is a common nickname for New York City.
  2. A familiar, shortened or diminutive name for a person or thing.
    My name is Jonathan, but I go by my nickname, Johnny.

Usage notes[edit]

Nicknames are often given in quotation marks between the first and last names. For example: Sammy "The Bull" Gravano.



  • German: Nickname
  • Japanese: ニックネーム (nikkunēmu)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


nickname (third-person singular simple present nicknames, present participle nicknaming, simple past and past participle nicknamed)

  1. (transitive) To give a nickname to (a person or thing).
    Gerald, nicknamed "Jerry", was usually a very cheerful person.



  1. ^ Arika Okrent (2019-07-05), “12 Old Words That Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms”, in Mental Floss[1], Pocket, retrieved 2021-10-08