Saturday, October 11, 2008

Word of the Day

hyposorism\hye-PAH-kuh-riz-um\n. 1. a pet name 2. the use of pet names.

Example Sentence: Darren started calling Sheila by her hypocorism, "Bubbles," when they were juniors in high school.

Did you know? In Late Latin and Greek, the words "hypocorisma" and "hypokorisma" had the same meaning as "hypocorism" does in English today. They in turn evolved from the Greek verb "hypokorizesthai" ("to call by pet names"), which itself comes from "korizesthai" ("to caress"). "Hypocorism" joined the English language in the mid-19th century and was once briefly a buzzword among linguists, who used it rather broadly to mean "adult baby talk," that is, the altered speech adults use when supposedly imitating babies. Once the baby talk issue faded, "hypocorism" settled back into being just a fancy word for a pet name. Pet names can be diminutives like our "Johnny" for "John," endearing terms such as "honey-bunch," or, yes, names from baby talk, like "Nana" for "Grandma."

My use: I came up with my kids hypocorisms when they were just born. Tyler's is "lil bum-bum" and Ethan's is "lil bruiser". Or just "bum-bum" and "bruiser".

I love it when Mark uses hypocorisms when speaking to me. My favorite is sweetheart.

No comments: