Meaning of hypocoristic in English:


Pronunciation /ˌhʌɪpə(ʊ)kəˈrɪstɪk/


  • Denoting or of the nature of a pet name or diminutive form of a name.

    ‘The hypocoristic types differ both in their affective/emotive connotations and in who uses them.’
    • ‘Consider the hypocoristic data in representing a common pattern in Arabic.’
    • ‘When one needs to call a young child, the hypocoristic form of the mother's name is used, e.g. ishaVeneth ‘Little Beneth’.’
    • ‘There is an infinite number of hypocoristic terms: anybody can either invent a new word or attribute a new affectionate meaning to a word.’
    • ‘I find being addressed by the hypocoristic somewhat startling in English conversation, especially when it's pronounced ‘Marcia.’’
    • ‘Most hotels have hypocoristic names which are the default with their regulars, and with locals who know the area well.’
    • ‘It is well known that this gave rise to the modern surname Meredith but outside of Wales few are aware of the hypocoristic form Bedo.’


  • A hypocoristic name or form.

    ‘This list tends to exclude these more obvious hypocoristics and focus on other kinds.’
    • ‘We will return to this problem after considering the general structural constraints on hypocoristics.’
    • ‘These formations are of a different type than the hypocoristics discussed in Benua under Output-Output constraints.’
    • ‘We show that the hypocoristics are based on the root consonants.’
    • ‘Living in France, being a morphologist, and having myself studied hypocoristics, I may give you some impressions on the matter.’
    • ‘And for hypocoristics, or diminutives of endearment, Jespersen makes the observation ‘that children will often add an i at the end of words.’’
    • ‘Here are some French hypocoristics, for this list of names.’
    • ‘So it appears that the formation of the hypocoristic takes place after the application of vowel harmony.’
    • ‘A hypocoristic is a lesser form of the given name used in more intimate situations, as a term of endearment, a pet name.’


Mid 19th century from Greek hupokorisma, from hupokorizesthai ‘play the child’, from hupo ‘under’ + korē ‘child’.