substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place or thing expressing affection

A nickname is a special name that a person may be called that is different from their real name or from their birth name. It is not a legal thing; it is a social thing. The name may be given to them by their friends or family. It may be like the person's real name or completely different. Nicknames often come from how a person looks, or from something they are especially known for doing. They can also be a shortened version of the given name.

Nicknames can also be unkind and rude, and used by people who dislike the person given the nickname. Often famous people are given nicknames by the writers of newspapers or other people in the media, such as TV. In Thailand, people are often given nicknames based on how they look. For example, someone can be called ผู้ชายสูง (phuchay sung) meaning being tall. Nicknames can also be given to people in countries. For example, people from the United States or from the northern United States are sometimes called Yankees. Nicknames can also be given to tribes. For example, the Dhulbahante tribe are often called reer Darawiish. That's because the former anti-colonial Dervish state was a Dhulbahante state.[1]


  1. Duplantis, Andie. "Shared Perspectives of Divided Space: Perceptions of the Urban Environment among Jerusalemites." (2016).