Indo-European Languages: Nickname patterns

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by LilianaB, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    I have been interested how nicknames are created in various Indo-European languages. I mean nicknames created from first names only.
  2. sotos Senior Member

    Could you elaborate your question, e.g. by giving come examples?
    A thing that comes to my mind about Greek nicknames is that some are chosen so that they sound foreign, peculiar and non-understandable, therefore funny, in Greek. Others refer to professions or body characteristics.
  3. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    What I really mean are diminutive forms of first names. In Russian, somebody called Alexander can be also called Sasha, for example. I am interested how people create diminutive forms of first names in different languages.
  4. Favara Senior Member

    Catalan - Southern Val.
    In Catalan it's usually the last 1~2 syllables of the name:
    Vicent: Cent (or Cento)
    Antoni: Toni
    Àngela: Gela
    Francesc: Cesc
    Joaquima: Quima, Xima (from old/dialectal Jotxima)
  5. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    In Czech the standard way how to form diminutives of the first (we still traditionally say 'baptismal') names is to add the diminutive suffixes to the root. Essentially the diminutive suffixes are the same for both the first names and common nouns (appellatives).

    Simple diminutive suffixes:
    a) masc. -ek, -ík, e.g. hrad (castle), hrádek (little castle), hrádeček (little castle);
    b) fem. -ka, e.g. ryba (fish), rybka (little fish), rybička (little fish);
    c) neuter -ko, e.g. slovo (word), slůvko (little word), slovíčko (little word);

    Complex diminutive suffixes are: a) masc. -íček (= -ík + -ek), -eček (= -ek + -ek), -ínek (= -ín + -ek), b) fem. -ička (= -ice + -ka), -inka (= -ina + -ka), b) neuter -íčko;


    a) masc.
    Petr, Petřík, Petříček;
    Pavel (Paul), Pavlík, Pavlíček;
    Jan (John), Jeník, Jeníček (a-e umlaut);
    Jiří (George), Jiřík, Jiříček;
    Tomáš, Tomášek;

    b) fem.
    Hana, Hanka, Hanička, Haninka;
    Jana, Janka, Janička, Janinka;

    If the first name is composed from two roots (many Slavic first names like Vladi-mír, Jaro-slava), only one root is used (either the 1st or 2nd):
    Vladimír, Vládík, Vládíček, Vládínek;
    Jaromír, Jarek, Jareček;
    Jaroslav, Slávek, Sláveček;
    Miroslava, Mirka, Mirečka;

    There are, of course, other non-standard ways how to form the diminutives.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  6. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    In Brazil it's usual to add inho (masculine) or inha (feminine) to names: Aninha, Joaninha, Carlinha, etc.

    Some regions may use the first syllable of a person's name. If somebody is called Carla, she would be talked to as Cá, Fábio would be Fá, Luciano would be Lu, etc.

    There are other possibilities, but I think these two are the most common.
  7. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Thank you all. The Catalan way of creating diminutives is very interesting. I did not realize that the nicknames were created like that in Latin languages, except for Toni. Bibax, do you have any unusual nicknames in Czech, which do not begin with the same letter as the name itself.
  8. francisgranada Senior Member

    Some examples (though I am not Bibax :) ....)

    Jan > Honza
    Josef > Pepa, Pepík, ...
    Alžběta > Bětka, Bětuška, ...

  9. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Yes. The most common examples:

    Jan (regular diminutives Jeník, Jeníček): Honza, probably from German Hans, from Latin Johannes. Honza has regular diminutives Honzík, Honzíček.

    Josef (regular diminutive Josífek): Pepa probably from Italian Beppe (Giuseppe). Pepa has regular diminutives Pepík, Pepíček.

    Jakub (regular diminutive Jakoubek): Kuba, dim. Kubík, Kubíček.
  10. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Thank you. Would you call a grown-up man Honzicek? Is it just for a child, or both?
  11. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    There are some Swedish names that usually gets nicknames:

    Karl/Carl -> Kalle
    Olof/Olov -> Olle
    Per/Pär -> Pelle
    Bo -> Bosse
    Nils -> Nisse
    Jan -> Janne
    Ulf -> Uffe
    Mats -> Matte
    Jonas -> Jonte
    Mikael -> Micke
    Niklas -> Nicke
    Alexander -> Alex

    Kristina/Christina -> Kicki, Tina
    Ann-Kristin -> Anki
    Katarina -> Kattis, Katta
    Margareta -> Maggan
    Josefin/Josefina - Jossan, Fia
    Lillemor -> Lillan
    Barbro -> Babsan
    Siv -> Sivan
    Elisabet -> Lisa
    Charlotte/Charlotta -> Lotta
    Maria -> Mia
    Sofia -> Fia
  12. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Thank you. I did not know Kristina could be Kicki. Is this something new or rather traditional. What about Lillian from Lillemor. Is it Lillemor from Little mother or from the flower. It is very interesting.
  13. catlady60

    catlady60 Senior Member

    Nazareth, PA
    English-US (New York City)
    In English, the pattern typically goes something like this. I posted a small example of names.

    Men's and boys' names:
    John -> Johnny
    Robert-> Bob, Bobby; Rob, Robbie
    Richard -> Rick, Ricky; Dick, Dicky, Rich, Richie
    Joseph -> Joe, Joey
    Edward -> Ed, Eddie
    Matthew -> Matt
    Michael -> Mike, Mikey
    Andrew -> Andy, Drew (irregular)
    Jason -> Jay

    Women's and girls' names:
    Elizabeth -> Liz, Lizzie
    Roberta -> Bobbie
    Susan -> Sue, Susie
    Maxine -> Maxie
    Christine -> Chris, Chrissie
  14. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Various Greek Male names:
    «Ιωάννης» (io'annis)--> John, becomes «Γιάννης» ('janis).
    «Νικόλαος» (ni'kolaos)--> Nicholas, becomes «Νίκος» ('nikos).
    «Κωνσταντίνος» (konstan'dinos)--> Constantine, becomes either «Κώστας» ('kostas) or «Ντίνος» ('dinos).
    «Γεώργιος» (je'orjios)--> George, becomes «Γιώργος» ('jorɣos) and rarely «Γώγος» ('ɣoɣos).
    «Δημήτριος» (ði'mitrios)--> Demetrius, becomes «Δημήτρης» (ði'mitris), «Μήτσος» ('mitsos) and rarely «Μήτρος» ('mitros).
    «Θεόδωρος» (θe'oðoros)--> Τheodore, becomes «Θοδωρής» (θoðo'ris) or «Θόδωρος» ('θoðoros).
    «Εμμανουήλ» (emanu'il)--> Emmanuel, becomes «Μανώλης/Mανόλης» (ma'nolis) or «Μάνος» ('Manos).
    «Μιχαήλ» (mixa'il)--> Michael, becomes «Μιχάλης» (mi'xalis) or «Μίκης» ('micis).
    «Βασίλειος» (va'silios)--> Basil, becomes «Βασίλης» (va'silis) and some times «Βάσος» ('vasos).
    «Αγαμέμνων» (aɣa'memnon)--> Agamemnon, becomes «Μένιος» ('meɲos).
    «Μιλτιάδης» (milti'aðis)--> Miltiades, is «Μίλτος» ('miltos).

    Some Female ones:
    «Ιωάννα» (io'ana)--> Joan/Joanna, becomes «Γιάννα» ('jana).
    «Κωνσταντίνα» (konstan'dina)--> Constance, becomes «Ντίνα» ('dina).
    «Γεωργία» (jeor'jia)--> Georgia, becomes «Γιωργία» (jor'jia) or «Γωγώ» (ɣo'ɣo).
    «Θεοδώρα» (θeo'ðora)--> Theodora, usually is «Δώρα» ('ðora), «Ντόρα» ('dora) οr «Θοδώρα» (θo'ðora).
    «Αικατερίνη» (ekate'rini)--> Catherine, is either «Κατερίνα» (kate'rina) or «Καίτη» ('ceti).
    «Καλλιόπη» (kali'opi)--> Calliopoea, is «Πόπη» ('popi) or «Κική» (ci'ci).
    «Κυριακή» (ciria'ci)--> Sunday (or Lord's Day) usually is «Κική» (ci'ci) too.
    «Βασιλική» (vasili'ci)--> Basilica, is either «Βάσω» ('vaso) or...again «Κική» (ci'ci).
    «Ελένη» (e'leni)--> Helen, becomes «Λένα» ('lena) and in rural areas, «Λέγκω» ('leŋgo).
    «Χάρις» ('xaris)--> Grace, is «Xαρά» (xa'ra) and «Χαρούλα» (xa'rula).
    «Μελπομένη» (melpo'meni)--> Melpomene, becomes 99 οut of 100 times, «Μέλπω» ('melpo).
  15. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Kicki have been used for some time, I don't know if it can be said to be traditional. "En liten kicka" is a kind of petname for a little girl, I'm not sure if it have to do with the name Kristina, but Kristina have been a common name for girls for a long time.

    Lillemor have nothing to do with (the English name) Lillian, the nickname Lillan (no i in it) means "little one", and Lillemor means "little mother". In some parts of Sweden Lill-(little) have traditionally been used in front of girls' names if there have been several members of the family/a group of friends with the same name, I have had friends that have been called Lill-Anna and Lill-Britt to differentiate from others with the same names. Lill can also be used as an independent girls' name, and sometimes short for Lillemor.
  16. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Honzíček is a little boy. However many adult men are still little boys for their mothers.

    The diminutives of the first names are also very common surnames in the Czechlands. For example Kubíček is little Jacob. And J. Kubitschek was a president of Brazil.
  17. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Thank you AutumnOwl and Bibax.
  18. snoopymanatee

    snoopymanatee Senior Member

    In Turkish:

    Abdullah --> Apo
    Bülent --> Bülo
    Çetin --> Çeto
    Fikret --> Fiko
    Hidayet --> Hido
    İbrahim --> İbo
    Mahmut --> Maho
    Mehmet --> Memo
    Mehmet Ali --> Memoli
    Muhammed --> Ahmet
    Murat --> Muro
    Mustafa --> Musti
    Muzaffer --> Muzo
    Mükremin --> Müko
    Ramazan --> Ramço
    Selahattin --> Selo
    Şerafettin --> Şero

    Nagihan --> Nagiş
    Şebnem --> Şebo
    Zeliha --> Zeliş
    Zeynep --> Zeyno

    These are what I remember right now.

    I think diminutive form of names is very popular in English, not in Turkish.

    By the way, I realized that lots of diminutives end with "o" in Turkish, I don't know why. :)
  19. Rintoul Senior Member

    Catalonia, Catalan
    The examples that were given in Catalan -i.e., using the last syllables as in Cesc, Toni- are not exactly diminutives, but just informal, familiar forms.
    Diminutives mostly take -et/-eta. So for instance Miquel would give Quel as a, but Miquelet to be used for a child (even if sometimes these can be carried well into adulthood). Sometimes you have both things altogether -so Pepet is a small Pep which is how family and friends may address someone called Josep
  20. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    In Spanish they are sometimes formed as in Català, or using the first part of the name or using the diminutive suffix, -ito(a), -ico(a). There is an irregular nickname I remember, it's for the name Jesús, it becomes Chuy (dunno why).

    Antonio= tony/toni or toño
    Miguel= Miguelito or Miky
    Leonardo= leo
    Gabriela= Gaby
    Alejandra/Alejandro= ale
    Elisa= Eli
    Patricia= Pati/paty
    Leticia= leti
    Vanessa= vane
    Isabel= isa
    Liliana= lili
    Natalia= nati
    Josefa =pepi ( irregular)
    José =pepe (dunno why)
    Ignacio= nacho (irregular)
    Valentino= tino
    Manuel= manolo
    Christina= christi
    Magdalena= maida
    Yenifer= yeni
    Daniela= dany
    Lucia= lucy
    Yolanda= yoly
    Tomás= tom
    Alberto= beto
    José María= chema
    Mía= mimi
    Susana= susi
    Alfonso= poncho
  21. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    In Hungarian you cut the end off and put an -i:
    Then you can put "pet ending" -ka/-ke [vocal harmony]

    Péter > Peti, Petike
    Sándor [Aleksandor] > Sanyi, Sanyika
    Rudolf > Rudi, Rudika
    Gábor > Gabi, Gabika
    Pál > Pali, Palika
    László > Laci, Lacika

    Mária > Mari, Marika
    Erzsébet > Erzsi, Erzsike
    Zsuzsanna > Zsuzsi, Zsuzsika
    Katalin > Kati, Katika
    Piroska > Piri, Pirike

    or irregular

    István [Stephanos] > Pista, Pistike
    János > Jancsi, Jancsika
    Károly > Karcsi, Karcsika
    Tamás > Tomi, Tomika
    Gyögy > Gyuri, Gyurika
    Gyula > Gyuszi, Gyuszika

    ....and many many other
  22. puny_god Member

    English - US
    I guess some people are already familiar with the Filipino fondness for repeating nicknames

    For example, Christine would be Tin-Tin
    Catalina would be Cat-cat
    Jonathan - Jon-jon
    Michael - Mik-mik
    Mark - Mac-mac
    and so on...

    and there are also the "door bell" nicknames like Bong-bong :)

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