Johnny (diminutive)?

  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "Johnny" and "Kate" are "nickames". Many people use nicknames instead of their official names.

    Many nicknames are diminutives. Others are just informal, or casual, or shorter names.

    For example "Rich" and "Dick" are both knicknames for "Richard".
     
    Last edited:

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Whatever you call these - 'diminutive' suggests 'smaller' - they are formed in various ways. Shortening is one; initial consonant change is another; and addition of -y/-ie is very common. So John becomes Johnny (because it can't be shortened), and Katherine becomes Kate or Katy/Katey/Katie (among others). William can be Will or Bill, or Willy or Billy. They are all felt as the same kind of thing: 'pet' or friendly forms of the original name. And of course Richard becomes Rich, Rick, Dick, or their variants Richie, Ricky, Dicky.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    "Johnny" and "Kate" are "knickames". Many people use knicknames instead of their official names.

    Many knicknames are diminutives. Others are just informal, or casual, or shorter names.

    For example "Rich" and "Dick" are both knicknames for "Richard".
    Interesting. I always thought nicknames had nothing to do with your real name, being made up in context such as Slim, Legs, etc.

    However you’ve taught me something and our dictionary confirms with this definition.

    ... a familiar, informal form of a proper name, as Jim for James and Peg for Margaret.
     
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