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A nother thing

Posted by Henry on July 18, 2004

In Reply to: Thanks Bruce posted by Lotg (OZ) on July 15, 2004

: : : Why is a nickname called a 'nick' name? We know it's a sort of alias, usually (although not always) affectionate. But why 'nick'?

: : An Old English word "eke" or "neke" meaning "additional" became neke-name and hopped over to nickname.

An eke-name became a nick-name. There are a number of similar words where the letter n has been wrongly attached; for instance, an eft became a newt. Others are adder, apron, auger and umpire. Sometimes it happened in reverse. Orange is derived from the Arab word naranj; Spanish for orange is naranja.