Video-Fix: Ro─Ĺenje Nicknamea

Video-Fix N-ickname

A nickname is ÔÇśan informal name for someone or something, especially a name that you are called by your friends or family, usually based on your real name or your characterÔÇÖ.1

Now despite what the title may say, this video is not actually about how different nicknames came to be (thatÔÇÖs a video for another time!), but about the history of the ÔÇÖNÔÇÖ in front of some nicknames and words. If youÔÇÖve watched or read Igra prijestolja, you know that the character ‘Eddard Stark’ is nicknamed ‘Ned’ – but why isn’t it ‘Ed? Where does that extra ÔÇÖNÔÇÖ come from? Likewise, whilst ÔÇśNickÔÇÖ is a common nickname for someone called ÔÇśNicholasÔÇÖ, what does the ÔÇśNickÔÇÖ in ÔÇśNicknameÔÇÖ stand for?

The additional ÔÇÖNÔÇÖ actually comes from one big linguistic misunderstanding which has also affected many other words. In this week’s Video-Fix, John McWhorter, linguist, professor, and host of the Lexicon Valley linguistics podcast, traces the history of the rogue ÔÇÖNÔÇÖ.

  1. Cambridge Dictionary Online. Definition of “Nickname”. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 17/08/2020].

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