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Nicknames, Pet Names and Metaphors

Below are lists of some of the most popular pet names and nicknames. There is a difference in use between the pet name and the nickname: while nicknames are a name for someone that can be used by anyone, pet names can only be  used by one individual. Pet names, then, are intimate names, while nicknames are social or tribal names.

You'll notice that the pet names allude to various universally valued qualities, such as sweetness, beauty, peacefulness, innocence, warmth, playfulness, worth, providence or cuddliness. You'll probably also notice that they are being applied as metaphors, easily completing the sentence "You are my _____". This means that pet names are both positive descriptions and easy to identify with, ensuring lasting use in any language.

We reserve the pet name for those closest to us, as if the pet name is our unique connection to them. This intimacy may explain why the pet name has much more built-in depth than most nicknames, which tend to be simply documentary in nature.

A List of Common Pet Names

Angel
Apple of My Eye
Babe
Baby
Baby Doll

(Big...)

Blossom
Bon-bon
Bunny

Buttercup

Butterfly

Candy

Cherry

Cookie

Cupcake

Daisy

Dewdrop

Dove

Dumpling
Flower

Hero
Honey
Hunk

Lamb/Lambchop

(Little...)
Kitten
Muffin

Peach

Petal
Princess

Prince

Pumpkin

Puppy
Queen
Rose
Star
Sugar
Sunshine
Sweetheart
Teddy Bear
Tiger

Treasure

The above list of common pet names reveal many metaphors. Meanwhile, nicknames tend to be direct descriptions of the person or their role in society, or similes for their physical attributes or personality. Sometimes they may refer to an event in one's past. Most often, we are forced explain a nickname with statements like "They call me 'Keys' because I play piano". Once a nickname is explained to us, we become part of the inner circle - part of the tribe. By allowing us to use this nickname on the specific member, the tribe shows its acceptance of us. By being granted a nickname by a tribe, we acquire status within the tribe.

List of Popular Nicknames

Bear

Bones

Buck

Chubby

Chuckles

Colonel

Dash

Digger

Doc

Doughboy

Eel

Fats

Giggles

Happy

Hippie

Ice

Keys

Monkey

Pepper

Pokey

Rocky

Sergeant Major

Sharky

Shorty

Smiley

Sparky

Sticky

Stitches

Stretch

Wimpy

 

Our given names can be used by absolutely anyone. As we draw closer to home, through the nick-

names given to us by the friends of our social circles, we arrive at the deeply intimate pet name given to us exclusively by our lover - and this name, no matter what language it is in, will almost certainly be a metaphor for something deeply valued.

Further Reading: Virtual Hormones

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About This Site

This website is dedicated to the proposal that the metaphorical relationships drawn between any two disciplines are, in fact, universal, being isomorphic mathematical derivations of the components of the Unified Field Theory. Further, that the symmetry of metaphor is extendible both linearly and laterally, allowing us to mathematically predict missing knowledge and invention in all other disciplines: an interdisciplinary Rosetta stone of universal scope. A book describing this process is in the works...

"The metaphor reminds us that the universe is full of cousins." - J.D. Casnig

Copyright John D. Casnig. Permitted use only. Work should be cited as:

Casnig, John D. 1997-2013. A Language of Metaphors. Kingston, Ontario, Canada: Knowgramming.com

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