Sobriquet

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Sobriquet'

Sobriquet Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    sobriquet n : a familiar name for a person (often a shortened version of a person's given name); "Joe's mother would not use his nickname and always called him Joseph"; "Henry's nickname was Slim" [syn: nickname, moniker, cognomen, soubriquet]
Sobriquet Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Sobriquet \So`bri`quet"\ (s[-o]`br[-e]`k[asl]"), n.[F. sobriquet, OF. soubzbriquet, soubriquet, a chuck under the chin, hence, an affront, a nickname; of uncertain origin; cf. It. sottobecco a chuck under the chin.] An assumed name; a fanciful epithet or appellation; a nickname. [Sometimes less correctly written soubriquet.]

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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Sobriquet'


A sobriquet (pronounced /ˈsoʊbrɨkeɪ/ SOH-bri-kay) is a nickname, sometimes assumed, but often given by another. It is usually a familiar name, distinct from a pseudonym assumed as a disguise, but a nickname which is familiar enough such that it can be used in place of a real name without the need of explanation. This salient characteristic is of sufficient familiarity that the sobriquet can become more familiar than the original name. For example, Genghis Khan, who is rarely recognized now by his original name, Temüjin; or Mohandas Gandhi who is better known as Mahatma Gandhi. Well known places often have sobriquets, such as New York City, often referred to as the Big Apple. The term can therefore apply to the nickname for a specific person, group of people or even a place.

Two early variants of the term are found, sotbriquet and soubriquet; the latter form is still often used. The modern French spelling is sobriquet. The first form suggests derivation from sot, foolish, and briquet, a French adaptation of Ital. brichetto, diminutive of bricco, ass, knave, possibly connected with briccone, rogue, which is supposed to be a derivative of Ger. brechen, to break; but Skeat considers this spelling to be an example of popular etymology, and the real origin is to be sought in the form soubriquet.

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