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  1. #1
    Ju is offline Senior Member
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    Default pet name and nickname

    1. Donald's pet name is duckduck.
    2. Donald's nickname is duckduck.
    __________________________________________________ ______

    a/ Are the above sentence the same in meaning?

    b/ Are pet name and nickname interchangeable?


    ju

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: pet name and nickname

    I don't know how other cultures use "pet name" but it would not be suitable here for names used outside a family.

    Just say "nickname" in the U.S.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    JMurray is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: pet name and nickname

    Ju.
    As Barb says, this will vary between cultures, but this is how I understand the terms.

    A nickname is usually given to somebody by their family, friends, workmates or others that are acquainted with them, or sometimes by people who don't know them very well at all. A nickname is often used by very many people and can become the name that somebody is best known by.

    A pet name more commonly occurs between lovers, husband and wife, family members or close friends. Unlike a nickname, it is typically used by one person towards another, or within a family, and would rarely be used by anyone else outside the relationship or family group.
    A person might also have a pet name for a car, an item of clothing, a project, or any other thing that they have a particular fondness for or personal involvement in. Normally only that person uses the pet name when referring to these things.

    I don't say that there is always a clear distinction, I think someone might describe a nickname as a pet name if there was a distinct fondness in their attitude to the person named, even if they didn't know them personally.

    I keep making little changes to this post, so I'll leave it there and hope these notes are useful.

    not a teacher
    Last edited by JMurray; 09-Apr-2011 at 07:30.

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: pet name and nickname

    I agree with JMurray.

    Sweetness is my pet name for my daughter.

    Because of the speed of his play, snooker player Alex Higgins gained the nickname The Hurricane.

    They don't come close to being interchangeable.

    Rover

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: pet name and nickname

    Quote Originally Posted by JMurray View Post
    A pet name more commonly occurs between lovers, husband and wife, family members or close friends. Unlike a nickname, it is typically used by one person towards another, or within a family, and would rarely be used by anyone else outside the relationship or family group.
    And some might only use the pet name in private, so other people may not even be aware of it.

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