Vol. 45 No. 2 (1997)
Research Article

Nicknames of English Adolescents in South Africa

Published 1997-06-01



This study reports on the nicknames of English-speaking adolescents in South Africa. It documents the nicknames and their origins and analyzes them in terms of the conditions under which they were coined and used. English adolescents have a very sensitive understanding of the complex and shifting set of social relationships underlying the choice and use of nicknames. Because of their optional nature and their transience as terms of address, nicknames offer up-to-date insights into social relationships which are not so evident in the more static, permanent aspects of language.


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