Why Is Dick a nickname for Richard

Russ McClay mcclay at TAOLODGE.COM
Thu Aug 13 15:42:04 UTC 2009

Hey, my dad was called Dick so I was curious.
Here's something I found. Any comments? lol

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Q: Why is Dick a nickname for Richard?

A: a man named richard from the 40s or 50s nick named dick because
he was a Detective named Richard aka DICK RICK

The name Richard is very old and it's true origins may well be
lost in the depths of time past. 'Richeard' is a name from Old
English where 'Ric' meant ruler and 'heard' meant hard. In those
days of yore, before word-processors, everything was written
down and abbreviations became common and agreed upon. Also in
the 13th century rhyming slang became popular so Richard becomes
Rich and eventually Rick which rhymes with Dick. Much like
William - Will - Bill.

'Dick' eventually, like 'Jack', came to mean all men as in
"every Tom, Dick, or Harry". Shakespeare uses "every Tom, Dick,
or Francis" in Henry IV Part I.

I know a guy named Richard, and he was a total dick.



The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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