query: sarcastic antonymic nicknames

Frans Plank frans.plank at UNI-KONSTANZ.DE
Thu Nov 26 14:35:25 UTC 2009

come to think of it, you might also include address inversion under  
this general sort of rubric -- though it's certainly not sarcastic (is  
it ironic?):  like when a grandparent addresses a grandchild as  
'(little) grandparent' (grandpa, granny), or an uncle addresses a  
nephew as '(little) uncle'.

Leo Spitzer had a paper on this, Ueber Personenvertauschung in der  
Ammensprache (1920ies).  More recently, Winfried Boeder looked at this  
as an areal phenomenon, I believe:  but you'll have to ask him for  
details himself.


On Nov 26, 2009, at 3:23 PM, Dolgor Guntsetseg wrote:

> oh sorry, I forgot such cases. I think that is possible. But not  
> common. Unfortunately, I have no instances at the moment.
> BTW, we say to the children, mostly babies "How ugly is he/she!" or  
> someting like that. But it is not negative, not sarcastic. It means  
> "How sweet/cute is he/she".
> Gunne
> David Gil schrieb:
>> Gunne,
>> But are any of the Mongolian nicknames you are familiar with  
>> antonymic?  That is to say, do any of them refer to a property that  
>> is the *opposite* of the one that the person possesses?
>> David
>>> Dear all,
>>> in Mongolian, such nicknames are normal. Most people have a  
>>> nickname, sometimes two or more. The way to give a nickname is  
>>> differently, sometimes it concerns certain character, sometimes  
>>> description of body parts and so on. And most of these nicknames  
>>> are humorous. Here are some examples:
>>> One friend of mine has the nickname "eyebrow". He got this  
>>> nickname therefore, if he is drunken (just after two or three  
>>> bottles beer),  he has upside-down V eyebrows.
>>> Another one has the nickname "muscle". Yes, he has big muscle, but  
>>> that is not the reason. He always tries to show his muscles (if  
>>> there are girls!) doing it quite casually. Unlike to Eyebrow,  
>>> Mucscle does not like his nickname, so people do not use this  
>>> nickname before his  face.
>>> Gunne

Frans Plank
Universität Konstanz
78457 Konstanz

Tel  +49 (0)7531 88 2656
Fax +49 (0)7531 88 4190
eMail frans.plank at uni-konstanz.de

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