Sobriquet

Isn’t this a beautiful word? Unlike my previous bon mot, this one pleasantly rolls off the tongue. A sobriquet is an alternative name given to a person, place, or thing that often comes to be more widely used than the original name.  For example, calling New York City “The Big Apple” or referring to William Shakespeare as “The Bard”. Typically the name is given by another, not oneself (in the case of a person). I first heard the term sobriquet while reading a delightful book by Martha Grimes, Fadeaway Girl, and tonight I heard it again while watching the TV show White Collar. Though the more I learn about sobriquet, I would argue that the way it was used in White Collar wasn’t quite right. A better word would have been “moniker”, as they were referring to a thief who calls himself “The Architect” but isn’t known by any other name. If you’re going to toss in a word like sobriquet, be sure you’re using it correctly. I forgive them though, as the line was delivered by my favorite character, Mozzie, who can often be heard quoting The Bard as well as many others.

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5 thoughts on “Sobriquet

  1. I love that word. So, referring to Edith Piaf as ‘The Little Sparrow,’ would be the proper
    meaning of sobriquet?

  2. nice one. I so often read words and devine their meaning from context without really looking into them (much less knowing pronounciation). You have me noticing words more. for example convivium. not in the “minaturized” OED by the way and perhaps a newer word. ran across it used by a Native Amer leader in place of conference and like the idea behind it. Also last night rapscallions which I haven’t seen for a long time and is seasonal -the scallion part anyway.

    • I’ve not come across convivium, but after looking it up, I see how it would be used in that context. Rapscallions; there’s a fun word! And, not disimilar to the bon mot that’s on deck for tomorrow. 😉 Thanks for reading Vicki.

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