Since nicknames are a very fluid component of language, they become a useful tool for revealing current sex role stereotypes. A study of 380 nicknames collected from 175 young women and men ages 14–19 shows that males assign most nicknames and males receive more names based on surnames; also, connotations of strength, largeness, hardness, and maturity are typical of male nicknames. For female nicknames, physical attributes are more important, and connotations are typically of beauty, pleasantness, kindness, and goodness. Nicknames do not reflect much difference in activity, however, a quality that in earlier studies is associated predominantly with males.
KeywordsYoung Woman Social Psychology Fluid Component Role Stereotype
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Anshen, F. (1978). Statistics for linguists. Rowley, MA: Newbury.Google Scholar
- Bolinger, D. (1980). Language—The loaded weapon. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
- Busse, T. (1983). Nickname usage in an American high school. Names, 31, 300–306.Google Scholar
- Cash, T., & Brown, T. (1989). Gender and body images: Stereotypes and realities. Sex Roles, 21, 361–373.Google Scholar
- Flexner, S. (1980). Preface. In H. Wentworth & S. Flexner (Eds.), Dictionary of American slang. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell.Google Scholar
- Morgan, J., O'Neill, C., & Harré, R. (1979). Nicknames: Their origins and social consequences. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
- Nilsen, A. P. (1972). Sexism in English: A feminist view. In N. Hoffman, C. Secor, & A. Tinksley (Eds.), Female studies VI: Closer to the ground: Women's classes, criticism, programs—1972. Old Westbury, NY: The Feminist Press.Google Scholar
- Osgood, C. E., Suci, G. J., & Tannenbaum, P. H. (1957). The measurement of meaning. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
- Slater, A., & Feinman, S. (1985). Gender and the phonology of North American first names. Sex Roles, 13, 429–440.Google Scholar
- Smith, P., & Midlarsky, E. (1985). Empirically derived conceptions of femaleness and maleness: A current view. Sex Roles, 12, 313–328.Google Scholar