Ryan’s Word 4/1: sobriquet

Posted by on Apr 1, 2011 in Word of the Day | 6 comments

Today’s word is sobriquet, a fancy word for nickname.

I know he didn’t intend it, but Ryan picked a great word for me to blog today. My current WIP, Broods of Fenrir, has undertones of Norse mythology and culture. In the Norse sagas, characters can have several different names. They used both shortened forms of actual names and descriptive names (if you don’t understand what I mean by that, check out kennings at wikipedia). I’ve tried to embrace this affectation in my story, but sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of the different names.

Let me give you an example. The main character goes by the name of Brand. His actual name is Brandúlfr Geirson. Literally, his name is Sword-wolf, son of the Spear. While a character in the book might call him any of those names, they might also call him: Black Wolf, Black Sword, or Spear’s get. You get the idea now. I could go crazy making up all these names and trying to keep track. I’ve kept the number of names for everyone but Brand low (two at most), but I figured with him I could get away with a few more.



  1. Hold up. This word is also in Televators. What kind of mind game are you playing here?

  2. I’m loving these word posts! You’ve got yourself a heck of a hubby there.


    (a little mojo voodoo there, hope it works 😉 )

  3. Ack! It totally ate my mojo voodoo! Darn!

    Here it is again, without brackets that maybe make it hungry:

    send me your story …. send me your story … woooooooo ….

  4. @Alan – Well if anyone is playing mind games it’s my husband. He might be, he’s a tricksy fellow. I will say, when I told him about your Mars Volta comment yesterday he did know who you meant, so he might have done it purposefully. I’ll grill him about it. 🙂
    PS-I did ask him about it and he said it was like the fourth word of the song. So you caught him, he did do it intentionally but I didn’t realize that.

    @Grayson – I love the words too. It all started because I told him what some of the dictionary.com words of the day were and he thought they were lame. As for your mojo, it may have worked! I wrote a the last scene of that story. It came in under 17k, but I’m not sure about the page length. I forgot what the WotF page limit is, do you remember?

  5. Sixty-eight, IIRC. As long as it isn’t chock-full of dialogue, it should come in under that, I think.

  6. Hmm, I’m a little over right now, coming in at 71. I’m always dialog heavy. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my characters like to talk almost as much as I do. 🙂 I will have to trim it down a bit in the revision. Look for it coming to a mailbox near you!

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