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Wiktionary
hypocorism

n. A term of endearment; a pet name.

WordNet
hypocorism

n. a name of endearment (especially one using a diminutive suffix); "`Billy' is a hypocorism for `William'" [syn: pet name]

Wikipedia
Hypocorism

A hypocorism (; from Greek, "to use child-talk"), also known as a pet name or calling name, is a shorter or diminutive form of a word or given name, for example, when used in more intimate situations as a nickname or term of endearment. However, shortening of names is certainly not exclusive to terms of affection; indeed, in many cases, a shortened name can also be used to intimidate or humiliate. The ambiguity would need to be clarified by context.