NICKNAME, a name given to a person in addition to his personal names, Christian and surname, either as a playful or familiar form of address or as a mark of ridicule, contempt or hatred. The Middle English form of the word, nekename, shows that it is a corruption of " an ekename " (i.e. " added " name; eke, earlier eche, from the root seen in Lat. augere, Gr. av^avftv), and is therefore equivalent to the Lat. agnomen.
There is an interesting list of national nicknames m*Notes and Queries, gth series, 4, 212-214.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)