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"Nicknames generally denote fondness, a diminutive shared between friends."

A nickname was an alternate name rather than an individual's real one. It was usually chosen by others, such as a lover, (TOS: "The Man Trap") a friend, (DS9: "The Alternate"; VOY: "Equinox") or a sibling. (ENT: "Cold Station 12") Nicknames could be a short or pet form of one's real name, or a description of one's physical attributes, personality, position, or another's opinion of the person thus called.

Though most were a sign of the name caller's affection, (DS9: "The Alternate") some nicknames were given cruelly, such as Wesley Crusher's bestowing of the moniker "Broccoli" on Reginald Barclay. When Data argued that nicknames were usually given as a sign of fondness, Geordi La Forge agreed and put an end to the "Broccoli" name calling. (TNG: "Hollow Pursuits")

Some people eventually grew out of and/or rejected nicknames. Julian Bashir rejected the nickname "Jules" at the age of 15 after learning of his genetic enhancements, as he felt the name represented his original self. His parents Richard and Amsha Bashir continued to use the nickname into his adulthood. (DS9: "Doctor Bashir, I Presume")

In 2258 of the alternate reality, after James T. Kirk called a moralizing Spock a robot, Spock considered his name-calling a defensive measure because Kirk knew him to be correct. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

Some athletes also had nicknames, such as Jake "The Slider" Sisko. (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite")

Q nicknamed Kathryn Janeway "Kathy", an appellation his son also picked up, adding the title of "aunt". (VOY: "Death Wish", "The Q and the Grey", "Q2")

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