Linguistic taboo and folk nicknames
The folk nicknames belong to the linguistic taboo area concerning both the content plan and expression plan. Using nicknames in rural micro-communities is one of the lingual behaviours which should be definitely avoided in some situations and for some reasons. The very word nickname is treated by the rural community as a taboo word and, therefore, it is often replaced with some euphemisms.
Putting the nicknames under linguistic taboo has the following social and psychological reasons:
– decency, modesty and shame (which determine avoiding vulgar words, which are often the base of nicknames);
– good education, compassion, mercy (which determine the protection of another person wellbeing);
– prudence and cleverness (the basis of diplomatic taboo, which ensures fulfilment of interests of the person who restrain themselves from using a nickname);
– religious factor (treating nickname as a sin).
Therefore, putting folk nicknames under taboo has both a pragmatic and psychological background.