It took an e-mail from a Belarusian friend (whose English is brilliant) to alert me to this new word. Thanks Mish. It always amazes me how people learn foreign languages when the characters or alphabet are different. I found it hard enough learning Latin and French with the same alphabet.
A hypocorism is a pet name or endearing name, often one using a diminutive affix. For example, in English "Sally '' is a hypocorism for "Sarah ''.
Similarly, in Russian, Mish is a hypocorism for Mishka. Mishka (Мишка) means bruin which is in turn a hypocoristic for bear (Medved - Медведь). So Mish is a double hypocorism if there is such a thing!
Alternatively, hypocorism can be another word for a euphemism - a mild or indirect word or expression for one too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.
The adjective from hypocorism is hypocoristic .