Sobriquet

(French). A nickname. Ménage thinks the etymology is the Latin subridieulum (somewhat ridiculous); Count de Gebelin suggests the Romance words sopra-quest (a name acquired over and above your proper names); while Leglay is in favour of soubriquet, a word common in the fourteenth century to express a sound of contempt, half whistle and half jeer, made by raising quickly the chin. Probably sous-brechet, where brechet means the breast, seen in our word “brisket.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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