• noun a name, nickname or alias. No definitive history of this word has been established. What is known is that it has existed in various spellings since the mid-19th century and that it was first used by tramps, vagrants and other ‘marginals’. The three most likely derivations are from ‘monarch’, ‘monk’ or ‘monogram’, but none of these is provable nor is there any clear connection with the (Saint’s) name ‘Monica’.