From Ask Figaro:
A friend just sent me this query: One of our architect’s little girls is visiting the office today and is reading a book where the characters’ names represent them (like Mrs. Little is tiny and Mr. Quatro teaches fourth grade). I know there’s a for it but can’t remember it. Can you help?
I think it’s just a pun, but she’s not so sure. What say you?
The Littles and Quatros of this world constitute a periphrasis (per IF rah sis), the figure that swaps a description for a proper name. That’s Greek for “speak around.” While most periphrases are more than one word (e.g., He Who Must Not Be Named), the descriptive one-word nickname counts as well.