Nicknames have a special place in people’s hearts. Nicknames often show a personal characteristic of a person or place. Calling someone by their nickname makes you feel like you’ve known that person for a long time. So calling a city by its nickname brings you a little bit closer to it. The Big Apple, The Windy City, Cottonopolis… some city nicknames are obviously suiting, and some are downright weird. How did they come about?
Some are more famous, like The Big Apple or Sin City. I would assume you know which cities I’m talking about there. But if I mentioned The City of Wrestlers or The Tavern of the Seas, would you know which city I’m talking about? Keep on reading to find out and learn a little more about how these nicknames came about.
11 City Nicknames From Around the World
1. The Rose City – Camrose, Canada
When visiting Camrose, you will discover why it is nicknamed the Rose City. This small but very charming city is surrounded by wild roses. It’s also rich in farmland and prairies, lakes and parks. The perfect spot for those looking for a relaxing vacation.
Camrose might have a little competition, though. If you’ve been to Portland, Oregon, you’ll often find many locals referring to it as the Rose City.
2. The City Of Wrestlers – Kolhapur, India
Kolhapur is the spiritual centre of Kushti Wrestling, an ancient discipline that combines martial arts, music, and spirituality. Before they go into battle, wrestlers are taught morals which enable them to become good human beings. Visitors to the city can view the action at the one-hundred-year-old national wrestling stadium or at one of the 40 training institutes (‘Talim’) around the city.
3. Cottonopolis – Manchester, UK
This is a nickname that sprung from history and stuck. Manchester got its nickname since the early 1850s as one of the biggest players in the Industrial Revolution and the cotton industry. The industry is not what it used to be but the infrastructure (mills, canals, and railways) remains a huge part of the city’s landscape.
4. The Gong – Wollongong, Australia
Wollongong is a seaside city in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia with beautiful surf beaches and rainforest landscape. The name is said to mean “Seas of the South” in the local Aboriginal language, which has been shortened to The Gong.
5. The City Of Goldfish – Yatomi, Japan
Yatomi got its nickname from the vast number of goldfish produced which peaked in 1975 at 71.57 million. The number has gone down, but it still remains the home of the main goldfish industry. Tourists enjoy visiting goldfish farms and auctions.
6. The Windy City – Chicago, USA
A famous nickname that sprung since the late 1870s. While the city gets a fair share of wind coming in from Lake Michigan the nickname remains up for debate. A newspaper said Chicago was windy because its politicians were full of hot air.
7. The City Of Light – Paris, France
Another nickname that is up for debate. Some say it’s because of the city’s prominent role during the Age of Enlightenment, some say it’s more literal. In the 1860s the city was lit by 56,000 gas lamps. They may have looked nice but served a purpose to end a crime wave of nighttime thefts and murders. Paris has two nicknames though. Some prefer to call it the city of love. Paris is a very romantic city and a very popular spot for marriage proposals.
8. The End Of The World – Ushuaia, Argentina
This interesting nickname is given to the city of Ushuaia as it is the southernmost city in the world. It’s also a gateway to Antarctica. The city is surrounded by subpolar forests making it windy and cold, but it’s stunning. The landscape of ocean and mountains is breathtaking, also providing lots of outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and scuba diving.
9. The City Of Eternal Fog – Curitiba, Brazil
Curitiba is the eighth most populated in Brazil, with around two million inhabitants. The city is renowned for its abundance of parks and green space, but it’s also known for its rainy and foggy climate—so much so that it earned this melancholic but slightly misleading nickname. Don’t be fooled, though; this city is well worth a stop. It’s a cultural center, with the Wire Opera House and Oscar Niemeyer Museum amongst the top attractions.
10. The City Of Lilies – Florence, Italy
The emblem of Florence is a red lily on a white field; it’s been the symbol of the city since the eleventh century. Talk about old nicknames. There are several possible explanations as to the origins of the symbol. One popular theory, which goes all the way back to when the Romans founded the city, is that it’s connected to the celebration of the goddess Flora.
11. The Tavern Of The Seas – Cape Town, South Africa
Since Cape Town was founded in 1652, it has welcomed sailors seeking rest and refreshments, giving it the nickname Tavern of the Seas. This city is close to the point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet making Cape Town a trading spot for centuries. This has created an interesting cultural mix. It’s a beautiful city with good food and stunning views the higher you get.
[Illustrations by Expedia.ca]
I hope these city nicknames and its stories inspired a vacation to one of these places, or at list expanded your travel bucket list. Which of these cities would you want to visit next?