City nicknames: 15 local names for towns around Britain and abroad

Credit: Dun.can / Flickr Edit:

Do you know your town’s nickname?  There are lots out there including The Big Smoke for London, Auld Reekie for Edinburgh and Titanic Town for Belfast.  However all over the world cities also develop nicknames that are derived from some unusual and surprising stories and history. Here or the top 15 city nicknames from Britain and abroad.  Do you know them all?

Every city has it’s own nickname.  You will certainly have heard of the Big Apple or the Windy City.  However do you know where these names come from.  Read on to discover more about the story behind the name.

1/ “Cottonopolis” or “The Second City” : Manchester

Cottonopolis is the city’s 19th century nickname that refers to the city’s integral role in the cotton industry.  Now Manchester is often thought of as Britain’s Second City after London although it is often jostling with Birmingham for this unofficial place.

City Nicknames
Manchester, Deansgate Credit: Wojtek Gurak / Flickr

2/ “The Windy City” : Chicago

Although it doesn’t seem logical Chicago’s famous nickname has nothing to do with the weather.  It is no windier than any other American city.  The name actually comes from a newspaper editor from New York that said that Chicago politicians were “full of wind”.

City nicknames
Credit: Pedro Szekely / Flickr

3/ “Titanic Town” : Belfast

Belfast was a 19th century industrial hub known for linen and shipbuilding.  This is where the infamous Titanic ship was built before coming to it’s fatal end.  A story known all over the world, the city’s connection with Titanic has landed it with this nickname.

City nicknames
Credit: Jonathan Mckee / Flickr

4/ “Brum” and “The City of a Thousand Trades”: Birmingham

“Brum”, being the most common nickname for the city, comes from the city’s ancient name  Brummagem.  The word is also used to describe the Brummie accent and local brummie from the area.   The city also vies for the unofficial place as UK’s “Second City” with Manchester.  During the city’s flourishing industrial period in the 19th Century, the city also gained a reputation for attracting people of many trades after the opening of the canal.

surnoms de villes
Credits photo : Pixabay

5/ “The Emerald City” : Seattle

This poetic nickname comes straight out of the Wizard of Oz! However this time the name refers to the vibrant green colour of the the forests that surround the city.  It also has other nicknames including “Rainy City”, “The Door to Alaska” or even “Queen City”. 

surnoms de villes
Credits photo: Wikimedia Commons