Doug's List of Lists
The human animal differs from the lesser primates in his passion for lists of "Ten Best". — H. Allen Smith
 

 

City nicknames

The following is my list of City Nicknames, started around 1993. I had collected suggestions from the rec.games.trivia newsgroup, and had heard someone on KGO (San Francisco's AM news-talk radio station) use the phrase "... 10,000 residents of The City, of complications from ...".

So I appropriated that phrase "The City of Complications", as an exceptionally apt nickname for San Francisco, and went on to collect a few other names. When I had enough of them, I posted the list to that newsgroup.

So far, I have only been able to re-locate the quiz version of my list, so I haven't actually merged all of the answers back into the list yet. This past year or two (2001-2002), I added a few from the "Isaac Asimov" quiz column in the newspaper, a Sunset Magazine article (which lists California as the "World Capital of Agricultural World Capitals"), and other sources. I also found two other lists on the web (URLs below).

I now keep this merged version in both http://got.net/~landauer/lists/CityOf.html and the stories link in my Radio Weblog, http://radio.weblogs.com/0100945/stories/2002/07/24/cityNicknames.html . The one at http://got.net/~landauer/CityOf_was.html is older.

Other web locations that have some similar lists include:

Most recent additions (8 February 2003): Albany, OR; Alpine, TX; Beaver, OK; Bemidji, MN; Brainerd, MN; Bristol, TN; Burlington, Iowa; Cody, WY; Douglas, WY; Frannie, WY; Gallup, NM; Granby, CO; Isleton, CA; Laramie, WY; Lowell, WY; Meeteetse, WY; New York (as "Never Sleeps"); Noxubee County, Alabama; Philadelphia, PA; Rockport, MA; Santa Rosa, NM; Sonora, CA; Sturgis, Michigan; Taxco, Mexico; Tijuana, Mexico; Westwood, CA.

My List of City Nicknames:

City Nickname
Aberdeen, Scotland The Granite City
Akron, OH Rubber City
Albany, Georgia Good Life City
Albany, ORHome of the Timber Carnival
Alexandria, Egypt Pearl of the Mediterranean
Allentown, Pennsylvania Cement City
Alpine, TXGateway to the Big Bend
Annapolis, Maryland Crabtown
Atlanta, GA The Athens of the South
Atlanta, GA The City Too Busy to Hate
Atlanta, GA Dogwood City
Atlanta, GA Gate City of the South
Auckland, NZ City of Sails
Baltimore, Maryland Charm City
Baltimore, Maryland Monument City
Banaras, India Luminous City
Bandon, OR Storm Capital of the World
Bangkok, Thailand Venice of the East
Beaver, OKCow Chip Throwing Capital of the World
Bemidji, MNHome of Paul Bunyan & Babe, the Blue Ox (see Brainerd and Westwood)
Beograd The White City
Bickleton, WA Bluebird Capital of the World
Birmingham, AL Pittsburgh of the South
Boston, MA The Athens of America
Boston, MA Beantown
Boston, MA The City of Kind Hearts
Boston, MA The Cradle of Liberty
Boston, MA The Hub of the Universe
Boston, MA Puritan City
Brainerd, MNHome of Paul Bunyan & Babe, the Blue Ox — The legend on the Brainerd city limits sign shows up in the film "Fargo". (See Bemidji and Westwood)
Bristol, TNFood City
Brandon, Manitoba The Wheat City
Bucharest, Romania The Little Paris
Budapest, Hungary The Pearl of the Danube
Buffalo, New York Bison City
Buffalo, New York Flour City
Buffalo, NY The City of Good Neighbors
Buffalo, NY The Nickel City
Buffalo, NY The Queen City (of the Great Lakes)
Burlington, IowaLoader/Backhoe Capital of the World
Butte, Montana Copper City
Byran, Ohio The Fountain City
Calgary, Alberta, Canada The Stampede City
Calgary, Alberta, Canada The Heart of The New West (that's the New Convention and Visitors Bureau slogan)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada Canada's oil capital (Because of high concentration of oil company head offices, as in Houston)
Cape Girardeau, Missouri Rose City
Cape Hatteras, North Carolina The Graveyard of the Atlantic
Castroville, CA Artichoke Center of the World
Champaign-Urbana, IL Chambana
Champaign-Urbana, IL Shampoo-Bananna
Champaign-Urbana, IL Urpaign
Charleston, South Carolina America's Most Historic City
Charleston, South CarolinaPalmetto City
Charlotte, North Carolina Hornets Nest
Charlotte, North Carolina Queen City
Chicago, Illinois Big Town
Chicago City of Big Shoulders
Chicago, Illinois Hog Butcher for the World
Chicago Slaughterhouse to the World
Chicago, Illinois Phoenix City
Chicago, Illinois Second City
Chicago The Windy City
Christchurch, NZ The Garden City
Cincinnati, Ohio Queen City
Cleveland, Ohio Mistake on the Lake
Cleveland, OH America's North Coast
Cody, WYRodeo Capital of the World
Columbus, OH The Crossroads of Ohio
Cooperstown, New York Birthplace of Baseball
Council Bluffs, Iowa Iowa's Leading Edge
Crestwood (Louisville), KYWhiskers
Cuernavaca, Morelos, MexicoThe City of Eternal Spring
Dallas, Texas Big D
Dayton, Ohio Birthplace of Aviation
Denver, Colorado City of the Plains
Denver, Colorado Convention City
Denver, CO Mile High City
Denver, Colorado Queen City
Detroit, MI Motown
Detroit, MI Motor City
Dipolog City, Philippines Orchid City
Douglas, WYJackalope Capitol [sic] of the World — I vaguely recall that one of the main promoters and/or inventor of the Jackelope died within the last few months.
Durham, NC City of Medicine
Durham, NC Bull City
Edinburgh, Scotland Athens of the North
Erie, Pennsylvania The Gem
Eskilstuna, Sweden Smedstan (The smith City)
Fallbrook, CA Avocado Capital of the World
Florence, Italy The City of Lillies
Fort Myers, Florida The City of Palms
Frannie, WYBiggest Little Town in Wyoming
Gainesville, Florida Hogtown
Gallup, NMDrunk-Driving Capital of America
Gilroy, CA Garlic Capital of the World
Gotland, Sweden Pearl of the Baltic
Göteborg, Sweden Götet
Granby, COSnowmobile Capital of Colorado
Grants Pass, Oregon"It's the Climate" ... see http://www.webreview.com/swaine/2000/05_12_00.shtml
Grants Pass, OregonWhere the Rogue River Runs
Greenfield, CA Broccoli Capital of the World
Hammondsport, New York Cradle of Aviation
Hawthorne, CA The City of Good Neighbors (2)
Hershey, PAChocolate Town, USA
Hollywood Hollyweird
Hollywood Tinseltown
Holtville, CA Carrot Capital of the World
Hong Kong Pearl of the Orient
Hood River, Oregon (Columbia Gorge) Windsurfing Capital of the World
Hoople, North DakotaTater Town
Houston, Texas Magnolia City
Indianapolis, Indiana Naptown
Indianapolis, Indiana Circle City
Indianapolis, Indiana Railroad City
Indio, CA Date Capital of the World
International Falls, Minnesota The Icebox of the United States
Isleton, CACrawdad Town, USA
Jackson, Mississippi Chimneyville
Jaipur The Pink City
Jerusalem City of David
Jerusalem City of Peace
Jönköping, SwedenSmålands Jerusalem
Kalamazoo, Michigan Celery City
Kansas City, Kansas Heart of America
Kokomo, Indiana City of Firsts
Kristianstad, Sweden Lilla Paris (rare these days)
Keizer, OR Iris Capital of the World
Kelseyville, CA Pear Capital of the World (but see here).
Laramie, WYGem City of the Plains
Las VegasSin City
Las VegasEntertainment Capital of the World
Las VegasCity of Lights
Las Vegas, Nevada (downtown)Glitter Gulch
Las Vegas, Nevada (downtown)The Strip
Letchworth (UK, near Cambridge) The first Garden City in the World
Lodi, CAThe [Tokay] Grape Capital of the World (probably more popularly known as the place where Creedence Clearwater Revival got stuck in once, in the 1960's.)
London, England The Square Mile
London's financial district The City of London
London, Ontario The Forest City
Los Angeles The Big Orange
Los Angeles City of Angels
Los Angeles, California City of Flowers and Sunshine
Los Angeles La La Land
Los Banos City of the Spring Baths
Louisville, Kentucky City of Beautiful Churches
Louisville, Kentucky Falls City
Lowell, WYThe Rose City of Wyoming
Madison, Wisconsin Four Lake City
Manila, Philippines Pearl of the Orient
Mar del Plata, Argentina Queen of the Coast
Marysville, California Gateway to the Gold Fields
Medellin, Columbia Orchid City
Meeteetse, WYWhere Chiefs Meet
Melbourne, AustraliaCity of Chromatic Dissolution (not a real nickname, but I really liked the phrase. I'll have to dig up the film, someday.)
Memphis, TN Bluff City
Memphis, TN The City that Elvis Ruined (I get a Googlewhack for that one! Today, anyway.)
Miami, Florida Little Cuba
Miami, Florida Magic City
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Cream City
Minneapolis, Minnesota Flour City
Minneapolis The Mini Apple
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN The Twin Cities
Mobile, Alabama City of Five Flags
Montreal, Canada The City of Saints
Mountain Iron, Minnesota Taconite Capital of the World
Moyobamba, Peru Orchid City
Nashville, TN Music City, USA
New Haven, Connecticut Elm City
New Orleans The Big Easy
New Orleans The Crescent City
New York The Big Apple
New York The Capital of the World
New YorkThe City that Never Sleeps
New York Gotham
New York Empire City
New York The Melting Pot
New York/Manhattan The City
Norrköping, Sweden Peking
Noxubee County, Alabama Home of the Dancing Rabbit Festival and Magnolia Pilgrimage

(I know, it's not really a city, but how could I pass up a phrase like that?)

Oakdale, CA Cowboy Capital of the World
Oakland, CA Oaktown
Oroville, CA City of Gold
Oxford City of Dreaming Spires
Oxnard, CA Strawberry Capital of the World (but see here).
Paris City of Light
Pasadena, CA City of Roses
Patterson, CA Apricot Capital of the World
Pearsonville, CA Hubcap Capital of the World
Petaluma, CA Egg Basket of the World
Petra The Rose Red City
Philadelphia City of Brotherly Love
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Rebel Capital
Philadelphia, PAMortal City (per Dar Williams)
Pittsburgh, PA Steel City
Pittsburgh, PA The 'Burgh
Pittsburgh, PA Iron City
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania The Birmingham of America
Pittsburgh, PA (downtown) Golden Triangle
Pittsburgh, PA (downtown) Three Rivers
Pittsburgh, PA (region) City of Bridges
Placerville, CA Hangtown
Portland, Maine Forest City
Portland, Maine Hill City
Portland, Oregon City of Roses
Prague, Czech Republic The Golden City
Providence, Rhode Island Beehive of Industry
Quebec The Gibraltar of North America
Queenstown, NZ Extreme Sports Capital of the World
Redmond, WA Mordor
Redmond, WA Nerdburg
Reno, NV The Biggest Little City in the World
Reseda, CA The Hub of the West Valley (That's the San Fernando Valley)
Rigby, IdahoBirthplace of TV
There's a museum here, the "TV and Pioneer Museum". When I drove through, it made me wonder jest which of those Conestoga wagons had TVs, and how good the reception was.
Rincon (Santa Barbara County), California Queen of the Coast
Surfers' term. Not really a city.
Rochester, New York Kodak City
Rochester, New York Snapshot City
Rockport, MAThe Mendocino of the East
Rogue River Valley, OR Pear Capital of the World (but see here).
Rome The City of the Seven Hills
Rome, Italy The Eternal City
Rome, Italy City of Love
Rye, New York Border Town
Sacramento, California River City
Saint Louis, MOGateway to the West (or "The Gateway City")
Saint Paul, MinnesotaMoscow on the Mississippi
Saint Petersburg, Russia Venice of the North
Salem, Massachusetts City of Witches
Samal, Philipines Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS)
San Antonio, Texas Alamo City
San Antonio, Texas Mission City
San Diego, California The Plymouth of the West
San Diego, CA America's Finest City
San Francisco, California The Golden Gate City
San Francisco, California Shaky Town
San Francisco, CA Baghdad by the Bay
San Francisco, CA The City
North San Jose, CA The Golden Triangle
Santa Fe, New Mexico The City Different
Santa Rosa, NMThe SCUBA-diving capital of New Mexico
Saratoga Springs, New York Spa City
Savannah, Georgia Garden City
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario The SOO
Sault Ste. Marie, MI (I think) The SOO
Seattle, WA The Emerald City
Selma, CA Raisin Capital of the World
Shah Alam, Malaysia Orchid City
Sonora, CAThe Queen of the Southern Mines
Sri Lanka Pearl of the Indian Ocean
(I know, not really a city.)
Stockholm Eken (The Oak)
Stockholm Venice of the North
Stockton, CA California's Sunrise Seaport
Sturgis, MichiganCurtain Rod Capital of the World
Sundbyberg, Sweden Sumpan
Syracuse, New York Salt City
Taxco, MexicoSilver Capital of the World
Thousand Oaks, CA T.O.
Tijuana, MexicoTelevision Capital of the World
Toledo, Ohio Corn City
Toronto, Ontario Hogtown
Toronto, Ontario Muddy York (archaic, I think)
Toronto, Ontario T.O.
Toronto, Ontario Toronto the Good (sometimes pejorative)
Toronto, Ontario Trawna or Trahna
Toronto, Ontario, Canada Queen City
Tulelake, CA Horseradish Capital of the World
Umeå, SwedenBjörkarnas stad (The city of the birches)
(Historic) Vancouver, B.C., CanadaGastown
Venice, Italy Bride of the Sea
Venice, Italy Queen of the Adriatic
Värnersborg, SwedenLilla Paris (Little Paris)
Västerås Gurkstan (The Cucumber City)
Vicksburg, Mississippi The Gibraltar of America
Victoria, Australia The Cabbage Patch
Victoria, B.C., Canada Little England
Walla Walla, WA The Town So Nice They Named It Twice
Walla Walla, WA Walla2
Walla Walla, WA Wallyworld
Washington D.C. Capital City
Washington D.C. News Capital of the World
Waterbury, Connecticut Brass City
Wenatchee, WA Apple Capital of the World
West Hollywood, CA Boystown
West Hollywood, CA The Creative City
West Palm Beach, Florida Orchid City
Westwood, CAHome of Paul Bunyan & Babe, the Blue Ox

It seems that a celebrity like Paul Bunyan has several homes. I've actually seen him here in Westwood — and note that this is the Lassen County Westwood. (See http://www.westwoodchamber.com/ and also see Brainerd and Bemidji.)

Wheeling, West Virginia Nail City
Wichita, Kansas Emerald City
Windsor, Ontario Tijuana North

NOTES:

I used to have some of the following ones in the main list. I have moved these here mostly for not being unique enough (i.e., Google found too many candidates for the given honor).

I should probably move all of the "Queen City"s down here, too.

  • A recent contributor mentioned Coos Bay, Oregon as having (had) the official motto "City With a Future".

    Alas, Google says that this is one of the too-common ones:

    Lansing, KS; Mankato, MN (had this motto in 1912); Yokosuka, Japan; Ruda [approx equal]öl[florin]Öska, Poland; Massillon, Ohio; Fulton, NY?; Monett, MO; ¬¶widnica, Poland; Lisbon, Portugal; Sumner, Iowa; St Louis, MO; Tremonton, Utah

    And it has a few variations:

    Altus, Oklahoma: "City with a Future to Share"
    Kenai, Alaska: "THE VILLAGE WITH A PAST - THE CITY WITH A FUTURE"
    Lowell, Arkansas: "Town with a Past, City with a Future"
    Beersheba: "A place with a past, a city with a future"

  • "City of Champions" (Joliet, Illinois; Brockton, Massachusetts; Duncanville, Texas; Lilburn, Georgia; Edmonton, Alberta; Detroit, Michigan; Los Angeles, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).

    (Pittsburgh has really really bad Google-juice. I have a vague recollection that it (and Edmonton) were the two "City of Champions"s on my original list. But Pittsburgh is way down low on the Google-meter search for "City of Champions".)

  • "City of Gold" (Gold Beach, OR; Oroville, California; Cite de l'or, Quebec; Gold Coast City in Australia; Victor, Colorado; etc)

  • "City of Love" (Glasgow, San Francisco, Calcutta, Paris)

  • "City of Roses" — Pasadena, California (my first home town) has held the Rose Parade for more than a century now; this gives it first dibs on this monicker. I had also seen Portland, Oregon referred to this way. But Google gives the nod to ?Cape Girardeau, Missouri??? Weird.

  • The "City That Time Forgot" (Baldwin Park, CA; Galena, IL; New Orleans; Tikal, Guatemala; Bruges/Brugge, Belgium; and a host of others)

  • Cowtown (Both Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta; Chicago; Columbus, OH; Dallas; Kansas City; Wichita, KS; et al)

  • "The All-American City" (I gather there's an award by this name, whose value is enormously diluted by the fact that it is bestowed annually on 10 cities. It is the National Civic League that does this.) Here are a few of the winners, plus other places that claim this title either on the web, or in email I've seen lately: Tri-Cities of TN/VA; Ocean City, MD; Tuscaloosa-Northport Tupelo MI; Roswell, NM; Santa Clara, CA; Delray Beach, FL; South Miami, FL; Fort Dodge, IA; Howard County, MD; Ocean City, MD; Independence, MO; Bozeman, MT; Fayetteville, NC; Brownsville, TX; Allentown, PA

  • The End of the World. (Not to be confused with The End of the Internet, of which there are also a whole bunch). Trosa, Sweden; Ushuaia, Argentina; Anchorage, AK; Gibraltar

  • Gateway to the Rockies (Denver and Aurora Colorado; and Calgary, Hinton, and Banff, Alberta. Probably dozens of others.)

  • Devin T McLaughlin suggested a bunch of nicknames for Calgary; some ("Entrepreneurial City" and "Volunteer City") failed the google test (didn't really show up at all), and Cowtown fails in the other direction (see above).

  • Cotton Capital of { World, USA, Western Australia, etc... }

"The Garden City" is an unusual one: there appear to be a number of cities with "Garden" as a part of their real names, which makes it a bit hard to sift out and locate the one(s) where it's just a nickname. I left three of these in the main list; Christchurch is Phil Pearson's fault, and the others came from a Google search to see if the nickname was too common for my tastes.

pre-Thanksgiving update: Hogtown goes to Toronto mainly, though Gainesville put in a strong enough #2 showing. So at this point, only one of the nicknames from my original list remains unidentified -- i.e., I haven't quite figured out with enough certainty to put it back in place yet: "The Paris of the 1980's". Maybe Seattle. Gaining no confidence from Google, I'll probably just drop that one.

And the other two cities that I didn't find matches for are in Ontario, Canada — Copetown and Welland. My google efforts did not come up with any nickname for either.

These will have to wait until I re-locate my original list or check some of the other sites I've listed above.

Thanks to Erland, Margaret, Phil, Devin, Drew, Isaac, Kunaal, Dave Letterman, the film "Fargo", and anyone else who contributed suggestions!


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