List of city nicknames in the United States

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Reno, Nevada, proudly displays its nickname as "The Biggest Little City in the World" on a large sign above a downtown street.

This partial list of city nicknames in the United States compiles the aliases, sobriquets and slogans that cities are known by (or have been known by historically), officially and unofficially, to municipal governments, local people, outsiders or their tourism boards or chambers of commerce. City nicknames can help in establishing a civic identity, helping outsiders recognize a community or attracting people to a community because of its nickname; promote civic pride; and build community unity.[1] Nicknames and slogans that successfully create a new community "ideology or myth"[2] are also believed to have economic value.[1] Their economic value is difficult to measure,[1] but there are anecdotal reports of cities that have achieved substantial economic benefits by "branding" themselves by adopting new slogans.[2]

In 2005 the consultancy Tagline Guru conducted a small survey of professionals in the fields of branding, marketing, and advertising aimed at identifying the "best" U.S. city slogans and nicknames. Participants were asked to evaluate about 800 nicknames and 400 slogans, considering several criteria in their assessments. The assigned criteria were: whether the nickname or slogan expresses the "brand character, affinity, style, and personality" of the city, whether it "tells a story in a clever, fun, and memorable way," uniqueness and originality, and whether it "inspires you to visit there, live there, or learn more."[3]

The top-ranked nickname in the survey was New York City's "The Big Apple," followed by "Sin City" (Las Vegas), "The Big Easy" (New Orleans), "Motor City" (Detroit), and "The Windy City" (Chicago). In addition to the number-two nickname, Las Vegas had the top-rated slogan: "What Happens Here, Stays Here." The second- through fifth-place slogans were "So Very Virginia" (Charlottesville, Virginia), "Always Turned On" (Atlantic City, New Jersey), "Cleveland Rocks!" (Cleveland, Ohio), and "The Sweetest Place on Earth" (Hershey, Pennsylvania).[3]

Some unofficial nicknames are positive, while others are derisive. The unofficial nicknames listed here have been in use for a long time or have gained wide currency.

Alabama

Alaska

Homer's welcome sign proclaims its nickname.

Arizona

Arkansas

Camden- Queen City

California

A

B

People's Park in Berkeley was a center of 1960s counterculture activity remembered in the sobriquet "The People's Republic of Berkeley."

C

Castroville's nickname celebrates its status as a producer of artichokes.

D

Dinuba, Fallbrook, and Selma have nicknames that celebrate the production of raisins.

E

F

G

Garlic ice cream is given away at the annual Garlic Festival in Gilroy, nicknamed Garlic Capital of the World.

H

I

L

M

N

O

P

Close-up view of one of the flower-bedecked floats in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, which calls itself the City of Roses.

R

S

Solvang's architecture reflects the Danish heritage celebrated by its nickname, Danish capital of America.

T

V

W

Y


Colorado


A

B

C

D

E

F

G

L

M

N

O

P

S

T

V

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Main article: Nicknames of Atlanta
  • Contemporary nicknames of Atlanta include:
    • The ATL,[324] for its airport code
    • The A: It is used in local media such as Only in the A, a video channel shown on MARTA rapid transit trains in Atlanta[325] and Straight from the A, a popular[326] Atlanta-based blog targeted at African Americans.[327] "The A" or "da A" is also used in hip hop and rap songs such as Ludacris and Lloyd's "How We Do It (in da A)", Lil Scrappy's "The A", and T.I.'s "In da A". Atlanta newspaper Creative Loafing listed as one of its "reasons to love Atlanta" that it's "the only city easily identified by just one letter".[328]
    • A-Town[329]
    • Black mecca[330]
    • City in a Forest[331] or City of Trees,[332] for its unique tree canopy
    • The Big Peach[14]
    • Dogwood City[333]
    • Hotlanta,[324] for its hot weather or its exciting nightlife, or both

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

For more details on this topic, see List of nicknames for Chicago.

Indiana

The nickname "Athens of the Prairie" was bestowed on Columbus, Indiana, due to the large assemblage of contemporary architecture and public sculpture in the city, including Henry Moore's "Large Arch."

Iowa


Kansas

  • Andover - Where the People are Warm Even When the Weather Isn't[73]

Kentucky

Nicknames for Lexington and Louisville celebrate the Bluegrass Region's horse farms and the state's most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby, held at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Nicknames for Eau Claire and Traverse City are a reminder that cherries are an important crop in Michigan.

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

Nicknames of several New Jersey communities celebrate their status as Jersey Shore resorts.

New Mexico

New York

Chazy calls itself the world capital of the McIntosh apple.
Cooperstown, site of the Baseball Hall of Fame where this plaque honoring Ty Cobb is displayed, lays claim to the title "Birthplace of Baseball."
Lockport's nickname of "Lock City" refers to the several Erie canal locks located in the city.

A

B

C

E

F

G

H

J

K

L

M

N

The city of Niagara Falls, New York, gets both its name and its nickname of "Cataract City" from the famous set of waterfalls known as Niagara Falls.

O

P

R

S

This 1907 postcard of Canfield Park and Saratoga Springs' nickname "the Spa City" both recall the era when the city's mineral springs and hotels made it a fashionable resort.

T

U

W

Y

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

A

B

C

D

F

G

H

K

L

M

N

P

R

S

T

V

U

W

X

Y

Z

Oklahoma

Oregon


Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

A-C

D-F

G-L

M-Q

R-T

U-Z

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Portsmouth - P-Town

Washington

Blaine's nickname celebrates the Peace Arch on the U.S. border with Canada.

West Virginia

Wisconsin

The nicknames of several Wisconsin communities celebrate the state's cheese-making industry. Cheese curds, shown here covered with batter and deep-fried, traditionally have been available only at cheese factories.

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

R

S

T

V

W


Wyoming

District of Columbia



Puerto Rico

See also

References

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  48. ^ "Freedom March Begins at Selma; Troops on Guard". New York Times. March 22, 1965. "Selma, which calls itself queen of the Alabama Black Belt -- the swath of rich, dark soil and heavy Negro population across south-central Alabama." 
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  120. ^ a b Colma, California
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  135. ^ City of Hercules website. Accessed October 29, 2008.
  136. ^ http://www.cityofinglewood.org/about/city_history.asp
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  140. ^ Due to earthquakes; a nickname shared with San Francisco, for similar reasons.
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