Nicknames of Vancouver

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"Saltwater City" redirects here. For the book, see Saltwater City: An Illustrated History of the Chinese in Vancouver.

There are many nicknames for the city of Vancouver, the largest city in British Columbia and third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Some reflect the city's history, climate, geography, economy, and demographics. Others have their origins in cultural aspects of the city and its inhabitants.

History[edit]

The first non-aboriginal settlement in the area was known as Gastown. This name continues today as a nickname for Vancouver, although more specifically for the original core of the city, which is part of the Downtown Eastside.

Geography and climate[edit]

  • Rain City (or Raincouver or the Wet Coast) - Vancouver receives on average 1,199mm of rainfall a year (YVR).[1] Especially during the winter months, the city has a reputation for wet weather.
  • Saltwater City (Chinese: 鹹水埠) - The name for Vancouver used by early Chinese immigrants to the city.[3]

Industry[edit]

  • Hollywood North[4] - the city is home to the fourth-largest film and television production industry in North America, after L.A., New York and Toronto.[5]
  • The Big Smoke - Vancouver's heavy fogs in combination with the many sawmill burners and other industrial pollution produced thick smog. Common as slang and in casual usage.[6][7][8] It is also used outside of BC for Toronto, London, Sydney and other places. Very common in use within BC, especially in the BC Interior, when both Vancouver and the Lower Mainland in general.

Culture[edit]

  • Lotusland - coined by Vancouver Sun writer Allan Fotheringham, Lotusland refers to Homer's Odyssey, in which the hero, Odysseus, visits a land whose inhabitants are befuddled by a narcotic lotus (the "Land of the Lotus-Eaters"). It sometimes is used to describe all of British Columbia.[10]
  • City of Glass - taken from the title of a Douglas Coupland book, this name reflects the dominant steel-and-glass architectural aesthetic of the city's downtown.[11]
  • No Fun City - a long-time nickname[12] which can refer to a variety of things depending on use and context. It can refer to some of the city's cultural policies that result in a less lively local music scene,[12] to a perceived "lame" nightlife.[13]
  • Blandcouver - similar to 'No Fun City,' this nickname[14] is often used by self-deprecatingly by locals who think Vancouver's cosmopolitanism is over-hyped. [15]

Demographics[edit]

  • Hongcouver - A name with allegedly xenophobic connotations, it came into use in the 1980s and 1990s though is only heard today ironically, or when analysed by political writers and journalists. Although Vancouver has had a large Chinese community from its earliest days, the Chinese population surged as large numbers of Hong Kong citizens immigrated prior to the British handover of that city in 1997.[16]

Diminutives[edit]

  • Van - common outside of BC, but few Vancouver residents use this
    • East Van - not common outside of BC, but most residents of East Vancouver use this
  • Vancity - popular with the Canadian hip hop community (also the name of a credit union, Vancity)
  • The Couve - the middle section of the city's name, popular with young locals as well as tourists.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000". Environment Canada. 2009-04-30. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Editors' Picks: City history and landmarks". Georgia Straight. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  3. ^ By Any Other Name: Salt Water City, Vancouver is Awesome, 6 December 2011
  4. ^ "B.C. Facts". Province of British Columbia. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  5. ^ BC Film Commission
  6. ^ Attention Vancouver: INCOMING!, Raincoaster Media, 2 May 2014
  7. ^ Moving to the Big Smoke, Shari van Spronsen
  8. ^ "The Big Smoke", Mooie, Third Gardener blog
  9. ^ Hampson, Sarah (October 22, 2007). "Prince of pot or dope of Vansterdam?". Toronto: Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  10. ^ Grant, Kelly; Mehler Paperny, Anna. "How cities grow – up is in". Toronto: Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  11. ^ Rowe, Dan. "A career spent being curious about Vancouver". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b James, Melissa. "No Fun City - About". No Fun City. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  13. ^ Moxley, Mitch. "Welcome To Vancouver: 'No Fun City'". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Blandcouver". Scout Magazine: Vancouver Lexicon. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Blandcouver (@blandcouver)". Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  16. ^ Cernetig, Michael. "Chinese Vancouver: A decade of change". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved July 28, 2010.