Nicknames of New York City

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A sculpture of a red apple with the New York Mets logo on it rises above a black pedestal with the words "Home Run" in large letters.
A model of a big apple is located outside of Citi Field, the New York Mets' baseball ballpark, in Queens.

During its four-century history, New York City has been known by a variety of alternative names and euphemisms, both officially and unofficially. Frequently shortened to simply "New York", "NY", or "NYC", New York City is also known as "The City" in some parts of the Eastern United States, in particular, New York State and surrounding U.S. states.[1] New Yorkers also use "The City" to refer specifically to the borough of Manhattan.[2]

Common nicknames[edit]

Various nicknames are featured on a wall at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
  • The Big Apple – first published as a euphemism for New York City in 1921 by sportswriter John J. Fitz Gerald, who claimed he had heard it used the prior year by two stable hands at the New Orleans Fair Grounds because of the large prizes available at horse races in New York.[3] Later made popular by a 1970s advertisement campaign.[4][5]
  • The Empire City – derived from George Washington in the alleged quote "Surely this is the seat of the empire!" though first published in an 1836 newspaper as "the Empire City of the New World";[18] also in reference to New York City's status as the most populous city in New York State,[22] whose primary nickname is The Empire State.

Historic nicknames[edit]

  • America's City – a term positioning New York City as emblematic of the country post 9/11, as its premier metropolis[29][30][31]
  • Fun City – taken from a phrase in 1966 uttered by then mayor John Lindsay in response to being asked if he still liked being mayor during a crippling transit strike.[32][22] This nickname was also later derisively played on by NYPD's largest police union, who used the term "Fear City" in response to city budget cutbacks during the 1970s.[33][34]
  • The Modern Gomorrah – referring to the "sinfulness" and organized crime of Manhattan, first popularized by Reverend Thomas De Witt Talmage in 1875 at the Brooklyn Tabernacle[18]

Historical names[edit]

Names by which the parts of New York City in Lower Manhattan were officially deemed during the 17th century included:


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