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Tanya’s Tips: American Cities and Nicknames
Tanya’s Tips: American Cities and Nicknames

Tanya’s Tips: American Cities and Nicknames

February 12, 2021

3 -min read

Many major cities in the U.S. have special nicknames. If you don’t know what they are, you may get confused when you hear Americans use them in everyday life.

I’ve put together a list of my favorite cities – see if you can guess their special names. Does the city where you come from have a nickname?

New York City: The Big Apple

The correct answer is: The phrase is generally used to refer to anything that is the biggest or best of its kind (like NYC!).

Boston: Beantown

The correct answer is: Baked beans cooked in molasses has been a traditional local dish in this area.

Chicago: The Windy City

The correct answer is: According to legend, local politicians in the 19th century were “windbags bellowing hot air.”

New Orleans: The Big Easy

The correct answer is: Jazz originated there, and there was reportedly a jazz club called the Big Easy in the 1900s.

Denver: The Mile High City

The correct answer is: The city has a 5,280-foot (or one-mile high) elevation point.

In his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Dr. Martin Luther King:

The correct answer is: Outlines the long history of racial injustice in America

Seattle: The Emerald City

The correct answer is: The city has a lot of immense parks and green spaces.

Miami: The Magic City

The correct answer is: It became a city very quickly, nearly overnight: from a simple plantation, to a resort, and finally a big tourist destination.

Las Vegas: Sin City

The correct answer is: It’s a destination synonymous with gambling, drinking, and other vices.

Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love”

The correct answer is: The name of the city has Greek origin: philos, “love” or “friendship”, and adelphos, “brother”.


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An international exchange alumna originally from Ukraine, Tanya started her career at InterExchange in 2011. Tanya is passionate about travel and cultural exchange and enjoys meeting J-1 exchange participants at InterExchange events.


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