An international brand resource for neighbourhoods, towns, cities, regions and economic clusters.

The Unofficial Brand: The Ten Best Place Nicknames.

Posted by Riley Taiji
A place's brand is usually the result of a careful and meticulous marketing strategy drawn up by some suits in a boardroom. But many times, a place's true brand comes from the unofficial image created by the outside world. Here, we give ode to our top Ten favourite location nicknames that have become that place's unofficial brand—whether they like it or not.


  1. Baltimore, MD—'Bodymore'
    This city's nickname stems from continually having one of the highest homicides per capita rates in America.
  2. Dover, DE—'The City That Means Well…'
    A part from an old George Carlin bit has stuck for the city of Dover.
  3. Concord, New Hampshire—'City in a Coma'
    A city notorious for its lack of nightlife—it seems to roll up its carpets at around 8pm.
  4. Boston, MA—'Beantown'
    When, slave trading, the city became chopped full of molasses, beans cooked in the gooey syrup became very popular. Hence the name, Beantown.
  5. New Orleans, LA—'The Big Easy'
    Though the 1987 Dennis Quaid movie of the same name would probably like to take credit, this nickname stems back to the early nineteen hundreds and refers to the ease with which a struggling jazz musician could find work, and also alludes to New Orleans' loose laws on liquor consumption at that time.
  6. San Francisco, CA—'Baghdad by the Bay'
    Based on a on a famous Herb Caen column, this name was supposed to reflect the city's multiculturalism and exotic character. Hmm. Whatever it meant, the name has stuck.
  7. Detroit, MI—'The Motor City'
    Home to the headquarters of the American automotive manufacturers, it's pretty clear where this city got its nickname.
  8. Chicago, IL—'The Windy City'
    The origins of this famous nickname are widely debated — is it the weather or the city's notorious politicians? —suffice to say, it's a handle that has stuck for almost a century.
  9. New York City, NY—'The Big Apple'
    Another nickname whose roots are widely debated, many say that this name stems from 1920's horse racing, where jockeys said to win a race in New York City was to win 'the big apple'.
  10. Las Vegas, NV—'Sin City'
    This nickname refers to the seven deadly sins, and how, without looking too hard, they can all be found in Vegas.


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