Can You Name These U.S. Cities From Their Nicknames?


By: Robin Tyler

6 Min Quiz

Image: Karsten May/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Just about every city in the world has a nickname. Admit it, you have wanted to journey to the "City of Love". Yes, Paris, the home of the romantic.

And so cities in the United States are no different, really. Pretty much every one has a nickname of some kind. Some have stood for years and years, while others are only recently acquired. And some cities have more than one. In fact, often three, or four, or five! Why? Well, things change, and nicknames become popular and then fall by the wayside. Kind of like politicians! 

So this quiz is filled with 35 nicknames for United States cities that you will have to name. And of course, some of them are going to be dead easy. I mean, who doesn't know which American city is called "The Big Apple". You don't? Just kidding.

While some are easy, others are a little harder and are going to push your gray matter to the limit. But you are up for this! A score of around 27/35 would really be a good attempt but maybe you should try for at least 30!

So let's quit the talking and get to the action.!

What are you waiting for?

Good luck! 

"The Big Apple" refers to which American city?

The name "Big Apple" first appeared in the writing of a 1920s sports reporter, John J. Fitzgerald. In the 1970s it became very popular thanks to its use in many tourist promotions. Did you know that New York was originally called New Amsterdam?


Of these listed below, which city is known as "The Windy City?"

Although Chicago has many nicknames, including "The Big Onion", most know it as the "Windy City". The term was first used in around 1876. Strangely, Chicago is not the windiest city in the United States. Go figure!


And the "City of Angels?" Which US city does that nickname refer to?

And why the "City of Angels?" Well, it is simple really. In Spanish, the words Los Angeles mean "The Angels". It is also known as "The Big Orange", the "City of Flowers and Sunshine" and "La La Land".


"Magic City" refers to which coastal city in the United States?

"Magic City," why? Well, apparently it has something to do with Miami's exponential growth. Between 1896 and 2006 it went from a population of 1,000 to 5.5 million. Just like magic!


"Motor City" is also known as ______

Detroit is home to the American motor industry. Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler. All their major plants were based here. And that's why Detroit will forever be known as motor city.


If you visited "Sin City," where would you be going?

OK, it's the hedonistic capital of the world. So "Sin City" relates, right? The name actually predates the casinos and strip joints, however. The Las Vegas newspaper, the Las Vegas Sun, believes the name actually comes from a legendary house of ill repute that was found in the city in the early 1900s.


A person visiting "The Big Easy" is visiting which of these cities below?

A fairly new nickname, New Orleans has been called "The Big Easy" since the '70s. It comes from a James Conway novel of the same name published in 1970 while Betty Guillaud, a popular newspaper columnist also started using it.


This city has plenty of nicknames. One of them is "Frisco"

San Francisco has many, many nicknames. "Frisco" a name that was disparaged in the past has made quite a comeback in the past few years. Other nicknames include "Bay City", "Fog City" and "The Golden Gate City."


The US city known as "Philly" is?

"West Philadelphia born and raised".... Home of the Fresh Prince, Will Smith, Philadelphia is commonly known as "Philly". It is also called "The City of Brotherly Love" and "The Athens of America". And now you can't stop singing the theme to "The Fresh Prince of Belair" can you?


Officially, "Emerald City" is the nickname of ________?

Also known as "Jet City" as it is home to Boeing, Seattle's official nickname is "Emerald City". This was given to it in 1982. Other nicknames include "City of Flowers" from the 1940s and "Queen City", the other official name before "Emerald City".


"The city so nice, they named it twice" is....

That is the greatest nickname for a city ever! Found in Walla Walla County in Washington, this city is home to around 30,000 people. It is named after the Native American people that called the area around the city home.


Umm, OK, so which city in the United States is known as "Big D?"

It's a slightly strange nickname, that's for sure. Having said that, it dates back to the 1930s and is a reference to the size of the city. Dallas is also called "D-Town."


A visit to "Mile High City" means a trip to which of these below?

No, nothing strange going on here. The "Mile High City" nickname comes from the fact that Denver is one mile higher than sea-level. It is also called "Wall Street of the West" by some.


Certainly sounds like a tough place, does "Steel City". But what US city is it?

Pittsburgh was built on the steel industry. Hence the nickname, "Steel City". It sounds pretty cool. Far better than the other options, "The Burgh" or "Birmingham of America".


A song helped popularize the name "Hotlanta" for this American city.

Yes, "Hotlanta" is Atlanta, Georgia. Thanks to an Allman Brothers Band song of the same name, and the fact that Atlanta is pretty hot and muggy, the name stuck from the 1970s onward. Truckers call the city "The Big A" in trucker slang and it is also known as "A-Town" or "Big Peach".


When visiting "Space City" you would be in?

Well, the home of the Johnson Space Center means that Houston would really not have any other kind of nickname, would it? It would always be associated with space. This is where all NASA space missions are controlled from, at the famed Mission Control.


"Bean Town" is the nickname for?

Bostonites affectionately call their city "Beantown". And apparently it comes from a love of beans baked in molasses. A staple of sailors visiting the town, Boston quickly became known as "Beantown".


______ is known in the United States as the "City of Witches".

Also known as the "City of Peace", it's the nickname to do with witches that will always stick. After all, 19 "witches" were killed in Salem in the late 1600s. Interestingly, it is thought they were burned at the stake. The 14 women and 5 men were, in fact, hanged.


Can you name the American city known by the nickname "City of Lakes?"

With 13 lakes, it is easy to understand the "City of Lakes" nickname for Minneapolis. It has also been called "Mill City", the "Mini Apple" and strangely enough, the "City of Flour and Sawdust".


If you were in the "City of Fountains" which city in America would you be in?

Yes, Kansas City is known as the "City of Fountains". But that's not its only nickname. What about "KC" or "KCMO" or the "Heart of America?". Kansas was founded in 1850.


A trip to "The Valley in the Sun" would see you in ______?

Phoenix, Arizona is the most populous state capital in America and home to around 1.6 million people. Found in Salt River Valley, it is often called "The Valley of the Sun" or sometimes simply "The Valley".


Name a city in the United States which goes by the nickname of "Alamo City".

Founded as a Spanish colonial outpost in 1718, San Antonio is the second biggest city in Texas. It is forever linked with the famous battle at the Alamo mission in which a handful of soldiers under the command of James Bowie and William Barrett Travis (which included Davy Crockett) held out against a superior Mexican force until eventually succumbing while battling for Texas independence. For that reason, San Antonio is often called "Alamo City".


If you found yourself in "America's Finest City" where would you be?

120 miles from Los Angeles in the south of California you will find San Diego, which sits near the Mexican border. Other than being known as the birthplace of California, San Diego is called "America's Finest City" by the locals.


"Music City U.S.A." is which city in Tennessee?

Without a doubt, if a city had the perfect nickname, it would be Nashville. Because it certainly is a music city! After all, it is the home of that American country music institution, the Grand Ole Opry.


The US city that calls itself the "Live music capital of the world" is?

Austin has many nicknames, but in 1991, thanks to the fact that so much live music actually happens here, another arrived. This was the "Live music capital of the world". And it sort of stuck!


Which of the American cities below is known as the "River City?"

"River City" is not the only nickname for Jacksonville, Florida. It is also known as "Jax", "J-Ville" and "The Bold New City of the South". Jacksonville is home to just over 800,000 people,


An early nickname for this US city was "Arch City". Which city are we talking about?

In the early 20th Century, Columbus was filled with wooden arches, hence the name "Arch City." It has gained others over the years, including "The Discovery City," "Cowtown" and "The Biggest Small Town in America."


A famous motorsport mecca, which city is also called the "Crossroads of America?"

Of course, Indianapolis is famous for motorsport, particularly the Indy 500. It also has many nicknames including "Crossroads of America," "Indy" and "Circle City".


Where would you be if you took a vacation in the "Big Pineapple?"

Honolulu is the state capital of Hawaii. Interestingly, it is the most remote city in the world of that size. Although most know it as the "Big Pineapple", Honolulu is also called the "Crossroads of the Pacific" and strangely enough, "Town."


"The Big Friendly" refers to which US city?

Although it is sometimes referred to as "OKC" a popular nickname for Oklahoma City is "The Big Friendly". The city, with a population of over 600,000, was founded in 1889.


When at the "Crossroads of the West," where would you be?

Salt Lake City was founded in 1847 by members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Today, it is home to around 200,000 people while over a million live in the greater metropolitan area. It is known as the "Crossroads of the West."


This is an interesting one. What US city is known as "The Old Pueblo?"

The name Tucson is derived from the Spanish word for at the base of the hill. The nickname "Old Pueblo" is traced back to a mayor of the city in the 1880s, Mayor R. N. "Bob" Leatherwood. A competition was run in the 1980s for a new nickname, but the winner "Sunshine Factory" never really caught on.


"The Forest City" is the nickname of which American city?

Other nicknames for Cleveland include "216" or "America's North Coast" but it is the oldest, "The Forest City" that is a favorite for many. Cleveland was founded in 1796 but incorporated as a city in 1836.


If you went to the "Big Guava" on America's West Coast, where would you be?

The nickname "The Big Guava" was first used in the 1970s and like many other city nicknames, it came from a newspaper columnist. He was Steve Otto and he wrote for the Tampa Times and Tampa Tribune.


"The City of Lights and Flowers" is ______?

Although a relatively small city, with over 200,000 people, Anchorage contains more than 40% of Alaska's population. The city is known by a few nicknames including "Los Anchorage" and the "The City of Lights and Flowers."


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