New York: The Big Apple
In the 1909 book The Wayfarer of New York by Edward S. Martin, New York was first referred to as The Big Apple. The author wrote in his book how other cities saw New York as stingy and greedy. He used the phrase: The big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap.
Apparently that has stuck with people all this time. In the early 1970s, it was therefore decided in New York to use a large apple as a symbol of the city.
London: The Old Smoke
The British capital has been called The Old Smoke since 1952. A not so flattering nickname that London owes to the thick layer of smog that covered the city for five days. The pollution killed thousands of people. The disaster prompted the Clean Air Act, a ban on coal burning in urban areas.
Las Vegas: Sin City
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas … In the 20th century, things got wild in Block 16 in Las Vegas, the so-called sinful part of the city. There was plenty of alcohol being sold and drinking and there was a lot of prostitution. In other words: there was sinned. Las Vegas, for example, was nicknamed Sin City, a name that still sticks to the city.
Paris: The City of Love
Fancy a romantic weekend away? Paris is the place to be! There is no other city in the world as romantic as the French capital. No wonder it is seen by many people as the city of love.
Incidentally, Paris is also called City of Lights because the European city was the first in the world to use electric lanterns to illuminate the streets.
Amsterdam: Venice of the North
Canals that run right through the city, more than 100 kilometers long. Amsterdam looks a bit like Venice in that respect, hence the nickname.
Chicago: The Windy City
You would almost think that Chicago is (almost) always windy and that explains the nickname The Windy City. Although the wind can really blow, the city owes its nickname to politics.
Charles A. Dana, a reporter for The New York Times, once wrote about Chicago that the politicians were “full of wind,” that is, quite a lot of bragging rights. A statement that has lingered all these years.
Los Angeles: City of Angels
Los Angeles was given the Spanish nickname El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles (The City of the Queen of the Angels) in 1781. That was later shortened to the City of the Angels, or Los Angeles.
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