What are the origins of some famous city nicknames?

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What Are the Origins of Some Famous City Nicknames?


Many city nicknames roll off the tongue like it's second nature. New York City is, of course, "the Big Apple." Paris is the "City of Love." Los Angeles is the "City of Angels."

They're a given at this point -- but we'd also venture to guess not too many people know how those nicknames came about.

Online travel guide and flight finder "Just The Flight" created a simple infographic with brief origin stories for some of the more high-profile citynicknames. Here are a few that grabbed our attention.

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What are the origins of some famous city nicknames?
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What are the origins of some famous city nicknames?

New York (Big Apple): According to The New York Times, the earliest mention of NYC as the "Big apple" comes from an excerpt in Edward S. Martin's "The Wayfarer in New York" in 1909.

Credit: Shutterstock

Chicago (Windy City): Some believe the "Windy City" nickname actually refers to political rivalries between Chicago and Cincinnati. One writer basically accused some Chicago politicians of being full of hot air.

Credit: Shutterstock

Las Vegas (Sin City): Last up is Las Vegas. "Sin City" got its name from an area of the city called Block 16, which was a popular haven for selling alcohol and for offering prostitution.

Credit: Shutterstock

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According to The New York Times, the earliest mention of NYC as the "Big apple" comes from an excerpt in Edward S. Martin's "The Wayfarer in New York" in 1909.

It reads: "Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. ... It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap."

While that might be the earliest reference, many believe the nickname really didn't become common parlance until about the 1920s when a sports writer started using it in horse racing stories.

Next up, a city nickname with a story that fools a lot of people. Chicago is often called the "Windy City," but that moniker's origins might have a richer story than just gusts whipping off Lake Michigan.

Some believe the nickname actually refers to political rivalries between Chicago and Cincinnati. One writer basically accused some Chicago politicians of being full of hot air.

Last up is Las Vegas. "Sin City" got its name from an area of the city called Block 16, which was a popular haven for selling alcohol and for offering prostitution.

The whole area would be destroyed during World War II, but somehow the "Sin City" nickname was never forgotten and stayed with Vegas to this day.

To read more city nickname origins, head over to the Just The Flight website.

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