10 Best Nicknames for New York City

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The 10 best nicknames for New York City and their origin.

The Empire City. David Stravitz first printed this name in his photographic book titled New York, Empire City: 1920-1945.  It represents New York City’s wealth and resources. First president George Washington saw New York as the “seat of empire”.

The Big Apple.  In 1971, the name was officially adopted to increase tourism and NYC’s image.  Jazz musicians called New York City “the Big Apple” in the 1920s and 1930s.  They got the term from a horse track worker who said where to a horserace in NYC was referred to as the Big Apple.

The City that Never Sleeps.  A New York City nickname popularized from lyrics in the song “New York, New York” by the one and only Frank Sinatra. A no brainer, many stores and eateries are open 24 hours a day and bars close at 4am.

The World’s Biggest Urban Playground. NYC was named this because immigrant children played stickball throughout the New York Streets in the 1930s.  Stickball is stilled played on New York streets today along with other sports like street hockey, football, baseball, and even cricket.

The Melting Pot. No settlement in the New World was as racially integrated as the Dutch settlement New Amsterdam, later renamed New York, after the British assumed control.  The term Melting Pot was first used in publication by Israel Zangwill in his play adapted from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet titled The Melting Pot in 1908.

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