Boston and its thousand nicknames

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Boston is the city of many nicknames:


  • The City on a Hill, which came from governor John Winthrop’s goal, of the original Massachusetts Bay Colony, to create the biblical “City on a Hill.” It also refers to the original three hills of Boston.
  • The Hub, which is a shortened form of a phrase recorded by writer Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Hub of the Solar System.


  • The Athens of America, which is a title given by William Tudor, co-founder of the North American Review, for Boston’s great cultural and intellectual influence.
  • The Puritan City, which was given in reference to the religion of the city’s founders.
  • The Cradle of Liberty, which derives from Boston’s role in instigating the American Revolution.
  • City of Notions, which was coined in the nineteenth century.
  • America’s Walking City, which was given due to Boston’s compact and high density nature, which has made walking an effective and popular mode of transit in the city. .
  • Beantown, which refers to the regional dish of baked beans. This nickname is almost exclusively used by non-Bostonians and is rarely used by natives.
  • Titletown, which refers to Boston’s historic dominance in the world of sports, specifically the Boston Celtics, who have won 17 NBA Championships.
  • City of Champions, which—much like Titletown—refers to Boston’s recent streak of dominance in sports, with the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, and New England Patriots each winning World (i.e. national) Championships in the last decade.
  • The Olde Towne, which comes from the fact that Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States.


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