New York City has been known by a variety of nicknames, both officially and unofficially, now and in the past. City nicknames can help in establishing a civic identity, helping outsiders recognize a community or attracting people to a community because of its nickname; promote civic pride; and build community unity. Nicknames and slogans that successfully create a new community "ideology or myth" are also believed to have economic value. Their economic value is difficult to measure, but there are anecdotal reports of cities that have achieved substantial economic benefits by "branding" themselves by adopting new slogans.
New York City is frequently shortened to simply "New York", "NY", or "NYC". New York City is also known as "The City" in some parts of the Eastern United States, in particular New York State and surrounding U.S. states. Other monikers have taken the form of "Hong Kong on the Hudson" or "Baghdad on the Subway", references in different cases to the city's prominence or its immigrant groups.
- The Big Apple: first used as a reference to the city's prominence in horse racing by John J. Fitz Gerald during the 1920s but made popular by a 1970s advertisement campaign
- The Capital of the World (Caput Mundi): popularized by the author E. B. White and by New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani
- The Center of the Universe: particularly in reference to Times Square
- The City So Nice They Named It Twice: a reference to "New York, New York" as both the city and state, spoken by Jon Hendricks in 1959 on a jazz cover of Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers' song Manhattan on George Russell's album New York, N.Y.
- The City That Never Sleeps: first used in 1912 article in the Fort Wayne News, and popularized by John Kander and Fred Ebb's song "New York, New York" from the Martin Scorsese 1977 film of the same name
- The Empire City: derived from George Washington in the alleged quote "Surely this is the seat of the empire!" though first published in an 1836 newspaper as "the Empire City of the New World"; also in reference to New York City's status as the most populous city in New York State, whose primary nickname is The Empire State.
- The Five Boroughs: a reference to the counties that consolidated into New York City in 1898, and often used to distinguish the city proper from Manhattan alone or the New York metropolitan area
- Fun City: taken from a phrase in 1966 uttered by then mayor John Lindsay in response to being asked if he still liked being mayor during a crippling transit strike.
- Gotham: first used by Washington Irving in his satirical periodical Salmagundi (1807) and made popular as the location of Batman comics, first specified in 1940
- The Greatest City in the World: reflective of the city's overall global prominence and cultural diversity.
- The Melting Pot: a reference to the wide variety of ethnicities and language groups in the city, and popularized by various authors including playwright Israel Zangwill in his 1908 play The Melting Pot
- Metropolis, popularized as the location of Superman comics, first specified in 1939 and itself an allusion to the setting of the Fritz Lang film Metropolis (1927), used to describe New York City in the daytime, in contrast to Gotham, sometimes used to describe New York City at night
- The Modern Gomorrah: referring to the sinfulness and organized crime of Manhattan, first popularized by Reverend Thomas De Witt Talmage in 1875 at the Brooklyn Tabernacle
- New Amsterdam: the original name of the Dutch colony prior to the English capture and renaming of the colony in 1665
- Muench, David "Wisconsin Community Slogans: Their Use and Local Impacts", December 1993, accessed April 10, 2007.
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- Sarah Moore (March 22, 2011). "Explore Manhattan Neighborhoods: The Center of the Universe (aka Times Square)". Her Campus Media. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
- "Times Square The Crossroads of the World". TimesSquare.com. October 30, 2009. Archived from the original on August 13, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
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- Nigro, Carmen (January 25, 2011). "So, why do we call it Gotham anyway?". New York Public Library. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
- Will Gleason (March 11, 2019). "Citing its diversity and culture, NYC was voted best city in the world in new global survey". TimeOut. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
After compiling the thoughts of over 30,000 people, both from our NYC readership and half-a-world away, New York was voted the greatest city on the planet for 2019. In a hint as to why this happened, and why now, it also lead the categories of most diverse metropolis and best culture.
- Kelsy Chauvin (March 15, 2019). "15 Things NOT to Do in New York City". Fodor's. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
There are more than 8.6 million citizens of New York City, and they’re pretty much all in a hurry. They’re also shrewd, outspoken, and proudly able to survive in a metropolis that tends to punish the meek. The buzzing subway system alone is a symbol of how this city works: part ballet, part battlefield. Residents and visitors alike can see why New York is considered the greatest city in the world.
- Daniels, Les (April 1, 2004). Superman:The Complete History. Chronicle Books. p. 26. ISBN 0-8118-4231-2.