7 Top Cincinnati Nicknames (And How it Got Them)

Cincinnati now goes by a lot of nicknames, some of which include The Queen City, The Queen of the West, and The Blue Chip City, among others.

Cincinnati is one of the most populous cities in Ohio. It was named after a Roman soldier named Cincinnatus by Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Territory in 1790.

Read on to learn more about Cincinnati’s nicknames and how it earned those names.

List of Cincinnati Nicknames

Let’s take a look at some of the nicknames the city of Cincinnati goes by, as well as the reasons behind those names.

1. Cincy

Cincinnati now goes by a lot of nicknames, some of which include The Queen City, The Queen of the West, and The Blue Chip City, among others.

There was an ongoing poll on Reddit among city residents about the spelling of this nickname, whether it should be Cincy or Cinci.

Some argued that it should be Cinci because of the original spelling of the city name. However, many thought Cinci was a weird spelling for the nickname.

On August 4, 2022, The Cincinnati Enquirer picked up the debate and also posted a Twitter poll for Cincinnatians on how the nickname should be spelled.

The final results showed that 95% of the voters knew it to be Cincy. A Reddit voter even said that it has always been spelled “Cincy” on University of Cincinnati gear and apparel and the user agrees.

So, that debate has been settled by the people themselves. It’s Cincy and not Cinci.

2. The ’Nati

This is another shortened form of the city’s name. Cincinnati got this nickname in recent decades, thanks to the youth hip scene of the younger generation.

Some members of the city’s younger population would call it “Nasty ’Nati” because the city has a reputation of being dirty and polluted. Though, of course, this nickname could be offensive coming from outsiders.

3. The Queen City

Cincinnati, which was founded in 1788, has been known as The Queen City since 1819, when it was first acknowledged as a city.

By then, it was the largest city in Ohio with the densest population of any city in the United States.

It was the locals that actually called it that first, because Cincinnati was a hub for culture, arts, and civilization in the 1820s.

In the 1850s, Cincinnati was the largest and most advanced city in the United States. And by the 1890s, it had become a center for industry, with industries in iron production, meatpacking, cloth production, and woodworks. It had also become a center for literature, education, and policy in both Ohio and the whole country.

The nickname has stuck since then, even when other cities have also grown and may have surpassed Cincinnati.

4. The Queen of the West

This nickname is related to the moniker “The Queen City.” It was also around that time when Cincinnati was called “The Queen of the West.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote about this in 2020 and mentioned that the earliest reference to this nickname was found in the Inquisitor and Cincinnati Advertiser on May 4, 1819 by Ed B. Cooke.

The nickname gained further recognition and permanent status when renowned American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem Catawba Wine in 1854. In this poem, he called Cincinnati “The Queen of the West.”

In the 1890s, Cincinnati was a center for literature and education in addition to industry and politics. It had hundreds of newspapers that cater to the large population. It also had a public library, an art academy, and an art museum.

There’s no doubt that Cincinnati was one of the first cities that pushed western expansion in America.

5. The Blue Chip City

Cincinnati was given this nickname in an effort to encourage business growth in the city when, between 1979 and 1983, it lost over 34,000 jobs.

The Cincinnati Chamber thought the city needed a brand because they found out that they had no image or recall among business decision makers.

So, in 1984, they launched a campaign called the Blue Chip Campaign, choosing the blue chip as a theme to carry an image of stability in the business community.

However, in the years that followed, the moniker would stick because of Cincinnati’s Blue Chip Cookies, which was an effort to market the brand of the city being the Blue Chip City.

Blue Chip Cookies in Cincinnati opened in 1986. It was actually a franchise of the first Blue Chip Cookies store that opened in San Francisco, California in 1983.

6. The CIty of Seven Hills

This nickname for Cincinnati came from the city being situated in a basin surrounded by seven hills, though some would argue that they were only slight inclines in reality.

The seven hills form a crescent from the east bank of the Ohio River to the west bank. It has even been compared to Rome because of this.

The seven hills were first mentioned in “Article III–Cincinnati: Its Relations to the West and South,” from the West American Review, and they were identified as Walnut Hills, Mount Auburn, Mount Adams, Vine Street Hill, Fairmount, College Hill, and Mount Harrison.

But local residents have had questions about the seven hills that the city’s pioneering settlers talked about.

There was even a debate on whether the seven hills were actually ten hills because, in “The History of Cincinnati, Ohio,” written in 1881, the authors Henry A. Ford and Kate B. Ford wrote that there were ten hills. This topic was even debated in the city’s local newspapers over the years.

According to research,  three hills have been lumped together and this made up what is Mount Harrison, also known as Price Hill.

The debate may still be ongoing even until today, but the nickname has stuck.

7. Porkopolis

Cincinnati was an important meatpacking center in the 1800s and a center for pork processing in the country.

Farmers brought in their livestock for slaughter, processing, and packing. Because of this, the city was known as the “Porkopolis” of the United States.


There may be other nicknames for the city of Cincinnati, but these are the more popular ones. It’s fun to know these monikers and have deeper knowledge about the city and its rich history, especially if you’re a resident of Cincinnati.