The city of brotherly love and sisterly affection has so many nicknames that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Here are 11 Philadelphia nicknames.
Hundreds of names for Philly are floating around, and many have fascinating histories. From the City of Brotherly Love to the Quaker City, many monikers come from different eras in the city’s history.
Many nicknames were used as advertisements to encourage people to visit or live there. Others were just pop culture references that stuck with time. You might think it’s weird for a city to have so many nicknames, but for any local, you know that most of these are endearing.
Some of these date back hundreds of years! Keep reading to learn more about why this historic city has so many monikers.
List of Philadelphia Nicknames
1. The Cradle of Liberty
One of Philadelphia’s most well-known nicknames is the Cradle of Liberty.
It was the site of many important events in the country’s history, such as the First Continental Congress, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the adoption of the Constitution.
Many of the Founding Fathers, including George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, were from the area.
If you visit the city today, you’ll find many monuments and historical sites that mark the city’s rich history.
The Liberty Bell, for example, is one of the most well-known symbols of the city. It was famously rung to announce the adoption of the Constitution.
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2. The Birthplace of America
Another name for Philadelphia is the Birthplace of America. That’s because it’s where the nation was officially founded.
When the British closed their borders to trade with the colonies, a group of representatives from the 13 colonies met in Philadelphia.
They drafted the “Declaration of Independence,” which announced their break from the British Empire.
Today, you can visit Independence Hall, which is where that critical meeting took place. You can also see the Liberty Bell and many other Philadelphia landmarks that mark the city’s rich history.
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3. The Quaker City
Quaker City is one of Philadelphia’s oldest nicknames. It comes from the city’s Quaker roots, dating back to the 1600s.
The Quakers were a religious group that migrated to the city from England. They were also responsible for the city’s name, as they named it after “Philadelphia” in Asia Minor.
Many of Philadelphia’s most famous buildings are from when the Quakers were in power, including the “State House” (now called Independence Hall), the “Old State House,” and the “Benjamin Franklin Bridge.”
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4. The City that Loves You Back
The City that Loves You Back is another affectionate name for Philadelphia. This nickname was coined during the “City of Brotherly Love” era.
The city’s welcoming nature inspired the nickname. People came to Philadelphia from many different places, and the locals always made them feel at home.
If you visit the city, you’ll probably get hugged by a friendly local.
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5. The Athens of America
Philadelphia was known as the Athens of America because of its many important colleges and universities: the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania Health System, and Drexel University.
These schools were among the first in the country, dating all the way back to the colonial era.
At the time, Philadelphia was a major center of learning and culture. It was often compared to Athens, Greece, which was also a center of education and culture. These nicknames are more recent. They came about during the rise of the “City of Brotherly Love” era.
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6. The City of Brotherly Love
The City of Brotherly Love is a very famous nickname for Philadelphia. It refers to the welcoming nature of the people who live in the city.
They are well known for being warm and friendly and have no problem welcoming visitors (or new residents) with open arms.
This name was used heavily during the “City that Loves You Back” era when the city was trying to attract people to move there.
It’s still used today, but it has a more historical connotation.
7. The City of Neighborhoods
Philadelphia is also known as the City of Neighborhoods.
This nickname refers to the fact that the city is made up of many different neighborhoods, each with its own distinct culture and personality.
The city is home to many neighborhoods, many of which are historic and have existed since the city’s founding.
The city’s strong sense of community is something that has always been a part of Philadelphia culture. It’s part of the reason why this city is so special.
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8. The City of Firsts
The City of Firsts refers to the many important “firsts” that happened in Philadelphia throughout the years.
The city is home to the first hospital, zoo, stock exchange, and many other important institutions.
Additionally, Philadelphia was the first American city to be connected to a mass transit system and the first to host a World’s Fair.
These nicknames came about more recently. They were coined as an advertisement for Philadelphia, as the city was trying to attract new residents.
9. The City of Sisterly Love
The City of Sisterly Love is another name for Philadelphia.
It’s similar to the City of Brotherly Love, but it typically refers to the relationship between women in Philadelphia.
The city was a major hub in the feminist movement of the early 20th century. Many prominent female figures lived in the city then, including Susan B. Anthony, Emma Goldman, and Clara Barton.
These nicknames are more recent. They came about as an advertisement to attract more women to the city.
10. The Workshop of the World
The Workshop of the World is the only nickname on this list that describes the city’s industry.
It was coined during the Industrial Revolution when Philadelphia was a central hub for the industry.
Many of the world’s first major industries were in Philadelphia, including the textile and chemical industries.
The city’s booming business sector attracted immigrants from all over the world, and many of those people settled in the city.
It’s a fitting nickname for Philadelphia, as it describes how integral the city was to the development of the country.
Lastly, we have Philly, which is the most recent nickname on this list.
Philly was a nickname that was only recently adopted and is used interchangeably with Philadelphia.
This nickname is a reminder of how easy it is to say the city’s name, and it’s a great way to spread the word.
This nickname is a newer addition to the nicknames in Philadelphia, and it’s one of the most popular ones.
It’s a great example of how Philadelphia is such a historic city, but it’s also modern and easy to engage with.
You should now know 11 Philadelphia nicknames (and why it has those nicknames!) From the Cradle of Liberty to the City that Loves You Back, Philadelphia has many monikers representing its diverse culture and history.
Jason Dempsey is the CEO and Co-Founder of Home City Living. After abandoning the corporate world in order to indulge his wanderlust, Jason founded Home City Living with his partner Rose to create the premier source of travel information and inside local knowledge on the web to help other would-be global explorers and seekers learn to spread their wings and fly.