1864: City Nicknames
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Cities often have official or unofficial nicknames. For instance, St. Louis, Missouri, is known as "Gateway to the West" among several other nicknames. The nicknames typically invoke some historical or geographic feature of the city, but can sometime be opaque to those not familiar with the city.
Black Hat appears to believe they are near New York City, despite the skyline being clearly recognizable as St. Louis due to the Gateway Arch. However, the nickname he gives is neither a common New York nickname (such as "The Big Apple") nor a St. Louis nickname. Megan tries to correct him, but it becomes clear that Black Hat is making up nicknames. Many of his suggestions are puns for real nicknames of other places.
The title text contains made up demonyms in the same pattern. A demonym is a word for the people who live in a particular place. They are typically derived from the name of the place (e.g. "St. Louisan" for people from St. Louis), but some regions have an informal demonym that can be used colloquially by those familiar with the place to refer to its residents.
Nicknames and Demonyms
|City nickname in comic||Reference||Explanation|
|The Hot Tamale||Hot Tamales|
|The Winged City||The Windy City||Chicago. Possibly also Incheon International Airport (ICA/RKSI), South Korea|
|The Gold Trombone|
|Castleopolis||Cassopolis||Polis (from the Greek πόλις for city) is commonly used as a suffix for city names, like Minneapolis or Alexandroupolis; Metropolis can either be a type of city, or one of the real or fictional cities bearing the name. Appended to the base word "Castle", this would be the "Castle city".|
|The Kissing Kingdom|
|The High Place|
|Ol' Ironhook||Old Ironsides||A nickname for the USS Constitution (docked in Charlestown, MA). Possibly a conflation of Old Kinderhook (a nickname for US President Martin Van Buren) with Old Ironsides (a nickname for English Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell).|
|The Thousand Spires||The City of a Hundred Spires||Prague|
|The Graveyard of Kings||The Graveyard of Champions||Court at Wimbledon where former champions were defeated. The comic was released one day after the 2017 Wimbledon Championships were finished.|
|Bloomtown||Boomtown||Generic term for a town undergoing rapid growth|
|Lantern City USA||Tree City USA||A designation supporting municipalities that showcase urban forestry, in connection with Arbor Day.|
|The City of Many Daughters|
|The Glass Cradle|
|The Road Source|
|London Prime||London||In mathematics, the prime symbol is used to indicate something that is derived from or related to something else. For example, x′ (read "x-prime") is usually used to denote the first derivative of the variable x. London Prime would therefore denote a city that is similar to or derived from the original city of London in the United Kingdom. Cf. various cities named New London in the United States and elsewhere.|
|Hamtown||Hamburg||A burg is another name for a city or town, sometimes more specifically a fortified town.|
|The Salad Bowl||A theory of cultural integration in the US, one that stands in contrast to the older 'Melting Pot' theory.|
|The Glittering Swamp|
|The Steel Forest||The Concrete Jungle||The Concrete Jungle is a name often given to New York's Manhattan area|
|The Mobius Strip||The Strip is a shortened and commonly used name for the Las Vegas Strip, the main area of hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada. A Mobius strip is a one-sided piece of paper created by rotating the short edge of the strip 180 degrees and attaching it to the other short edge. The Vegas strip has more or less only one side as well.|
|The Land of Trains and Fog||In the webcomic Homestuck a deadly game takes place on planets named in the format "The Land of X and Y" e.g. "The Land of Light and Rain".|
|The Meeting Place|
|The Dark Star|
|The Walled Garden||Walled garden (technology)||A walled garden is a virtual environment where the user can only view content that is published or permitted by the proprietor, e.g. AOL or Facebook. This could also be a reference to walled cities, e.g. from the Middle Ages, or the Kowloon Walled City in the modern era.|
|Skin City||Sin City||Generic term for a city well known for gambling, drugs, or other vices. Also Las Vegas.|
|The Horse Rotary|
|Turkeytown||Turkeytown||A town in Lincoln County, Kentucky|
|The Naked Towers|
|The Meta-City||Metacity||A term for a heterogenous, sprawling urban center with multiple dense centers, such as Tokyo or New York City.|
|The Urban Orb||The screenname of a Let's Player on Youtube and Twitch.|
|The City of Angles||City of Angels||Los Angeles. Also, the titular City of Angles in the web novel City of Angles.|
|The Big Wheel|
|Bird City USA||A program started by the Audubon Society.|
|The City of Seven Crowns||City of Seven Hills||Rome|
|Hilltopia||The Hilltop||May be reference to The Hilltop in AMC's The Walking Dead|
|Bug City||A nickname for the bug-infested Chicago in the roleplaying game Shadowrun. Also, a sourcebook for the game.|
|The Bottomless Cup|
|Lorde's Fen||Lord's Fen||Lorde is a musical artist from Herne Bay, New Zealand - an area near Waitemata Harbour. A Fen is a type of wetland, which could loosely connect to Herne Bay.|
|The Last Town||The third book in the Wayward Pines series.|
|The Empty Set|
|Ghost Harbor||The name for a brewing company in North Carolina.|
|Demonym in comic||Reference||Explanation|
|Northlanders||Highlanders||Maybe a reference to the people of the Scottish Highlands, with a similar demonym. The "High" in "Highlands" is a reference to the mountainous landscape, not the geographical position.|
|Fair Folk||The elves in The Lord of the Rings are referred to as the 'fair folk'. The fair folk is also more generally used as a name for fairies in folklore.|
|Rockeaters||Rockbiter||In the Never Ending Story, Pyornkrachzark, more commonly known as "Rock Biter" is a large creature made completely of stone, named due to their diet of rocks.|
|Remote Clients||Remote computer client||In computing, a remote client is a program used to access a computer or service over the internet.|
|Barrow-Clerks||Barrow-wights||Creatures in "The Lord of the Rings" that resemble wraiths. The Hobbits come across them in the Barrow-downs.|
|The People of Land and Sky||Sea Peoples|
|This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.|
- [Black Hat, Megan, and Ponytail are standing on a hill overlooking a city. The Gateway Arch is visible, as well as a number of skyscrapers in the skyline.]
- Black Hat: Ah, New York. The Hot Tamale.
- Megan: This is St. Louis. Also, that's not–
- Black Hat: The Winged City. The Gold Trombone. Castleopolis.
- Megan: It's none of those.
- [Close-up of Black Hat]
- Black Hat: The Kissing Kingdom. Sandland. The High Place. Ol' Ironhook.
- Megan (off-panel): Still wrong.
- Black Hat: The Thousand Spires. The Graveyard of Kings. Bloomtown. Lantern City USA.
- Megan (off-panel): Please stop.
- [Black Hat, Megan, and Ponytail are walking]
- Black Hat: The City of Many Daughters. Big Mauve. The Glass Cradle. The Road Source. London Prime. Hamtown. The Salad Bowl. God's Boudoir. The Glittering Swamp. The Steel Forest. The Mobius Strip. The Land of Trains and Fog. The Meeting Place. The Dark Star. The Walled Garden. Skin City. The Horse Rotary. Turkeytown. The Naked Towers. The Meta-City. The Urban Orb. The City of Angles. The Big Wheel. Bird City USA. The City of Seven Crowns. Hilltopia. Bug City. The Bottomless Cup. [Text size getting smaller] Lorde's Fen. The Last Town. The Empty Set. Ghost Harbor.
- Megan: How long does this last?
- Ponytail: No city has ever let him stay long enough to find out.
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