May 29, 2015 22:15 UTC

Words and Their Stories

Words and Their Stories: Nicknames for Philadelphia and Boston

From the City of Brotherly Love to Beantown.

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story

Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES. Almost all American cities have nicknames. They help establish a city’s identity.  They can also spread unity and pride among its citizens.

Two east coast cities -- Philadelphia and Boston -- were both important in the early history of the United States. Philadelphia is best known as The City of Brotherly Love.

In sixteen eighty-one, King Charles the Second of England gave William Penn a large amount of land to establish a colony.  The king named the colony Pennsylvania in honor of Penn’s father.  William Penn was a Quaker.  He brought his beliefs about equality, religious freedom and brotherly love to this new land.  Penn was also an expert in Latin and Greek. He established a city and named it Philadelphia, which is Greek for “brotherly love.”  An ancient city called Philadelphia was also noted in Christianity’s holy book, the Bible.

Philadelphia became the social, political and geographical center of the American colonies.  In the late seventeen hundreds, many events that took place in Philadelphia gave birth to the American Revolution and independence.  For example, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed in the city.  Philadelphia was the temporary capital of the new nation from seventeen ninety to eighteen hundred.

Some of Philadelphia’s other nicknames are The Quaker City, The Cradle of Liberty and The Birthplace of America.  Philadelphia is a long name.  So many people just call it Philly.

(MUSIC)

Boston is another important city.  It is one of the oldest cities in the United States.  In sixteen thirty, Puritan settlers from England established Boston in what would become the state of Massachusetts.

Several major events took place in Boston before and during the American Revolution.  You may have heard of the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill.

So, like Philadelphia, Boston is called The Cradle of Liberty. Another nickname is The Cradle of Modern America.

However, Boston's most famous nickname is Beantown.  But it was not because the city grew a lot of beans.  In the seventeen hundreds, Boston was a major trading center.  It received a lot of sugarcane from the West Indies.  Beans baked in molasses, a sugar product, became a favorite food in the city.  Today, no companies there make Boston baked beans.  Restaurants in Boston rarely serve it.  But many Americans eat this tasty dish at home.

(MUSIC)

This program was written by Shelley Gollust.  I'm Barbara Klein.  You can find more WORDS AND THEIR STORIES at our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Learn with The News

  • Audio FIFA Re-Elect Blatter Despite Corruption Scandal

    Sepp Blatter won a fifth term as FIFA president, while people around the world called for him to resign. The soccer organization has been rocked this week by arrests and corruption charges. Several groups have called for Blatter to step down and businesses are reviewing sponsorships. More

  • Audio State Limits on Media Raise Concern in Turkey

    With general elections coming in June, political parties are becoming active in the Turkish media. A government official wants to close the TV stations favorable to Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen. The leader of the opposition Republican People’s Party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, criticizes these limits. More

  • Video Blind Boy Defines His Life With Music

    When Frankie Moran first saw his son Cole, he could not imagine ever sharing his love of music with the boy. Cole had cognitive delays and other birth defects. And he was blind. Cole Moran is now 12 years old. Cole plays music every day. He records his performances and listens back to the sound. More

  • Audio UN Supports Protection of Journalists in Conflicts

    The United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution on the protection of journalists in conflict zones. All 15 Council members voted Wednesday in support of the resolution. The measure comes as the number of deaths and kidnappings of news reporters continues to rise. More

  • FIFA President Sepp Blatter delivers his speech during the opening ceremony of the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, Switzerland, May 28, 2015.

    Audio FIFA President: Charges Bring Shame to Sport

    FIFA President Sepp Blatter said corruption scandals within the world soccer organization have brought "shame and humiliation" on the sport. Also in the news, Iranian foreign minister expresses hope for nuclear deal; President Barack Obama hosts a Twitter chat on climate change. More

Featured Stories

  • Video Blind Boy Defines His Life With Music

    When Frankie Moran first saw his son Cole, he could not imagine ever sharing his love of music with the boy. Cole had cognitive delays and other birth defects. And he was blind. Cole Moran is now 12 years old. Cole plays music every day. He records his performances and listens back to the sound. More

  • Audio Brain Remembers Language Better If You Sing It

    If you have a long list of vocabulary words to learn, you might want to write them into a familiar song. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh studied the relationship between music and remembering a foreign language. After the tests were over, the singers came out on top. And it's more fun! More

  • Video New Tool Maps Buildings' Energy Efficiency

    Architects, engineers and building supervisors will soon be able to quickly collect information that once took weeks to measure and process. Scientists have developed a device to gather information about building interiors – the design and exact measurements of a building. More

  • Audio Guide to 2016 Campaign: Money and Super PAC

    Raising money is an important part of any election in America. Candidates for the 2016 race for the White House and Congress are busy lining up dollars to fund their elections. VOA Learning English helps explain how the campaign finance systems work in the U.S. More

  • Audio Hold Your Horses!

    Horses are part of the history and romance of the Old American West. These days, they are popular for sport and entertainment. So, it is easy to understand why we Americans use so many horse expressions. Learn some of the most common and try to answer our horse riddle! More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs