January 27, 2015 10:21 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

  • Japan Hostage

    Audio Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan over Military Plan

    Japan says the government is working with Jordan to secure the release of a Japanese cititizen. The Islamic State militant group is holding Kenji Goto hostage, but claims to have executed another Japanese hostage. The hostage crisis will likely increase divisions among the Japanese public. More

  • Detroit Auto Show 42

    Video Cars Making a Comeback at North American Auto Show

    The 2015 North American International Auto Show took a test drive in the U.S. city of Detroit, Michigan. It was the first major international car show in the U.S. Automobile manufacturers from around the world presented over 500 models, gas, electric, luxury, performance and concept vehicles More

  • Audio Chinese Civilians Guarding North Korean Border Areas

    Chinese media have reported several beatings and killings near the China-North Korea border. They blame North Koreans for the crimes. To protect the area, media reports now say that Chinese authorities are asking civilian patrols to guard their towns and villages near the border. More

  • Audio Obama Attends India's Republic Day Parade

    Mr. Obama was the first U.S. president to attend the event, which celebrates India’s first constitution as an independent state. The election results are likely to place Greece in conflict with the E.U. and international creditors. Deadly violence in Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines website hacked. More

  • Customers drink coffee as they read newspapers at the Tamoka coffee bar in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, September 16, 2013.

    Video Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

    What makes Ethiopian coffee the best? International coffee experts travel the world to find the best tasting cup of coffee, however they keep returning to Ethiopia. The country has an export revenue of more than $840 million a year from coffee to 120 countries. More

Featured Stories

  • Video Is There a Better Way to Track Passenger Planes?

    New technology could help to more closely follow passenger airplanes, and find them when they crash; international group to meet next month to discuss changes. Airline industry leaders and regulators want to improve airplane safety. They want better, more dependable tracking devices. More

  • Obama

    Audio Has Obama Set the Message for the 2016 Campaign?

    “I have no more campaigns to run … I know because I won both of them.” Mr. Obama cannot run for president again – U.S. presidents may serve only two terms. But some observers say his most recent State of the Union message on the middle class sounded like a campaign speech. More

  • American Sniper

    Video With Oscar Nomination, 'American Sniper' Stirs Debate

    The movie is based on a book by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. He is considered the deadliest marksman in the history of the United States military. The film explores how war can affect a soldier's mental and emotional health and stirs a debate on social media over its message. More

  • Designers work at computer stations at TechShop in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco, California, April 24, 2014

    Video TechShop Puts High-Tech Dreams Within Reach

    Members of TechShop use high-tech equipment to develop and produce ideas they have for inventions. Members are able to use costly machines including 3D modeling tools and laser cutters. Membership costs for TechShop start at just over $100 per month. | Science in the News More

  • .

    Video Rare, Important Art Is Now Only a Click Away

    The public has never seen the majority of works in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museums of Asian Art. Now they can be downloaded from the Internet -- in many cases for free. The Freer and Sackler Galleries worked for over 15 years to make digital copies of more than 40,000 objects. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs