April 19, 2015 09:27 UTC

Words and Their Stories

The City of Brotherly Love, and Beantown

Fireworks explode over the Philadelphia Museum of Art during an Independence Day celebration, July 4, 2013, in Philadelphia.Fireworks explode over the Philadelphia Museum of Art during an Independence Day celebration, July 4, 2013, in Philadelphia.
x
Fireworks explode over the Philadelphia Museum of Art during an Independence Day celebration, July 4, 2013, in Philadelphia.
Fireworks explode over the Philadelphia Museum of Art during an Independence Day celebration, July 4, 2013, in Philadelphia.

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.”

Fireworks explode over the Philadelphia Museum of Art during an Independence Day celebration, Thursday, July 4, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)Fireworks explode over the Philadelphia Museum of Art during an Independence Day celebration, Thursday, July 4, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
x
Fireworks explode over the Philadelphia Museum of Art during an Independence Day celebration, Thursday, July 4, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Fireworks explode over the Philadelphia Museum of Art during an Independence Day celebration, Thursday, July 4, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
In 1681, 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 1700s, 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 1790 to 1800.   
 
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.”

A Philly cheese steakA Philly cheese steak
x
A Philly cheese steak
A Philly cheese steak
Boston is another important city. It is one of the oldest cities in the United States. In 1630, 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.”

Re-enactors march away from the Old State House following a public reading of the United States Declaration of Independence, part of July Fourth Independence Day celebrations, in Boston, Massachusetts July 4, 2013.Re-enactors march away from the Old State House following a public reading of the United States Declaration of Independence, part of July Fourth Independence Day celebrations, in Boston, Massachusetts July 4, 2013.
x
Re-enactors march away from the Old State House following a public reading of the United States Declaration of Independence, part of July Fourth Independence Day celebrations, in Boston, Massachusetts July 4, 2013.
Re-enactors march away from the Old State House following a public reading of the United States Declaration of Independence, part of July Fourth Independence Day celebrations, in Boston, Massachusetts July 4, 2013.
However, Boston's most famous nickname is “Beantown.” But it was not because the city grew a lot of beans. In the 1700s, 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.


This program was written by Shelley Gollust. I’m Barbara Klein. You can find more Words and Their Stories at our website, voaspecialenglish.com.


 

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: luiseylse from: venezuela
09/13/2013 1:45 AM
I found it interesting the article on socio-political origins of Philadefia and Boston.
Only knew about their baseball teams.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
09/10/2013 12:30 AM
Thank you for some interesting photos depicting events and foods of Philly and Boston. I learned online that Philly has ten sister cities including Kobe in Japan. Brotherly love extends to siblings love.Thank you.


by: BIJU.P.Y. from: SOUTH INDIA
09/09/2013 3:47 PM
Amazingly great! These colorful expressions are born out of the poignant or sweet events related to her culture, geography, religion, etiquitte, rituals, festivals e.t.c. So each nick name enhances the binding unity among her citizens. Each name evoks a riplet of memories in every American's hearts. It also appears interesting to new learners of English like me. Thank you for your delicious feast. So what shakespeare has made out through a character 'so don't miss our royal feast' next time.


by: Nuvia
09/09/2013 12:09 PM
I like to know the American history across this articles.


by: Myriam Ríos from: Colombia
09/08/2013 4:56 PM
This paragraph is very interest and I learn about this nicknames. I am from Colombia and I am learning English.

Thanks very much.


by: Soko
09/08/2013 2:19 PM
Thank you


by: palermo from: Azul, Argentina
09/08/2013 9:57 AM
Thank you very much for this unvaluable work for us, keep doing this, please.
Greetings from Argentina.

Learn with The News

  • World Bank President Jim Yong Kim is seen speaking at a news conference.

    Audio World Bank Head Sees Other Development Banks as Allies

    Slowing economic growth around the world is endangering the World Bank’s goal of ending extreme poverty by the year 2030. Mr. Kim said the goal remains within reach. But he thinks extreme poverty will disappear only if world leaders and financial and development agencies do their part. More

  • Children playing on the shores of Guanabara Bay

    Audio Brazil Working to Clean Dirty Olympic Bay

    Around the world, people are excited for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The host city for the events is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The city is known as Cidade Maravilhosa – the Marvelous City – because of its beautiful landscapes. But one body of water in Rio, Guanabara Bay, is not so marvelous. More

  • Video New Movie Shows an Unseen Underwater World

    Jean-Michael Cousteau and his team used an IMAX camera to produce a 40-minute documentary about the world’s oceans. The film shows how the smallest life in the sea is important to the survival of all life on the planet. There are also thousands, maybe millions of species not yet identified. More

  • Audio Early American Railroads Shape Modern Language

    This week, we look at some train and railroad expressions commonly used in American English. This is only part one. There are many idioms and expressions relating to trains. So ... all aboard! Make sure you have your ticket because this train is leaving the station! More

  • Women in Combat

    Video Women Seek to Join US Army Rangers

    Army expects nearly 20 women will begin the difficult training on Monday; it says they will have to meet the same standards as men to graduate from course. Opinion study of male troops finds many do not think women should be Rangers. The Army says those who graduate will be Rangers. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Early American Railroads Shape Modern Language

    This week, we look at some train and railroad expressions commonly used in American English. This is only part one. There are many idioms and expressions relating to trains. So ... all aboard! Make sure you have your ticket because this train is leaving the station! More

  • Everyday Grammar - Gerunds and Infinitives

    Audio Everyday Grammar: Gerunds and Infinitives

    English learners have difficulty with gerunds and infinitives. A gerund is the –ing form of a verb that functions the same as a noun. For example, “Running is fun.” In this sentence, “running” is the gerund. It acts just like a noun. More

  • Autism book

    Video Mother, Son, Co-Write Children’s Book on Autism

    ‘If You Were Me’ tells the story of 18-year-old Burnie Rollinson’s story. He was diagnosed with Asperger's at age three. He has few friends but he enjoys a full and productive life. He and his mother, Anita Rollinson, created their book together. She wrote the words and Burnie drew the pictures. More

  • Video Benito Cereno by Herman Melville, Part Two

    Last week, we told how African slaves on a Spanish ship rebelled in seventeen ninety-nine. They killed most of the Spanish sailors. Only the captain, Benito Cereno and a few others survived. The story continues - what happened on Captain Cereno's ship? Read the second of three part More

  • Video Motor-Free Device Reduces Stress from Walking

    Devices that help people walk were once thought to be difficult, if not impossible, to design. Until recently, such a device required electricity from an external power supply. Now, American scientists have built a small, wearable addition to normal shoes. More

Practice Your Writing

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

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs