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Bristol City Programme Notes

Today we hear from Kevin Lenton – STAR Board Member

What’s in a nickname?

So today it’s Royals v Robins, according to the club’s nicknames. All clubs have a nickname or two. Where do these nicknames come from? The usual origins of nicknames are as follows:-

  • Local industry
  • Colour(s) of home strip
  • Name of club
  • Name of area or ground
  • Club badge
  • Influence of players or fans

Some clubs, including Reading, changed their nicknames. We were previously known as the Biscuitmen, after the town’s famous Huntley & Palmers biscuit factory. Fans of a certain age will know that Reading was famous for its three Bs, Biscuits, Bulbs (Sutton Seeds) and Beer (Simonds, then Courage). Choosing ‘Beermen’ might have given the wrong idea! There was a competition to give the club a new nickname after the biscuit factory closed in 1976. Someone suggested that they become Reading Raindrops as they were the biggest shower in the division! Eventually manager Charlie Hurley picked Royals from a fan-inspired shortlist.

Here’s a list of the clubs in our division and how they got their nicknames. Most nicknames start with a “The” but I have not included this.

Team Nickname Origin
Barnsley Tykes,


Colloquial name for a Yorkshireman.

Colour of home kit.

Birmingham City Blues Colour of home kit
Blackburn Rovers Rovers


Name of club

After a side of the ground adjacent to a river

Brentford Bees Based on initial letter of club name
Bristol City Robins Colour of home kit same as a robin’s chest
Cardiff City Bluebirds Based on club crest
Charlton Athletic Addicks A corruption of the word ‘haddocks’, named after a local fish and chip shop
Derby County Rams Folk song “The Derby Ram”, and by extension an emblem of the city
Fulham Cottagers From club’s ground, Craven Cottage, which has a cottage in the corner
Huddersfield Town Terriers Named after the Yorkshire Terrier breed of dog
Hull City Tigers Colours of home strip
Leeds United Whites Colour of home strip
Luton Town Hatters Local links to hat making industry
Middlesbrough Boro Short version of name
Millwall Lions Featured on badge
Nottingham Forest Reds Colour of their home strip
Preston North End Lilywhites


Colour of their home strip
Queens Park Rangers Hoops Design of home strip
Reading Royals The town is in the Royal County of Berkshire
Sheffield Wednesday Owls Based on name of local area Owlerton
Stoke City Potters Local links to the pottery industry
Swansea City Swans Based on abbreviation of city name
West Bromwich Albion Throstles



Based on the large number of Song Thrushes (Throstles) near the ground.

Acquired when the players played in long shorts

Wigan Athletic Latics Short version of name Athletic