List of football club nicknames in the United Kingdom

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This is a list of nicknames for United Kingdom football clubs. Nicknames are usually preceded by 'The'. The origins of some nicknames are unclear with various stories being put forward.

The usual basis for nicknames are:


Main article: Football in England
AddicksCharlton AthleticA corruption of the word 'haddocks', named after a local fish and chip shop
Ash TreesAshford TownThe emblem of the town, derived both from the name of the town and from the large tree that stood in the centre of the town for many years
Atom MenAFC AldermastonNamed after the local Atomic Weapons Research Establishment
AvenueBradford Park AvenueThe club has always been known colloquially as "Avenue"
BadgersStalybridge Celtic
BaggiesWest Bromwich AlbionAcquired when the players played in long shorts
BantamsBradford CityA reference to the claret and amber colours of the club's strip[1]
BeaversHampton & Richmond BoroughFrom the name of the ground, Beveree, itself named after a mansion in whose former grounds it is situated.
BeesBasildonBased on colour of home strip
BrentfordMisinterpretation of an 1890s chant "Buck up Bs"
BiscuitmenReadingReferred to former Huntley and Palmers biscuit factory in the town (not used since the 1980s)
Black CatsSunderland Named after the Black Cat gun battery which stood on the river Wear. Also references the lucky black cat which led to the team winning the FA Cup[2]
BladesSheffield UnitedLocal links with steel and cutlery.
BluesBirmingham CityColour of home football kit
ChelseaColour of home football kit
EvertonColour of home football kit
Grays AthleticColour of home football kit
Ipswich TownColour of home football kit
Shrewsbury TownColour of home football kit
Southend UnitedColour of home football kit
Worcester City
Wycombe WanderersColour of home football kit
BoroHarrow BoroughBased on club's name
MiddlesbroughShort version of name
StevenageShort version of original name, Stevenage Borough
BrewersBurton AlbionLocal links to the brewing industry
BurySt MargaretsburyShort version of name
CanariesNorwich CityInitially due to popularity of canary breeding in Norfolk, later home strips are the same colour as the bird, and is now used in the club's logo
CastleNewcastle Town F.C.Short version of name
Cards / CardinalsWokingFrom the Cardinal red of the red and white shirt halves,[3] cards being a shortening of the nickname
CarpetmenKidderminster HarriersThe modern carpet industry was founded in the area
ChairboysWycombe WanderersLocal links to the furniture making industry
CherriesBournemouthStadium built on a cherry tree orchard
CitizensManchester CityDeveloped from 'City'
CityManchester CityBased on club name
ClaretsBurnleyColour of home strip
CobblersNorthampton TownLocal links to the shoe making industry
Cod ArmyFleetwood TownLocal links to the fishing industry
CottagersFulhamFrom club's ground, Craven Cottage, which has a cottage in the corner
CumbriansCarlisle UnitedFrom Cumbria, the county the club are from
DaggersDagenham & RedbridgeBased on club name
DaleRochdale Short version of name
DiamondsRushden & DiamondsShort version of name, used by its predecessor club
Dolly BluesLancaster CityDerived from the fact that team originally played in the same colour as the 'Dolly Blue' washing tablets
DonnyDoncaster RoversThe regional nickname of the town
DonsAFC WimbledonSee Wimbledon F.C.
Hendon F.C.Taken from latter part of 'Hendon'
MK DonsSee Wimbledon F.C.
Eagles Bedford Town The emblem of Bedford features an eagle
Crystal PalaceTaken from nickname of Benfica
FCUMFC United of ManchesterAbbreviation of the club's name
FilbertsLeicester CitySeldom used, derives from previous ground being located on Filbert Street
FleetGravesend and NorthfleetShort version of name
FosseLeicester CityOriginal name was Leicester Fosse, which derived from The Fosse Way. Name still in use by commentator Stuart Hall
FoxesLeicester CityOutline of Leicestershire on a map resembles a fox's head, Hunting tradition of the county[4]
GasBristol RoversOld ground next door to a Gasworks
GillsGillinghamShort version of name
GlassboysStourbridge F.C.Stourbridge was a centre of glass making
GlaziersCrystal PalaceReference to The Crystal Palace. No longer used
GloversYeovil TownLocal links to the glove making industry
GreciansExeter CityGrecians was, for centuries, the nickname for people from the St Sidwells parish of Exeter where the ground is situated
GreensHendon F.C.The club's home colours
GullsTorquay UnitedSeaside link
GunnersArsenalLocal links to military arsenal/due to the founders was in fact workers on a local arms factory
HammersWest Ham UnitedAlthough this may initially appear to be based on a simple shortening of the name, observation of the club's crest will reveal crossed metalworking/rivetting hammers, indicating the club's origins as the football team of Thames Ironworks
HarriersKidderminster HarriersShort version of name
HattersLuton TownLocal links to hat making industry
Stockport CountyOne of Cheshire's and Britain's main hatting industry towns
HeedGatesheadBased on shortening of Gateshead, and the local pronunciation of Head
HoopsQueens Park RangersDesign of home strip
HornetsWatfordColour of strip
ImpsLincoln CityLegend of the imp statue in Lincoln Cathedral (also "Red Imps")
IngfieldersOssett TownSo nicknamed after the name of the ground, Ingfield)
IronScunthorpe UnitedLocal links to the iron industry
Braintree TownThe club was formed as Manor Works, the works team of the Crittall Window Company, from which they gained their nickname Iron.
IronsWest Ham UnitedThe club's origins as the football team of Thames Ironworks
KnittersHinckley UnitedLocal links to the Knitwear and Hosiery industry
LambsTamworthTeam plays at The Lamb Ground, named after a local pub
LaticsOldham AthleticShort version of name
Wigan AthleticShort version of name
LilywhitesPreston North EndColour of home strip
FulhamColour of home strip
Cambridge CityColour of home strip
Tottenham HotspurColour of home strip
LinnetsBurscoughName of a bird sometimes known as the 'green linnet'; nickname used for teams that play in green
King's Lynn Town F.C.Also formerly used by its predecessor club King's Lynn F.C.
Runcorn LinnetsName of a bird sometimes known as the 'green linnet'; nickname used for teams that play in green. Also used by related now dissolved Runcorn F.C. Halton
LionsAston VillaFeatured on badge
Guiseley A.F.C.
MillwallFeatured on badge
MagpiesNewcastle UnitedBased on black and white colour of home strip
Notts CountyBased on black and white colour of home strip[5]
Maidenhead UnitedBased on black and white colour of home strip.
ChorleyBased on black and white colour of home strip.
MarinersGrimsby TownThe club is based on the coast
MillersRotherham UnitedBased on ground name (Millmoor)
MinstermenYork CityYork Minster is a famous landmark in the city
Monkey hangersHartlepool UnitedDuring the Napoleonic wars the citizens of Hartlepool allegedly hanged a monkey believing it to be a French spy.[6]
MushroomsHayes & Yeading UnitedDue to the fact that the club's Board keep the club's supporters in the dark.
NailersBelper TownThe manufacture of nails was formerly a widespread cottage industry locally
O'sLeyton OrientBefore squad numbers on shirts, Orient players wore large letter Os on their shirt backs
OwlsSheffield WednesdayBased on name of local area (Owlerton), after a visitor to the city drew a cartoon depicting Sheffield Wednesday as an owl
PeacocksLeeds United(Virtually obsolete). Stems from the former name of the Elland Road stadium, The Old Peacock Ground, which was in turn named after the nearby The Old Peacock pub[7]
PilgrimsBoston UnitedLocal links to the pilgrims who went to the New World
Plymouth ArgyleLocal links to the pilgrims who went to the New World
PiratesBristol RoversLocal links to shipping
PompeyPortsmouthThe nickname for the city of Portsmouth, originating from the nautical abbreviation of "Portsmouth Point" to "Po'm. P."
PoolBlackpoolShort version of name
LiverpoolShort version of name
PoolsHartlepool UnitedShort version of name when known as Hartlepools United
PoppiesKettering TownStadium built on a former poppy field
PoshPeterborough UnitedBelieved to derive from former manager Pat Tirrel proclaiming that he was looking for: "Posh players for a posh team"[8]
PottersStoke CityLocal links to the pottery industry
PuritansBanbury UnitedTraditionally in the town's history, many inhabitants were strongly involved in the Puritan movement
QPRQueens Park RangersAbbreviation of club name
QuakersDarlingtonLocal links to religious movement
R'sQueens Park RangersFinal initial of club abbreviation, QPR
RailwaymenCrewe AlexandraLocal links to railways
RamsDerby CountyFolk song "The Derby Ram", and by extension an emblem of the city[9]
RebelsFC United of ManchesterThe club having been formed by disaffected fans after the takeover of Manchester United by Malcolm Glazer. None of the fans refer to the club by this, it is purely a media name, primarily used by the Manchester Evening News.
Red DevilsCrawley Town
Manchester UnitedNickname originally belonged to nearby rugby league team Salford
Red ImpsLincoln CityColour of home kit and legend of the imp statue in Lincoln Cathedral
RedsLiverpoolColour of home kit
Nottingham ForestColour of home kit
RiversidersBlackburn RoversAfter a side of the ground adjacent to a river
RobinsAltrinchamColour of home kit same as a robin's chest
Bracknell Town
Bristol CityColour of home kit same as a robin's chest
Charlton AthleticColour of home kit same as a robin's chest
Cheltenham TownColour of home kit same as a robin's chest
Evesham United
Swindon TownColour of home kit same as a robin's chest
RoyalsReadingThe town is in the Royal County of Berkshire
SaddlersWalsallLinks to the saddle making industry
SaintsBrackley Town
SouthamptonSt. Mary's Young Men's Association[10]
St Albans City
SalopShrewsbury TownTraditional name for the town of Shrewsbury and also Shropshire as a county (Latin name Salopia)
SandgroundersSouthportTown is on a stretch of coast known for its expansive sandy beaches
School of ScienceEverton1928, comment of Everton's attractive style of play with the team being called 'scientific' or 'the school of science
SeagullsBrighton & Hove AlbionBased on coast, also a response to the similar-sounding nickname 'Eagles' of their rivals Crystal Palace
SealsChester CityOld ground named Sealand Road
SeasidersBlackpoolBased on coast
ShakersBuryClub's first chairman, JT Ingham, said before a Lancashire Cup game with Blackburn, "We will shake them. In fact, we are the Shakers."[11]
ShaymenHalifax TownOriginates from the club's ground, same nickname as its predecessor club
ShotsAldershot TownShort version of name
ShrewsShrewsbury TownShort version of name
ShrimpsMorecambeRelated to the fishing/shrimping industry in the region and Morecambe Bay's famous "potted shrimps"
ShrimpersSouthend UnitedA historic local industry; alliterative
SilkmenMacclesfield TownLocal links to the silk industry
Sky BluesCoventry CityColour of home strip
Manchester CityColour of home strip
SmoggiesMiddlesbroughFrom the industrial pollution, or smog, from the steel and chemical plants surrounding the town
SpireitesChesterfieldReference to famous crooked spire in the town
SpitfiresEastleighThe first test flight of the Supermarine Spitfire was at the airport in Eastleigh
SportsEastbourne BoroughDue to team's previous name of Langney Sports F.C.
SpursTottenham HotspurBased on the spurs that the fighting cockerel wears on its leg, of which comes from Harry Hotspur's fighting cockerels in Shakespeare's Henry IV Part1
SpartansBlyth Spartans
StagsMansfield TownStag head on their crest
StonesMaidstone UnitedBased on the club's name
Wealdstone F.C.Based on the club's name
StripesStevenage BoroughBased on the pattern of the home strip
Super HoopsQueens Park RangersBased on the pattern of the home strip
TangerinesBlackpoolColour of their home kit
TarnBarnsley F.C.'Town' spoken in the local accent.
TerrasWeymouthClub plays in a terracota coloured kit
TerriersHuddersfield TownNamed after the Yorkshire Terrier breed of dog - based on a vote of their supporters to create a nickname
TeynNorthampton TownTown said in a Northampton accent
TicsWigan AthleticShorterned version of 'Latics' (Which is a nickname in itself)
TigersGloucester CityColours of home strip
Hull CityColours of home strip
Toffees / ToffeemenEvertonBack in the 1950s and 1960s a woman in a blue and white dress used to walk around before the game and throw toffees to people in the crowd, a tradition since revived. The other league teams then referred to them as the "Toffees"[12]
Toon Newcastle UnitedLocal pronunciation of 'Town', meaning City Centre where the ground is situated
Tractor BoysIpswich TownLocal links to agriculture[13]
Tricky TreesNottingham ForestCrest is a tree
TrottersBolton WanderersIn the 19th century, one of their pitches was adjacent to a piggery and clearances often end up in there. Players had to 'trot' through the pig-pens to retrieve the balls.[14]
Two BluesBishop AucklandThe kit features two shades of blue, originating from the colours of Oxford University and Cambridge University.
TykesBarnsley F.C.Colloquial name for a Yorkshireman.
TynesidersGatesheadGateshead is located on Tyneside
U'sCambridge UnitedInitial of name
Colchester UnitedInitial of name
Oxford UnitedInitial of name
Sutton UnitedInitial of name
ValiantsPort ValeBased on official name
VicsNorthwich VictoriaBased on shortening of official name
VikingsDoncaster RoversBased on the club badge, as well as Rovers being a term for Vikings
Goole AFCBased on the town's Viking history.
VillansAston VillaBased on official name and for being traditional rivals of Birmingham City
WednesdaySheffield WednesdayOriginal name of the club
WhitesDover Athletic
FulhamColour of their home strip. Sometimes referred to as the Lillywhites
Leeds UnitedMain colour of home strip
Preston North End
Salisbury F.C. Same nickname as its predecessor club
WolvesWolverhampton WanderersBased on shortening of name
WomblesAFC WimbledonReference to the Wombles
Yellows Cambridge UnitedColour of home kit
Mansfield TownColour of home kit
Sutton UnitedColour of home kit
YeltzHalesowen TownOrigin of the name has been lost track of
YidsTottenham HotspurBased on the high concentration of Jewish fans

Defunct clubs

NicknameClub(s)ReasonCurrent use
A'sWalthamstow Avenue F.C.No longer in use
BullsHereford UnitedAfter the local breed of cattle
DiamondsRushden & DiamondsShort version of name Used by its successor club
DonsWimbledon F.C.The two clubs that emerged from the surrounding controversy of its relocation, AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons, both retained the nickname.
LinnetsRuncorn F.C.Name of a bird sometimes known as the 'green linnet'; nickname used for teams that play in greenCurrently used by phoenix club Runcorn Linnets F.C.
King's Lynn F.C.Also formerly used by its successor club King's Lynn Town F.C.
'Owd Reds Accrington F.C. No longer in use, not associated with current Accrington Stanley
ShaymenHalifax TownOriginates from the club's ground Used by its successor club
SquirrelsFormbyFormby's nature reserve is home to one of England's largest remaining populations of red squirrels
WomblesWimbledon F.C.Reference to the Wombles Adopted by AFC Wimbledon
WhitesSalisbury City Nickname retained by successor club Salisbury F.C.

Northern Ireland

BannsidersColeraineRiver Bann is close by
BhoysLurgan CelticNamed after Celtic F.C.
BluesLinfieldOriginal kits were blue in colour
Candy StripesDerry CityKit colour is red and white stripes
EaglesArmagh City
GersCarrick RangersAbbreviation of team name
GlensGlentoranAbbreviation of team name
Lurgan BluesGlenavonReference to the club's hometown and kit colour
Mourneview AcesGlenavonNamed after Mourneview Park and the nearby estate which shares its name
PortsPortadown F.C.Abbreviation of team name
Red and BluesArdsKit colour is blue and red
RedsCliftonvilleKit colour is red
SeasidersBangorBangor, County Down, is a sea-fronted town
Sky BluesBallymena UnitedColour of team shirt
StuteInstituteAbbreviation of Institute
Wee HoopsDonegal CelticA reference to the Celtic F.C.-style kit
WhitesLisburn DistilleryKit colour is white


Main article: Football in Scotland
AcciesHamilton AcademicalShort for Academical
ArabsDundee UnitedThe nickname 'the Arabs', refers to the fans only and NOT the team (coined after a Scottish Cup game at Tannadice in 1963 when copious amounts of sand were put on the frozen pitch).
BairnsFalkirkFrom the ancient motto of the town parish - "Better meddle wi the deil than the Bairns o Falkirk"
BearsRangers Shortening of the rhyming slang Teddy Bears. Fans are also known as Bluenoses and The People
Bhoys CelticFrom early promotional material. The 'h' was used to capture the Irish accent of the team's original fanbase.
BinosStirling Albion Contraction of Albion
Black and WhitesElgin CityClub colours.
Blue BrazilCowdenbeathAn ironic nickname invented by the clubs own supporters in the early 1990s during a particularly bad run of form which has endured since
BluesStranraerClub colours.
Blue ToonPeterheadThe town of Peterhead is nicknamed the Blue Toon.
BorderersBerwick RangersThe town of Berwick lies on the English-Scottish border
BuddiesSt Mirren The club play in Paisley and a person from Paisley is called a Buddie.
Bully WeeClydeSmall team who would bully bigger teams - wee bullies
Cabbage and RibsHibernianRhyming slang for Hibs
Caley / Caley ThistleInverness Caledonian ThistleShort version of the name
CityBrechin City
Edinburgh City
Elgin City
DiamondsAirdrieoniansAfter the distinctive red 'V', or diamond, on the home kit which was first worn in 1912
DonsAberdeenStadium lies next to the River Don.
DoonhamersQueen of the South A term used for people from Dumfries
FifersEast Fife
Gable EndiesMontrose

Wealthy merchants in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries dominated the town and built their houses in a Dutch style, gable to gable. Hence the town and the football have inherited the sobriquet, "gable-enders"

GalabankiesAnnan Athletic Home stadium is called Galabank.
GersRangers Abbreviation of the club name 'Rangers'.
Harry WraggsPartick ThistleRhyming slang for Jags. Harry Wragg was a famous jockey in the 1930s
HedgemenBrechin City A hedge runs along one side of Glebe Park.
HibeesHibernianShort version of the name
Honest MenAyr UnitedFrom a line in Robert Burns' poem 'Tam O' Shanter: 'Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a toun surpasses, for honest men an' bonnie lasses.'
HoopsCelticFrom famous hooped home shirt
JagsPartick ThistleIn colloquial Scottish a 'jag' is the sting of a nettle or thistle.
Jam TartsHeart of MidlothianRhyming slang for Hearts
KillieKilmarnockShort for Kilmarnock.
Light BluesRangersComes from a newspaper description of a 'light and speedy' Rangers team of the 1870s.
LionsLivingstonClub badge has a lion on it.
LoonsForfar AthleticLocal name for 'lads' which were given to Angus Athletic's 2nd XI, composed largely of younger players who broke off to form Forfar Athletic.
MortonGreenock MortonPart of the full name
ParsDunfermline Athletic(rumoured)It was founded by dockyard workers in Rosyth, which originated from Plymouth Argyle supporters, hence the abbreviation which stands for: Plymouth Argyle Rosyth Supporters.
Red LichtiesArbroathOwing to the red light that used to guide fishing boats back from the North Sea to the harbour (Lichtie being a Scots word for light)
RoversRaith Rovers
SaintsSt Johnstone
St Mirren
ShireEast Stirlingshire
SonsDumbarton Shortened form of "Sons of the Rock" a term used for a person from Dumbarton. Their stadium was for many years, directly under Dumbarton Rock
SpidersQueen's ParkThe narrow black and white stripes of their kit supposedly resembles a spider’s web
StaggiesRoss CountyThe stag seen on the club's crest. *This name refers mainly to supporters.
SteelmenMotherwell A reference to the (former) steelworks at nearby Ravenscraig
Super JsSt JohnstoneA reference to St Johnstone being the only league club in Scottish (or English) football with a J in its name
TangerinesDundee UnitedColour of their home kit
Teddy BearsRangersRhyming slang (when spoken with a Glaswegian accent, 'Bears' rhymes with 'Gers'.
TerrorsDundee UnitedCoined in the early 1960s as a tribute to their fighting spirit especially at Tannadice (Before this they were known as the Black and Whites).
TicCelticShort version of the name
TimsCelticAllegedly originates with the "Tim Malloys", a 1900s Irish Catholic street gang from Calton, Glasgow. Used to refer to both the club itself and to its supporters.
TonGreenock MortonShort version of the name
WaspsAlloa AthleticTheir traditional home strip is black and yellow
WaysidersAirdrieoniansThe Town of Airdries name may be taken from the Gaelic word “Airdidh” meaning a sheiling or wayside town. “The Waysiders” was the club nickname until the 1950s when the “Diamonds” became more popular
Wee GersBerwick RangersTo differentiate between their Rangers and other bigger clubs called Rangers in Scotland.
Wee RoversAlbion Rovers A self acknowledgement of the clubs status as one of the smaller clubs in the Scottish league. In use since the 1920s
WellMotherwellShort version of the name


Main article: Football in Wales
AncientsCefn DruidsA reference to the druids who were prevalent around 2000 years ago
BluebirdsCardiff CityColour of home football kit and possibly named after 1909 children's play 'Blue Bird'
BluesCardiff CityColour of home football kit
CanariesCaernarfon Town F.C.Due its yellow and green strip, a nickname that dates from 1895.
CitizensBangor City
ExilesNewport CountyClub were forced to play several seasons in Gloucestershire by the FAW
IronsidesNewport CountyAssociation with steelworks and other heavy industries
JacksSwansea CitySeamen from the town formerly referred to as 'Swansea Jacks', also after the dog Swansea Jack
LakesidersBala Town
LilywhitesRhyl F.C.
LinnetsBarry TownNamed after the bird, based on the club's initial green and red coloured strips
MagpiesBarmouth & Dyffryn United
MartyrsMerthyr Town F.C.
MusselmenConwy United F.C.From the local mussel (shellfish) industry
Red DragonsWrexhamFeatured on logo
RobinsWrexhamColour of home kit same as a robin's chest
SeasidersPrestatyn Town F.C.
SteelmenPort Talbot TownPort Talbot is home to one of the largest steelworks on the continent
SwansSwansea CityShort version of the name
WingmakersAirbus UK BroughtonRefers to being the works team of the Airbus UK factory

See also


  1. "History, Bradford City FC". theBRADFORDCITYsite. Archived from the original on 26 October 2009.
  2. "Black Cat Nickname". Sunderland A. F. C.
  4. "Leicester City Club Profile".
  5. "Notts County, History". Notts County.
  6. "Monkey Legend". Hartlepool United.
  7. "WAFLL - Elland Road History". WAFLL. Retrieved 8 May 2007.
  8. "Peterborough United, History". Peterborough United.
  9. "Derby County". Extra Football.
  10. Juson, Dave; Bull, David (2001). Full-Time at The Dell. Hagiology Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 0-9534474-2-1.
  11. "Bury, History". Bury Football Club.
  12. "Everton History". ToffeeWeb.
  13. "Tractor boys making noise". BBC Sport. 19 December 2000. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
  14. "Alternative History: Bolton Wanderers". My Eyes Have Seen The Glory.
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