The History of Nicknames of Premier League Clubs

Every football club has a nickname and many are synonymous with the club.  Some club’s nicknames were historically named after the club’s kit colours, whilst others have a long-standing history.

Whilst some have changed over the years and others have a good rationale behind them, these nicknames are often used by fans, commentators, included in fans’ chants and on club merchandise.

Here is a look at the history behind the nicknames of 10 current Premier League teams:
 
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Arsenal: The Gunners

Arsenal’s nickname dates back to the club’s original home on the south bank of the Thames, in Woolwich.  The Gunners were formed back in 1886 as Woolwich Arsenal by workers from the Dial Square munitions factory.

Though known as Dial Square FC at the time, the club would later be renamed Woolwich Arsenal before dropping the prefix in 1913.  However, Arsenal have kept their original history with the armament industry to this day.
 
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Bournemouth: The Cherries

It is believed that Bournemouth wear their black and red striped shirts and are nicknamed ‘the Cherries’ because their home stadium, Dean Court, was built on land donated by the Cooper-Dean estate that housed many cherry orchards and named after the benefactor.

Bournemouth originally wore striped cherry red shirts until 1936 when they changed to red shirts.  It wasn’t until the 1970-71 season that they changed to today’s black and red striped shirts.

Unfortunately their mascot is not a giant cherry, but rather a bear.
 
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Burnley: The Clarets

Burnley’s nickname of ‘the Clarets’ simply derives from the colour they play in.  However, they’ve not always played in their claret and blue. They originally wore blue and white and have used a variety of colours for their home shirts over the years, including black and yellow, red, green and white.  It was for the 1910-11 season that they first went with the claret and blue shirt that they currently wear today.

The club’s mascot is a bumble bee – Bertie Bee.
 
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Everton: The Toffees

A club that has both history on the field and history behind its nickname.  Everton are known as ‘the Toffees’ since they moved to Goodison Park in 1892.  There was a toffee shop that sold sweets including the Everton Mint located opposite the Everton Tower that the club’s crest is based on.

The Merseyside club also has a tradition in which the Toffee Lady walks around the perimeter of the pitch pre-game to throw out Everton Mints to fans.
 
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Huddersfield Town: The Terriers

Huddersfield Town have had a few nicknames over the years but ‘the Terriers’ has stuck with the Yorkshire club since the 1969-70 season.  This was to acknowledge the terrier-like fitness and tenacity of Ian Greaves’ side.
 
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Leicester City: The Foxes

Leicester City are known as ‘the Foxes’ as the county of Leicestershire has a long association for its foxes and fox hunting.  An image of a fox was first incorporated into their crest back in 1948.

The club’s mascot is Filbert Fox.
 
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Manchester United: The Red Devils

Manchester United’s nickname stems from the nearby rugby club, Salford.  When Salford toured France in the 1930s wearing red shirts they picked up the nickname the ‘Red Devils’.

The United boss at the time, Sir Matt Busby, simply liked the sound of the Red Devils, thinking a devil was intimidating.  It wasn’t until 1970 that the club’s crest was redesigned to feature a devil holding a pitch-fork.

The devil stems from the club’s nickname ’The Red Devils’; it was included on club programmes and scarves in the 1960s, and incorporated into the club crest in 1970, although the crest was not included on the chest of the shirt until 1971.

Manchester United are currently the second favourites to win the 2018-19 title according to the latest Premier League odds.
 
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Newcastle United: The Magpies

Newcastle United’s nickname of ‘the Magpies’ simply comes from their black and white striped shirts and the colour of the bird.  The nickname has long been synonymous with the Northeast club, though supporters are fond of calling themselves the ‘Toon Army’ as well.
 
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Southampton: The Saints

The south coast club have been nicknamed ‘the Saints’ since they were founded back in 1885.  This is simply due to Southampton’s history as a church football team; they were founded as St. Mary’s Church of England Young Men’s Association.

Southampton have a halo at the top of the club’s crest to represent the Saints, whilst it also includes a tree that alludes to the nearby New Forest.

The club’s mascot is a dog named Sammy Saint.
 
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West Ham United: The Hammers

West Ham United were originally founded as Thames Ironworks FC by workers of the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company.  The nickname of ‘the Hammers’ comes in part because of the club’s origins.

The club’s crest has two hammers and their recently-established mascot is known as Hammerhead.