What Are The EPL Teams Nicknames?

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Premier league teams nicknames range from the obvious to the frankly bizarre, sourced from centuries old traditions to more recent marketing and branding exercises.  If you’ve ever wondered where the names come from, here are the answers.

Premier League Teams Nicknames

Arsenal F.C.

Arsenal F.C.

The Gunners, The Gooners

The original club that was to become Arsenal was formed by workers from a military munitions factory, hence the club name and nickname. The Gooners was a derogatory term coined by arch-rival Spurs fans, but now Arsenal supporters are happy to use it and turn the joke on themselves.

Aston Villa F.C.

The Villans

A simple play on the word Villa. The club takes the first part of its full name from Aston, a district in England’s second city Birmingham, and the second part from a landmark Georgian house – or villa – that once stood there.

aston villa logo

A.F.C. Bournemouth

The Cherries

There is some debate as to how Bournemouth acquired its nickname: some say it’s because of their cherry red shirts, while others maintain it’s because the club’s ground was built on an estate that used to be home to an orchard of cherry trees.

Brentford F.C.

The Bees

You might think the nickname “The Bees” is simply because of Brentford’s logo. You’d be wrong, it’s actually the other way around.

In the 1890s, students of Borough College attended a game to support their friends playing for the club. During the match, the college students invented a chant called “Buck up Bs,” which was later reported by local newspapers as “Buck up Bees.” The nickname stuck ever since.

Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.

Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club

The Seagulls

Brighton and its neighboring town Hove are both located on the South coast of England, where an awful lot of seagulls also choose to make their home. The club’s nickname really is as simple as that!

Chelsea F.C.

The Blues, The Pensioners

The Blues nickname needs no explanation, but the other name comes from the nearby Royal Military Hospital, where the retired soldier residents are known as Chelsea Pensioners.

Chelsea FC still provides free match-day tickets to the Pensioners for every home game where they can watch the Blues legends on the pitch.

Chelsea FC or The Blues Logo
cristal palace logo

Crystal Palace F.C.

The Eagles, the Glaziers

The original Crystal Palace was a massive plate-glass building built for the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. This building gave the club both its name and nickname, the Glaziers.

The more recent nickname of Eagles dates to a rebranding exercise in 1973 when it was decided that the new club crest would incorporate an eagle holding a football.

Everton F.C.

The Toffees

No one is quite sure how the Toffeemen got their strange nickname. Legend has it that hungry fans would buy toffee on their way to matches, either from Ye Ancient Everton Toffee House or Mother Noblett’s Toffee Shop. Others believe the name comes from “Taffies,” a popular term for people from neighboring Wales.

Fulham F.C.

The Cottagers, The Whites, The Lily Whites

Fulham’s stadium was built on a cottage in 1896, which gave it its name: Craven Cottage. From there, the team was nicknamed the cottagers.

As for the two other nicknames, the whites and the lily whites, I’m afraid the explanation isn’t quite historical. Fulham plays in white, so they have also been nicknamed the whites or the lily whites.

Leeds United F.C.

The Whites, The Peacocks

Elland Road, Leeds United’s stadium, was built on land that was originally owned by a Brewery that went by the name of the “Old Peacock Ground.”

As for “The Whites,” it’s once again a nickname that derivates from the club’s kit colors.


Leicester City FC Logo

Leicester City F.C.

The Foxes

Modern-day fox hunting can trace its roots back to the middle of the 18th century, to one Hugo Meynell from Leicestershire. Leicester’s nickname honors that tradition, although the two riding crops which used to appear behind the club’s fox logo have been removed in these more enlightened times.

Liverpool F.C.

The Reds

Liverpool is known as The Reds due to its famous combination of red shirts, shorts, and stockings. But it wasn’t always that way. 

The familiar all-red kit first appeared in the 1964 season under legendary manager Bill Shankly, who allegedly believed it would intimidate the opposition. Previously, Liverpool wore white shorts in a kit that looked remarkably similar to that of fierce rivals Manchester United!

Liverpool F.C. Logo

Manchester City F.C.

The Citizens, The Sky Blues

In contrast to some other clubs, City’s nicknames seem a bit more, well, ordinary: or perhaps the Citizens is a nod to the Sky Blues’ nearby noisy neighbors and underscores their belief that people from Manchester support City while people from outside Manchester support United!

Manchester United F.C.

The Red Devils

England’s most famous club actually stole its nickname from nearby neighbors, Salford Rugby League Club. Celebrated manager Matt Busby was behind the decision back in the 1950s. Before that, United was known as the Heathens, in memory of their original name, Newton Heath.

Manchester United F.C. Logo

Newcastle United F.C.

The Magpies, The Geordies

Magpies are black and white, and so are the shirts of Newcastle United. Easy! A “Geordie” refers to someone from the city of Newcastle. The origin of “Geordie” is uncertain and is a hotly debated topic!

Nottingham Forest F.C.

Forest, The Reds, The Tricky Trees, The Garibaldi

“The Reds” and “The Garibaldi” are nicknames given because of the club’s colors.

“Forest” and “The Tricky Trees” are nicknames that make for a more exciting story. The club’s first games were played on a ground that was located near Sherwood Forest. As you may have guessed, this forest was full of trees, and this is what gave this club not only its nickname but also its name, logo, and identity.

Southampton FC Premier League Team Nickname

Southampton F.C.

The Saints

St Mary’s Church of England Young Men’s Association Football Club was founded in 1885. The church team soon became St. Marys FC before ultimately morphing into the present-day Southampton FC.  The Saints nickname reflects the church origins of the team, and delightfully, in 2001, the club christened its new home, the St Mary’s Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

Spurs, The Yids

The club takes the second part of its name from an illustrious English nobleman, Sir Harry Hotspur, who also features in a Shakespearean play! Spurs and the area of Tottenham have long been associated with Jewishness

The club’s second nickname began life as a derogatory term for Jews based on Yiddish, the word for the Jewish language. As with Arsenal, the fans turned things around and called themselves the Yid Army, thus helping to deflect and reduce any negative connotations associated with the word.

West Ham United F.C. The Hammers

West Ham United F.C.

The Hammers, The Irons

The Hammers nickname has nothing to do with the club’s location in the London borough of West Ham: the famous riveting hammers on the club logo predate the club’s move there. Both the Hammers and Irons nicknames relate to the fact that the original team was founded by workers from the Thames Ironworks, a famous shipbuilding yard.

Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.

The Wolves, The Wanderers

The straightforward shortening of Wolverhampton doesn’t exactly make for an interesting explanation. But Wolves are also known as the Old Gold, from their shirts’ traditional and distinctive color.

Other Historic Premier League Teams Nicknames

Burnley F.C.

The Clarets

Burnley takes its nickname from the color of their shirts, and it’s a popular and historic color too. No less than three current Barclays Premier League teams – West Ham and Aston Villa are the other two – wear claret-colored jerseys, all of them for well over 100 years!

Norwich City F.C.

The Canaries

The story goes that canaries became synonymous with Norwich after their introduction by European immigrant weavers in the 16th century. The yellowish green birds went on to inspire Norwich’s logo, nickname, and kit colors.

Norwich City F.C. Byname The Canaries

Sheffield United F.C.

The Blades

In England, Sheffield is known as the “steel city,” reflecting its long and proud tradition of producing top-quality steel and associated products, including cutlery. The nickname and two blades on the current club logo showcase Sheffield’s pride in its steel industry.

Watford F.C.

The Hornets

Through the years, Watford has had several nicknames, including the Brewers and the Blues. The current nickname dates back to 1959 and the introduction of a hornet-colored gold and black kit.

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Jonathan Roussel
Jonathan Roussel
Jonathan is on a mission to help athletes reach their full potential. As someone who has experienced the highs and lows of athletic competition in different sports, he founded TheChampLair.com to help others navigate the journey to greatness. We provide athletes with the tools and resources they need to succeed both on and off the field.