Premier League Team Nicknames and Their Origin [2024]


Did you notice how most English Premier League (EPL) teams have nicknames?

The Blues, The Gunners, and The Red Devils are just a few of the many in English football.

Nevertheless, the real intrigue about EPL nicknames lies behind their meaning/origin.

So, we dug deep and found some interesting facts about Premier League team nicknames and their origin.

Check them out.

Premier League Teams Nicknames

Arsenal – ‘The Gunners’

  • Year Founded: 1886
  • Headquarters: London, the UK

Arsenal was once called ‘Dial Square FC.’ The club’s founding took place in Woolwich — a district in the Southeast of London. And we have David Danskin and 15 munition colleagues of his to thank for its existence.

Long story short, The Gunners came to life thanks to the contribution of sixpence and three shillings by 16 ammunition workers.

Since then, Arsenal has produced some of the best players in the world.

Related: How much is each position worth in the EPL?

Aston Villa – ‘The Villans

  • Year Founded: 1874
  • Headquarters: Aston, Birmingham, England

Founded in 1874, Aston Villa, or The Villans, are considered one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in England and further abroad.

Around the Lozells area is where Aston Villa was primarily formed. Near Lozells there were three main roads: Heathfield Road, Lozells Road, and Villa Road. So, when joined together – they were called Aston Villa.

The place ‘inherited’ this particular name because of the enormous house, i.e., a villa, that was there.

AFC Bournemouth – ‘The Cherries’

  • Year Founded: 1899
  • Headquarters: Bournemouth (Kings Park, Boscombe), Dorset, England

AFC Bournemouth was “raised” from the ashes of an older football club – the Boscombe St John’s Institute football club.

And its name is on our list since, like all EPL team nicknames, they, too, have an original one – The Cherries.

Most people think the nickname came from the cherry-red stripes on their jerseys; However, the true reason is the cherry orchards at the Cooper Dean ground – where the club was playing.

Related: How many games are in the Premier League?

Brentford – ‘The Bees’

  • Year Founded: 1889
  • Headquarters: Brentford, West London, England

Brentford is an old English club with an interesting story about its nickname – The Bees.

We bet you didn’t know the club was initially referred to as ‘Bs.’ But a group of cheering students from Borough Road College changed that (1894/5 football season).

These young lads where chanting, and we quote: Buck Up, Bs! – at a game. But somehow, the ending ‘Bs’ sounded more like ‘Bees.’

Brighton & Hove Albion – ‘The Seagulls’

  • Year Founded: 1901
  • Headquarters: Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, England

Brighton & Hove Albion, briefly, Brighton has its neighbour – Hove, to thank for their nickname, The Seagulls. Especially since Hove is home to numerous seagulls.

However, the more exciting version involves their eternal rival, Crystal Palace. Palace is called The Eagles, so Brighton’s fans decided to “drown” Palace’s cheering crowd by chanting back – Seagulls, seagulls – and succeeded in doing so.

Related: Famous English football commentators

Chelsea – ‘The Blues’

  • Year Founded: 1905
  • Headquarters: Fulham, West London, the UK

It’s understandable why Chelsea is called The Blues. However, they are also called “The Pensioners”. But how would one connect The Pensioners with young, strong lads like the Chelsea boys?

Near the grounds where Chelsea plays is a Royal Military Hospital full of retired veterans. And the club always ensures the veterans receive free tickets for their home games. However, Ted Drake (Chelsea’s 1950s coach) felt uncomfortable that such a successful club is called The Pensioners.

Thus, they kept The Blues as their official nickname to improve their publicity status.

Related: Biggest football shirt sponsorship deals

Crystal Palace – ‘The Eagles’

  • Year Founded: 1861
  • Headquarters: The Borough of Croydon (Selhurst), South London, England

Though Crystal Palace is one of the oldest English clubs, but, it wasn’t until 1905 that the club put its professional gear on.

We’ve already mentioned their nickname – The Eagles. This nickname was chosen by their manager Malcolm Allison (1973). More precisely, he found inspiration in the famous Portuguese club – Benfica.

But, before the nickname, The Eagles, there were The Glaziers. This nickname was the product of the popular large-glass building with which the club was often associated.

Everton – ‘The Toffees’

  • Year Founded: 1878
  • Headquarters: Liverpool, the UK

Everton F.C. is a Liverpool-based football club with several nicknames pinned to it throughout the years: The Blues, The Toffees, The People’s Club, etc.

But, let’s focus on the more famous one – The Toffees. Near the club’s playground was a candy shop (Ye Ancient Everton Toffee House), whose owner was the inventor of the Everton Toffee.

Everton’s fans seemed to have a sweet tooth because these candies were sold mostly whenever the club played.

Fulham – ‘The Cottagers’

  • Year Founded: 1879
  • Headquarters: Fulham, London, the UK

This is an old club and London’s no. 1 senior pro club.

Furthermore, Fulham is also famous for the magnificent training ground in Craven Cottage (previously, the grounds were hunting lodges built by the sixth Baron Craven).

Consequently, this is why Fulham’s players are called The Cottagers. Of course, a pretty straightforward and easy-to-grasp nickname.

Leeds United – ‘The Whites’

  • Year Founded: 1919
  • Headquarters: Leeds, West Yorkshire, England

Leeds United is a club with long years of existence, and they couldn’t pass without a nickname or two.

Once, they were called The Peacocks. Some acknowledge the nickname was due to the initial club colours (royal blue with yellow trimmings).

While others think it’s associated with the ground’s name origin – ‘The Old Peacock Ground.’ Additionally, the inspiration for the name of the ground was a pub across the street – The Old Peacock.

Nowadays, the Leeds are called The Whites – given the colour of their kit.

Read More: Greatest Leeds United Players In The Club’s History

Leicester City – ‘The Foxes’

  • Founded: 1884
  • Headquarters: Leicester, in the East Midlands, England

Leicester Fosse F.C. (1884), nowadays, Leicester City F.C., is a club formed by a group of older “boys” 138 years ago.

The same was named after a road nearby the field they were playing (The Fosse Road South). Along the way, the club picked up several nicknames (The Fossils, The Royal Knuts, etc.).

However, The Foxes is the one that stayed. And with a good reason too. Leicester’s county is known for the foxes — fox hunting is a tradition for the county people.

Liverpool – ‘The Reds’

  • Year Founded: 1892
  • Headquarters: Liverpool, England

Liverpool F.C., is one of the most successful English PL clubs, as it has endured the football scene for 130 years and is the club where some of the best Premier League players have played and are still playing. 

Their nickname (The Reds) couldn’t be more evident than what it is. You’ll get the clear picture once you see the Liverpool squad dressed up in red jersey, shorts, and long socks. However, ‘red’ hasn’t always been Liverpool’s colour.

It was Bill Shankly (1964) who ‘dressed’ the Liverpool boys in hot red. Considering some psychological aspects, he thought the all-red kit would evoke fear in the rivals.

Manchester City – ‘The Citizens’

  • Year Founded: 1880
  • Headquarters: Manchester, England

Manchester City has two nicknames, therefore, two stories to tell – The Citizens and The Sky Blue.

The Sky Blue is due to their sky blue kit. Manchester City has been playing in them ever since 1894 when the club’s original name was Ardwick FC.

Whereas, The Citizens follow the pattern that came with renaming the club into Manchester City. Most supporters say City’s role in the nickname is to differentiate the Citizens’ supporters from the Man United’s fans.

Related: Who has the biggest wage bill in the Premier League?

Manchester United – ‘The Red Devils’

  • Year Founded: 1878
  • Headquarters: Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England

Manchester United must be the most famous club in the PL, which is why it’s one of the clubs that have the most fans across the world.

However, in 1878, the club went under a different name – The Newton Heath Football Club (The Heathens). Interestingly, today’s famous name didn’t exist until 1902, when The Red Devils decided to rebrand and ‘refresh.’

United’s former coach (Sir Matt Busby) was looking for a new nickname and found it adequate to adopt the nickname of a popular local rugby team – Salford.

During a French tour, Salford, who were wearing all red, were marked as ‘Les Diables Rouges.’ Or, when translated – The Red Devils. Hence, the intense and official use of the nickname.

Read More: The 10 Best Football Stadiums in the UK

Newcastle United – ‘The Magpies’

  • Founded: 1892
  • Headquarters: Newcastle (upon Tyne), the UK

In the beginning, Newcastle had two football clubsNewcastle East End and West End. So, the two clubs decided to merge into one; hence, the United in the name.

But let’s see how interesting their nickname is – The Magpies. You already know their jersey is coloured with black and white stripes.

What do they remind you of?

The Magpie bird – true! However, Newcastle’s play colours weren’t always black and white stripes. Before the black and white colours stepped into play, they wore red and white stripes.

Nottingham Forest – ‘The Garibaldi Forest’

  • Year Founded: 1865
  • Headquarters: West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, England

We can watch Nottingham Forest play in the EPL this season after a break of 23 years.

One of the most ticklish subjects about this club is its nickname – The Garibaldi.

Everything revolves around the club’s origin and its shinty contestant founders of Gaelic origin. That said, a group of twelve shinty players got themselves Garibaldi (Red) caps – this is related to Guiseppe Garibaldi and the freedom fighters in red. Hence, this is what determined the nickname and the club’s colours too.

Related: Who are the most valuable sports teams?

Tottenham Hotspur – ‘The Spurs’

  • Year Founded: 1882
  • Headquarters: Tottenham, London, England

It’s on rare occasions that people refer to this club as Tottenham Hotspur. They’re usually known as Tottenham or just Spurs.

But, you might encounter them as The Lillywhites. The source of the nickname lies in their traditional all-white home club colour. The first time they wore these jerseys was the 1889-1890 season.

But, it wasn’t until 1899 that the white jersey was permanently adopted as a home shirt colour.

Before this, the club wore colours like navy, white/light blue halves, etc.

West Ham United- ‘The Hammers’

  • Year Founded: 1895
  • Headquarters: Stratford, East London, the UK

West Ham United, The Hammers, or The Irons – you name it! Nevertheless, we’re referring to one of the best football clubs in London – West Ham.

The Irons and The Hammers actually share their origin. Not surprisingly, the club hasn’t always been called West Ham United. In 1895, when the club was founded, it was named Thames Ironworks.

Additionally, this is due to the 19th-century influence of the steel and iron industry that contributed to the development of North Lincolnshire town.

Wolverhampton Wanderers – ‘The Wolves’

  • Year Founded: 1877
  • Headquarters: Wolverhampton, England

Yes, the Wolverhampton Wanderers or ‘the golden boys in shiny black armours,’ are back in the PL.

This 145-years-old English club, like some colleagues on the list, has an animal-related nickname, The Wolves.

In case you didn’t notice, ‘wolves’ is short for Wolverhampton. Moreover, not just this specific football club, but other sports clubs and the town itself are also being called ‘The Wolves’ (since the 19th century).

You might also like: Map of Premier League teams

Southampton – ‘The Saints’

  • Year Founded: 1885
  • Headquarters: Southampton, Hampshire, England

Southampton, or The Saints, is a recognizable name in English football.

Like many other clubs, Southampton also went through various name-changing phases. For instance, the club’s original name was St. Mary’s Church of England Young Men’s Association. Hence, why the nickname – The Saints.

And, while most clubs have several nicknames, this one has stuck to the original nickname since day one – which is pretty impressive.

Bottom Line

That’s it, folks! Our complete Premier League team nicknames list, their history and their meaning.

You now have a handful of information regarding nicknames of football clubs competing in one of the most profitable sports leagues – the Premier League.

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