Hometown Nickname

Exactly What It Says on the Tin: When a character is referred to pretty much exclusively by where he comes from. Or at least, where everyone assumes he's from.

This is Truth in Television, if you look in historical documents, you will find that many people were distinguished by where they came from (other common identifiers included trade or profession and distinguishing features). When surnames became common, towns of origin were often assigned as family names. If the person isn't actually from the place he is named for, it can become an Ironic Nickname. This is also one popular means for pen names.

Sub-Trope of In-Series Nickname and Only Known by Their Nickname, and related to Captain Geographic.


Anime and Manga
  • Kasuga Ayumu in Azumanga Daioh is only known as Osaka.
    • Trope was enforced in-universe by one of her new friends, whose idea the nickname originally was. Also lampshaded/discussed as said friend declared on the spot that shows have characters from Osaka only known as Osaka (and that such is funny). Never mind that Ayumu points out she spent only a year or so of her life in Osaka; the friend is a Giver of Lame Names.
  • Elie in Rave Master, who asumes the tattoo on her arm is her name after getting Laser-Guided Amnesia. It's actually both her home town and the coordinates of said town.
  • In Bleach there's Kenpachi Zaraki and Yachiru Kusajishi, both of whom didn't have last names, and so they took the districts they originated from (Zaraki and Kusajishi, respectively). In Kenpachi's case, its even more so, since Kenpachi is a title given to the strongest Shinigami. So he's really 'The Kenpachi from Zaraki'.



  • A fairly well-known example from The Bible is Jesus of Nazareth, sometimes also known as The Nazarene.
    • A few other names in the New Testament and early saints fit this pattern, which is not all that surprising due to some given names being extremely popular, e. g. Joseph of Arimathea and Mary of Egypt. In the case of Mary of Magdala, the Hometown Nickname became a name in its own right (Magdalena, Maddalena, Madeleine etc.).
  • Doc Pseudopolis is a high ranking member of Ankh-Morkpork's guild of gamblers on Terry Pratchett Discworld. He makes a living of people whose fathers never warned them not to gamble with a man named Doc or anyone named after a city.
    • The Discworld Companion lists the guild leader as Scrote Jones.
  • Santiago of Twilight is from Santiago. Given her age, not only does no one call her by her given name, almost no one knows it.
  • Max, best friend to Codex Alera hero Tavi, frequently refers to Tavi as "Calderon." In a similar vein, Kitai refers to him as "Aleran" even when she refers to other Alerans by name.
  • Happens in the Warrior Cats novel Night Whispers. The ThunderClan warrior Ivypool is kidnapped by a ShadowClan patrol and held prisoner in their camp. There, a group of ShadowClan kits give her the nickname "Thundercat".

Live-Action TV
  • The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.: Brisco goes undercover using the name "Kansas Wily Stafford" ("Kansas" for short). Then the real Kansas Wily Stafford shows up...
    • Brisco, however, is an inversion. People keep assuming Brisco County is where he's from, a point which he has to clarify not to be the case.
  • CSI: NY: Danny calls Lindsay "Montana". Only a partial example as he seems to be the only one on the show to call her that.
  • Lois calls Clark this in Smallville
  • Survivor has an example in three different seasons with "Boston" Rob. Justified due to his first season running into the One Steve Limit.
  • The old TV show, The Virginian.
  • There was a travelogue show on UK Channel 4 in the mid 90s in which the presenter's sidekick was known as Luton, because she was from... that's right.
  • Heroes has the Haitian and the German.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • Neelix calls Tuvok "Mr. Vulcan" while referring to everyone else by rank & name.
    • In one episode Chakotay is captured by a group of Kazon, who use "Starfleet" as his name.
    • In the pilot, B'Elanna calls Kim "Starfleet".
  • One sketch on The Kids in the Hall deals with the "Cincinnati Kid" (not that one), whose father was the Cincinnati Kid until he was born, and who will remain the Cincinnati Kid until he produces offspring of his own. He shows up at a bar in Toronto looking for the "Toronto Kid", and the two square off in a Zero Chops brawl until the Toronto Kid gets a phone call saying his wife has given birth to the new Toronto Kid... and the Cincinnati Kid goes off in search of him.
  • In Kamen Rider Ghost, Those Two Guys who study under Onari go by Shibuya and Narita.

  • In The Nails classic 88 lines about 44 women this is stated about Seattle.

Real Life
  • An example Older Than Print: the medieval German poet known only as der Tannhäuser (the one from Tannhausen). Even his given name is not known.
  • Tex Avery, born Frederick Bean Avery in Taylor, TX.
  • Tex Ritter, country music singer and Western actor, best known today as the father of John Ritter.
  • Tennessee Williams, sort of. He wasn't from Tennessee, but his father was.
  • Giovanni Battista Bernardone was nicknamed Francesco (little Frenchman) by his merchant father, who had not been present at his birth as he was on a business trip to France. Francesco later became known as St. Francis of Assisi and his geographical nickname was adopted by lots of people as a Christian name.
  • Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau, one of the leading generals of the first three kings of Prussia, was commonly referred to as der alte Dessauer (the old man from Dessau).
  • El Greco, a Greek artist living in Spain
  • General François Fournier is usually referred to as Fournier-Sarlovèze, being from the town of Sarlat.

  • In Gypsy the boys Rose picks up to serve as a chorus for June's act are known only by the names of the cities where she "acquired" them.

Video Games
  • Nevada Smith, an Indy parody, in Apogee Software's Pharaoh's Tomb.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has Kent Paul (Paul from Kent).
  • Subverted in the Tex Murphy series, where the titular character's nickname comes from leaving a Texas-shaped hole in the ceiling after a childhood accident.
  • Arizona Rose, heroine of two Big Fish games.

Western Animation

  • The phenomenon occurs not just with persons, but also with items of food (e. g. Hamburger, Frankfurter), drinks (Manhattan, Champagne, Port), dances (Charleston), coaches and cars (Landau, Limousine), cricket deliveries (Yorker) etc. In these cases the operative nouns ("sausage", "wine", "coach" etc.) have become redundant and are pretty much always left out.