23 Nicknames For Texas And Its Cities You Should Know

Texans are incredibly proud of Texas and it should come as no surprise that they have plenty of nicknames for the state and its cities.

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Many simply refer to Texas as the ‘Lone Star State’ which refers to the flag and its single white star on a blue block but also to the state’s attitude.

23 Nicknames For Texas And Its Cities You Should Know

Texas has a history that stands it apart as an independent republic and its ‘lone star’ status is also recognition of the state’s go-it-alone pride. 

That flag’s design was primarily adopted after the state gained independence from Mexico back in 1836 so is a constant reminder of the struggle, as is the state’s nickname. In this guide, we will look at 23 nicknames for Texas and its cities that you should know(see also: Interesting Facts You Need To Know About Texas). 

Nicknames For Texas

Texas may be well-known as the ‘Lone Star State’ but there are several other nicknames that it goes by. These include the Jumbo State, the Beef State, the Banner State, and the Super-American State.

1. The Jumbo State

Texas’ ‘jumbo’ status does not simply refer to portion sizes but everything does seem bigger in the ‘Lone Star State’. The ‘jumbo’ in question is actually the renowned circus elephant that was brought to the country by P.T. Barnum back in 1882.

‘Jumbo’ became the phrase du jour for describing anything large, hence it made sense to award the nickname to Texas. Especially when you consider its sizable population and 268,000 square miles of land area.

2. The Beef State

With such a thriving cattle industry, it should be noted that Texas has the nickname of ‘The Beef State’. There are millions of cattle in the state which is a sizable percentage of the entire cattle population in the US.

The practice of cattle rearing dates back to 1680 which is when Spanish missionaries established ranches in El Paso and the surrounding regions. Many of those ranches still exist today as the state continues the beef rearing tradition to this day.

3. The Banner State

Banners are popular in Texas, as they are in many states, especially during elections. This nickname looks to refer to the state’s known political and electoral influence related to its huge population.

The state’s known independence is also a factor in the nickname as the term ‘banner’ can be seen to mean ‘leader’ or ‘front-runner’ due to the state’s legacy for carrying a banner for freedom and democracy.

4. The Super-American State

For some, Texas is the archetypal US state where barbecues, ranches, and cowboys still reign supreme.

This nickname dates back to 1961 and an article in New Yorker Magazine and its description of the state as a ‘distorting mirror’ through which Americans see themselves reflected. The description of Texas, and its citizens, as being ‘bigger than life’ still seems to ring true.

If you ask a Texan, it is likely that they will strongly tell you that their state is the best in the United States of America and that is not the only strong opinion you are likely to hear from the state’s citizens.

Nicknames For Texan Cities

Nicknames For Texan Cities

If you know a city in Texas, it likely has a nickname that you can refer to it as. Some are a bit niche but others are so common that any Texan should know the city you are referring to.

Galveston: The Oleander City

Houston: Space City

Dallas: Big D

Austin: The Live Music Capital Of The World

Austin: The Capitol City

Austin: Hippie Haven

Fort Worth: Cowtown

Fredericksburg: Fritztown

San Antonio: Alamo City

San Angelo: End Of The Rainbow

El Paso: The City With A Legend

Nacogdoches: Oldest Town In Texas

Tyler: Rose Capital Of The World

Burnet: Bluebonnet Capital Of Texas

Jacksonville: Tomato Capital Of Texas

Jefferson: Bed And Breakfast Capital Of Texas

Corpus Christi: Sparkling City By The Sea

Lockhart: Barbecue Capital Of Texas

Gainesville: The Front Porch Of Texas

5. Galveston: The Oleander City

Several Texan cities are known for the flowers, specifically Tyler and Burnet, which are detailed below. Add Galveston to that list as it is known for being the place to be to find oleander flowers as their bushes can be found across the city.

That’s just one reason to visit Galveston as it remains a beautiful city even without the oleander flowers being in bloom.

The flower was actually brought to the island city during the 1840s and sharply rose in popularity with residents and local businesses to the extent that Galveston hosts an Oleander Festival during spring.

6. Houston: Space City

Anyone who has heard the phrase ‘Houston, we have a problem’, should recognize the city’s role in space exploration.

This is where NASA has located its Manned Spacecraft Center and the city is proud of the fact that many activities on the International Space Station still go through Houston.

7. Dallas: Big D

The nickname of ‘Big D’ actually refers to the 1956 musical, The Most Happy Fella. The musical features a song by Bing Crosby called the ‘Big D’. Part of the song’s refrain even spells out the city’s name as ‘Big D, little A, double L, A, S’. 

8. Austin: The Live Music Capital Of The World

The city of Austin is home to South by Southwest Festival when pretty much every bar and live venue opens up its doors to bands for a couple of weeks.

Thousands of performing artists and bands remain in the city all-year-round as the city boasts plenty more venues to see live music, in fact it has the most per capita than any other US city.

In fact, Austin officially gained the nickname in 1991 as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ and it has lived up to the title ever since. 

9. Austin: The Capitol City

Some nicknames do not require an explanation at all, one refers to Austin as ‘The Capitol City’, because it is the capital city of the state. It holds the capitol building and the seat of government for Texas which is in downtown.

The building actually houses both the chambers and offices of the Texas Legislature as well as the Governor of Texas.

It was designed in 1881 and completed in 1888 while in 1970, the capital was added to the National Register of Historic Places before becoming recognized as a National Historic Landmark later on in 1886. 

10. Austin: Hippie Haven

Austin: Hippie Haven

Austin is also referred to as ‘Bat City’, namely due to the fact that there are more bats in the city than residents. However, ‘Hippie Haven’ is a far better nickname to have as there are so many cultural assets and the city has such a relaxed atmosphere and culture.

While the state of Texas is known for its cattle and barbecue, Austin is a great foodie destination that has plenty for those who are open-minded about their food and remain health conscious.

You also will not be judged for your love of yoga and there are plenty of open spaces to practice your yoga in.

11. Fort Worth: Cowtown

You should realize that Texas is known as ‘Beef State’ so its ‘Cowtown’ is Fort Worth which still holds authentic cattle drives. Its history is also centered around cattle, as a major city for long-haul cattle drives in the Southern states.

Also as Fort Worth Stockyards was the world’s largest horse and mule market around the time of World War II. 

12. Fredericksburg: Fritztown

Fredericksburg is known for its German-influence including its many German restaurants that still serve up Frankfurters with beer.

This dates back to the city’s founding in 1846 by German emigrants and Fritztown is a reference to the Texan-German dialect the early emigrants spoke as they simply would not learn English.

13. San Antonio: Alamo City

San Antonio is known for The Alamo where the Mexican Army fought with Texan soldiers. The attraction still remains as a fortress compound which is well worth visiting. This is the ideal city if you want to immerse yourself in some Tex-Mex culture too. 

14. San Angelo: End Of The Rainbow

San Angelo’s nickname owes more to clever marketing rather than anything else. Local businessmen decided to create a large neon sign of a rainbow that stated ‘Rainbow’s End: San Angelo’.

The neon sign became a landmark and the nickname stuck, though the sign did not survive a dust storm.

15. El Paso: The City With A Legend

As Dallas can base its nickname on a song’s lyrics, so can El Paso. The song in question is ‘El Paso City’ by Marty Robbins and the lyrics go “A city with a legend, the West Texas city of El Paso”. Few in the city would argue with that nickname either. 

16. Nacogdoches: Oldest Town In Texas

Some nicknames barely require explanations, which is certainly the case for Nacogdoches. The city was officially founded in 1779 but Caddo Indians arrived there way before.

17. Tyler: Rose Capital Of The World

Only a one and half hour drive from Dallas is Tyler where you can visit large gardens that never seem to end. One of which is Tyler Municipal Rose Garden which has over 32,000 rose bushes and has an annual Rose Festival.

18. Burnet: Bluebonnet Capital Of Texas

Around springtime, it is hard to miss the bluebonnets that cover fields and wildflower farms. If roses are to be found in Tyler then the best place to see bluebonnets  is likely to be Burnet which still holds Texas’ largest bluebonnet festivals.

19. Jacksonville: Tomato Capital Of Texas

Jacksonville was the place to get your tomatoes in the early 1900s and it still has an annual Tomato Fest which is held on the second Saturday of every June.

Awards are given out for the best tomatoes and you can still spot giant concrete tomatoes to this day. There are still hundreds of tomato businesses dotted around the city to this day.

10. Jefferson: Bed And Breakfast Capital Of Texas

The city of Jefferson is well worth a visit, especially for its bed and breakfast options. Despite its limited size, there are plenty of lodging options that are worth the trip alone.

The city only boasts around 2,500 residents so its abundance of bed and breakfast options may seem a little odd but you are spoiled for cute cottages and excellent breakfasts.

21. Corpus Christi: Sparkling City By The Sea

Texas also has beaches (see also: The Complete Guide To The Best Beaches In Texas (17 Of The Prettiest And Cleanest Beaches))that are well worth visiting, such as in Corpus Christi. Reserves of natural wildlife and huge stretches of white sand are only a few hours drive from Houston or Austin.

The nickname itself refers to an advertising campaign during the Sixties which was created to drive tourism to Corpus Christi. 

22. Lockhart: Barbecue Capital Of Texas

Yes, Texas is well-known for its barbecue but Lockhart may be the city to make a beeline for. There are simply so many barbecue restaurants to choose from, many of which have been there for over a hundred years.

The nickname was officially designated in 1999 and Lockhart has simply risen to its status as the ‘Barbecue Capital of Texas’ ever since. If you do pay the city a visit, ensure that you include a trip to Smitty’s Market, Kreuz Market, and Chisholm Trail Barbecue. 

23. Gainesville: The Front Porch Of Texas

For a small town getaway, you have plenty of options in Texas. Possibly the best one is Gainesville which is known as ‘The Front Porch of Texas’. The city has a state motto of ‘friendship’. Though it may seem corny, Gainesville is a city where you can enjoy the very best of Texan hospitality. 

Final Thoughts

A lot of the nicknames for Texas as a state, and the cities within it, are actually quite self-explanatory. They also indicate how diverse the state is, from its love of barbecue to its friendly nature and how important the cattle industry is.

It may be surprising to learn how important the tomato crop is to Jacksonville or how important roses are to Tyler, just as bluebonnets are to Burnet. Other city nicknames are purely marketing to attract tourists, which does give the cities something to live up to.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Did The City Of Austin Get Its Name?

One of the most liberal and popular cities in the state of Texas is Austin. The city gained its name from its namesake, Stephen F. Austin who was known as the ‘founder of Anglo-American Texas’.

Austin was a prominent figure and, soon enough, the city was established as Texas’ capital in 1839. This was only at the beginning of the Republic of Texas as it was just three years old at the time.

How Many Ghost Towns Is Texas Known To Have?

There are over 500 ghost towns in the state of Texas which is the most for any US state. These ghost towns were once bustling places to be with many dating back to the 1800s when industrialization meant that the country expanded westward.

One of these ghost towns is Belle Plein which was established in 1876 and quickly boasted a jail, a hotel, and even a newspaper called the Callahan County Clarendon.

However, as the city of Baird was built only six miles away, many residents left for a new future there and the city suffered once its popular college closed, mainly down to the drought between 1886 and 1887.