Houston is the 4th largest city in the US and the largest in Texas. It is officially nicknamed “Space City" because of NASA activities that it hosts. However, Houston has several other nicknames to reflect its economy, population, culture, geography, music, sports, and popular culture. Although they are unofficial, the names are sometimes used in the media, cultural events, and everyday communication. Houston joins the hundreds of cities in the US with nicknames meant to establish and promote their identity and build pride. In 2005-06 the city was nicknamed “The Big Heart" because of the way the city and its citizen handled the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
In 1967 the city of Houston was nicknamed “Space City” After NASA built the Manned Spacecraft Center. The city’s name “Houston” became NASA’s code name used by astronauts when communicating from space. The code was used by Neil Armstrong after landing on the moon. His exact words are written and on plaques on the entrance to the Tranquility Park in the city. To date, the nicknamed is officially used to refer to Houston.
Some of the popular nicknames used to refer to the city are Bayou City, H-Town, and Hustle-Town. It acquired the name Bayou City of the nearby winding waterways. The primary waterway the Buffalo Bayou flows through the city. The term “H-Town” is commonly used nationally and internationally to refer to the city. The “H” refers to Houston. The entertainment community commonly uses the term. The city annually holds the H-Town Blues Festival. The H-Town Arena has hosted several performing artists since the 1970s. In 1992 an R&B and hip-hop band "H-Town" was formed in the city. The nickname “Hustle-Town” was used to refer to the city regarding trade but has become popular among musicians, and the city's ever-growing population that is ever working. 1998 famous Houston rapper South Park Mexican released 'Hustle-Town' popularizing the use of the work in Houston.
Houston acquired the nickname "Clutch City" after the Houston Rockets won lifted the 1994-95 NBA trophy. The term was adopted after the Houston Chronicle headlined the city as the "Choke City." The term reappeared in 2005 after the Houston Astros won the World Series and in 2006 when the Houston Dynamo lifted the MLS Cup. Clutch the Bear is the Rocket primary mascot and among the most recognized mascots in the country. The city is also nicknamed “Crush City” because of the large number of home runs made by the Houston Astros in the 2015 season.
In 1900 the name "Magnolia City” became a popular name to refer to the city after it was used by The Texas World although the locals had been using the name as early as the 1870s. In the 1970s the city experienced a boom in its economy, the unemployment rate was at its minimum, and the oil industry brought in investors. Consequentially the city earned the nickname "Capital of the Sunbelt."
Other nicknames used to refer to the city include “Screwston," due to the popularized hip-hop culture "chopped and screwed" popularized by DJ Screw. The nickname “Ozone City” was derived from the high count of the ozone and pollution level at the city. Finally, the city is globally referred to as the "Energy Capital of the World" because of the large number of oil firms based in the city.
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