Currency Nicknames All Forex Traders Should Know
If you’re new to forex trading, you might not be familiar with the various currency nicknames that are constantly being mentioned online and in the 4news.
These nicknames are given to currencies and currency pairs mainly for efficiency, historical, or stylistic reasons. For instance, the 4-syllable “U.S. Dollar” is not as easy to pronounce, or as memorable as the “Greenback”.
Now I could just list out each currency and currency pair with their corresponding nicknames, but they are much easier to remember if you knew the story behind each nickname.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
USD nickname: Greenback, Buck
The U.S. dollar is often referred to as Greenback. It is named after the U.S. currency notes that were issued during the American civil war in 1861, which were of an elaborate and distinctive green color.
Another nickname for the U.S. dollar is Buck which emanated from the name given to the male deer. This nickname came about in the past when the American Indians traded deer skin for dollars.
GBP nickname: Sterling
The British pound often called Sterling or more simply, Pound. The name has its history from when the values of one British pound and one pound of sterling silver were equal.
An informal term Quid is also often used for this currency to mean “a million pounds”. Thus, “15 quid” is used by Forex traders to mean “15 million pounds”.
GBP/USD nickname: Cable
The British pound and U.S. dollar currency pair is referred to as the Cable.
It is named after the cable that was laid under the Atlantic Ocean in 1858, which linked the UK to the US via telegraphic messages. The cable enabled the transmission of both currency prices between the two countries.
EUR/USD nickname: Fiber
The EUR/USD is the the most traded currency pair and is often referred to as the Fiber.
This nickname originates from its cousin, the GBP/USD, or the Cable. Since the Euro is a newer currency than the British Pound, the nickname Fiber (as in “optical fiber") is used to represent a newer, more modern currency pair compared to the more traditional Cable, or GBP/USD.
USD/JPY nickname: Yen, Ninja
The currency pair USD/JPY is nicknamed Yen or Ninja, with the former being the official name of the JPY, which by default makes it the more popular nickname.
Personally though, I prefer Ninja because everyone knows Ninjas come from Japan, and WHO DOESN”T LIKE NINJAS??
CAD nickname: Loonie
The Canadian dollar goes by the nickname Loonie, as its one dollar coin has the image of a bird species named “loon”. This species of bird is commonly found in Canada.
NZD nickname: Kiwi
The New Zealand dollar is called Kiwi.
The nickname refers to the kiwi bird, which is the national symbol of New Zealand.
Interestingly enough, the natives of New Zealand are also referred to as kiwis.
CHF, USD/CHF nickname: Swissy
The nickname Swissy is given to both the Swiss Franc currency, as well as the USD/CHF currency pair. No one really knows how this nickname came about, but it’s not hard to imagine that the name is a derivative of the Swiss Franc and all the other currencies that end with the “e” sound, such as Loonie and Aussie.
It may also interest you to know that the USD/CHF is sometimes referred to as Chief. This is inspired by the Swiss Franc’s ISO 4217 code of CHF. The CH part of the standard code given to the currency comes from the abbreviation for Confoederatio Helvetica which is the Latin name for Switzerland.
AUD, AUD/USD nickname: Aussie, Ozzie
Like the Swissy, the Aussie is the nickname given to both the Australian dollar currency, as well as the AUD/USD currency pair. The variation Ozzie exists as a result of the difference in pronunciation between British and American English.
EUR/JPY nickname: Euppy, Yuppy
Euppy or Yuppy is the nickname commonly used for EUR/JPY.
“Euppy" is coined from the alphabets that make up the abbreviation of this currency pair, with the first two letters “Eu” and and last two letters “py”.
Although written down as Euppy, this nickname is actually pronounced Yuppy.
GBP/JPY nicknames: Geppy, Guppy, Gopher
The nicknames Geppy and Guppy has similar origins as the nickname Euppy.
The story behind the nickname Gopher is less understood. If I had to guess, I’d say it has something to do with the cartoon stereotype of an Asian man’s gopher-like eyes.
USD/RUB & EUR/RUB nicknames: Barnie & Betty
The nicknames for these Russian Rubble pairs emanates from the fact that the Rubble happens to be the last name of the Flintstones’ neighbors, Barnie and Betty.
Among all the currency nickname origins, this one is probably the most interesting and happens to be my favorite.
Do You Know Any Other Currency Nicknames?
As you've seen, currency nicknames often have interesting backstories ranging from historical facts to cartoon characters.
Do you know any other nicknames of commonly traded currencies? If you do, please share them in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this post if you liked it!