Portland, Oregon has a wide variety of nicknames – the Rose City (or City of Roses), Stumptown, Rip City, Silicon Forest, PDX – but in our investigation into our beloved town’s nicknames, we’ve saved the most misunderstood one for last – Slabtown.
Why is it misunderstood? For starters, it’s not a nickname for the city – it’s a nickname for one of the neighborhoods!
Intrigued? Read on and we’ll delve deeper.
Thanks to Twitter and its unbelievably short limitations on messages – just 140 characters, the length of original text messages (Twitter was supposed to be a platform for mobile phones exclusively, initially) – cities throughout the United States, including Portland, are often referenced by their major airport’s International Air Transport Association (IATA) location identifier.
In the case of Portland, the Portland International Airport’s IATA location code is PDX.
However, Portlanders love their airport for many reasons, so let’s delve into the history of PDX!
Why is Portland called Rip City?
Those of us who love Portland also tend to love our city’s many nicknames – Rose City, Stumptown, Slabtown, and so many more. Often the origins of the nicknames are shrouded in mythology and mystery when, in reality, simple logic explains how the names came into existence.
We theorized Rip City could have stemmed from alternative Portlanders sporting torn jeans in the 1980s and 1990s. Nope. Maybe it’s a shipping or nautical term of some kind referring to Portland’s immense and successful Port? No luck.
The origin of “Rip City” begins and ends with our professional basketball team – the Trail Blazers – however its origin is so random it will never be fully explained. The myth remains intact.
Just when you think Portland has squeezed all the weird out of it that it possibly can, the City of Portland partners with a local rapper known for his love of cats to make a music video for a phone app that allows Portland’s drivers to pay for parking on their smartphone.
Portlanders are sports fanatics. Whether you’re looking for hoops action, football (that’s soccer to us American types), baseball, or even ice hockey, Portland’s got a team for you. Portlanders aren’t just fanatics for sports, though, we want to help wherever we can, and our professional teams are no different.
The Trail Blazers, Timbers, Thorns FC, Winterhawks, and Hillsboro Hops recently announced they’re combining efforts to provide disaster relief in Oregon and throughout the country.
Why is Portland called Portland? This must be an easy one, right? It’s called Portland because it’s a port city.
The city of Portland started in 1843. The Port of Portland wasn’t created until nearly 50 years later in 1891 when the Oregon Legislature decided to dredge a shipping channel from the city to the Pacific Ocean.
So, we got curious – why is Portland called Portland?