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.
Portland has many nicknames – Stumptown, Slabtown, the Rose City, Naked City USA – but the one that’s becoming more and more popular is “Silicon Forest.”
Why is Portland the Silicon Forest and how did it start? Stumped in Stumptown took a byte out of this story to get every bit of the history.
If you’re new to Portland (or you’ve never been motivated to investigate), you might wonder: why is Portland called the Rose City or the City of Roses?