Funny Nicknames of Currency Pairs

26th November 2018 Social Berry

The secret of currency nicknames!

Can you name which currency pairs have nicknames Barnie and Betty (just like Flinstone’s characters)? If you can, well done! If not, don’t worry, the world of currencies and finance is filled with such imaginative, amusing and odd nicknames! Here we will go through a few of them, and clear out where the names actually come from: (before we dig right into it; it is USD/RUB and EUR/RUB are the famous Barnie and Betty.)

We all may have heard of the famous "Buck" and "Sterling", USD and GBP's nicknames. But where do they actually come from? The United States Dollar actually has two nicknames; "Greenback" and "Buck". The nickname "Buck" actually comes from the old trading days, when hunters used to use the skin of the male deer for trading. A male deer is called a buck, and the name stuck when paper money became common! Financial commentators also refer to U.S. Dollars as “Greenbacks”. This second nickname refers to the 1800's and the American civil war. Each side issued their own currency, and the most commonly used paper notes of the era had a distinctive green coloring on the back, hence the name, "Greenback".

"Cable"; GBP/USD also has its roots from the 1800's, the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and British Pound was transmitted across the Atlantic by a large cable that ran across the ocean floor between the two countries. Since that time the exchange rate has been referred to as the "Cable". Since we anyways mention Pound "Sterling" did you know that a pound coin originally weighed one troy pound of sterling silver, giving the currency the name "Pound Sterling"?  Fun fact is that "Sterling silver" means mixed metal, that has 92.5% or more real silver. One pound sterling was originally divided by 240 sterling pence. The metal thread that you can still find in British Pounds today is a result of an effort to combat forged banknotes. It was estimated that at the end of World War II one in every ten pounds was fake!

Moving on to "Fiber". Can you guess which currency we are talking about? I'll give you a clue; it is a reference to the new age cotton polymer fiber blend that is used in each banknote. Yes, it is the Euro! Actually, pair EUR/USD (Euro/ U.S Dollar) – is called FiberThe name “Euro” was officially chosen in 1995, but the actual currency did not debut until January 1, 1999. You also maybe did not know that for the first three years the Euro was purely an “accounting” currency. Paper coins and money to be used for everyday activities only began to be used on January 1, 2002.

We have yet many more to come, but here are a few perhaps familiar ones:

  • CHF (Swiss Franc) – Swissy.
  • CAD (Canadian Dollar) – Loonie.
  • NZD (New Zealand Dollar)- Kiwi.
  • AUD (Australian Dollar) – Aussie.

Canada introduced a new one dollar coin in 1987. The image on one side is of a common bird, the loon in front of a Canadian landscape. Since then, both the dollar coin and the currency have been known as the “Loonie”.

Half a world away, New Zealand also uses a bird as a nickname for its currency. The tini Kiwi bird is native to New Zealand and the local currency is called the “Kiwi Dollar” or “Kiwi” for short. Fun fact is that New Zealand’s banknotes are actually printed in Canada and Australia. Therefore, there are some rumors, due to a rare mix-up, that at some point the wrong banknotes have been shipped to the small island nation!

AUD/USD – aussie and ozzy. Well, the Australians are well known for shortening names into nicknames and the AUD to USD currency pair is another example. The pair is simply referred to as the “Aussie”. The Australian Dollar is sometimes known as a “commodity currency” because Australia imports millions of tons of coal, iron ore and gas every year. Currency traders who believe the price of commodities will rise may buy the AUD/USD pair to profit from that theory.

Another odd currency pair name is the “Chunnel”. This is the pair between the Great Britain Pound and the Euro. The pair takes its name from the English channel tunnel that connect the UK and France. But wait, "Chunnel" and "Cable". England, come on! You can do better in my opinion...Well, the channel tunnel came into operation at a similar time as the Euro, which was the main reason it became the nickname for the pair – new tunnel, new currency pair nickname!

And finally, in my opinion Japanese currency pairs have the oddest of nicknames. Take these for example:

EUR/JPY (Euro/ Japanese Yen) – Euppy

GBP/JPY (British Pound/ Japanese Yen) – Gopher

But the best one for me is by far the Ninja!

Currency traders often use amusing nicknames for currency pairs and the USD/JPY pair is known as the “Ninja”. We wonder if they also considered to call it the “Sumo” when it strengthens? 

My question to you is now; If you had your own currency, or would to be able to change any of the above, what would you name it?

Mine would for sure be a "Rebbie"!

By Rebecka Kristiansson, Client Relationship Agent at trade.Berry

**The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or position of trade.Berry.

This content is intended for educational purposes only, and shouldn’t be considered investment advice.

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 Trading CFDs involves high risk of losing money 64% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the risk of losing your money.