Have you ever wondered what the various nicknames of your favourite currency pairs are? If you’ve heard professional FX traders say the “Loonie is slipping” or the “Ninja is rallying” and you had no idea what they meant, then keep on reading. In this article, we will try and cover the most popular currency pairs and discuss the origins of their nicknames.
Nicknames for the most popular currencies and pairs
There are 180 currencies globally, with the most popular being the US dollar (USD) which is used as a reserve currency. The British pound is the oldest currency in the world. Below, we offer a list of the nicknames of some of the most popular currencies and currency pairs traded in the world.
USD (U.S. Dollar) – Greenback or Buck
GBP (British Pound) – Sterling
EUR (Euro) – Single currency or Fiber
CHF (Swiss Franc) – Swissy
CAD (Canadian Dollar) – Loonie
AUD (Australian Dollar) – Aussie or Ozzie
NZD (New Zealand Dollar)- Kiwi
GBP/USD (British Pound / U.S. Dollar pair) – Cable
USD/RUB (U.S. Dollar / Russian Rubble) – Barnie
EUR/RUB (Euro / Russian Rubble) – Betty
GBP/JPY (British Pound / Japanese Yen pair) – Guppy or Gopher
EUR/JPY (Euro / Japanese Yen pair) – Euppy (pronounced Yuppy)
USD/JPY (U.S. Dollar / Japanese Yen pair) – Ninja
EUR/GBP (Euro / British Pound pair) – Chunnel
Why is the dollar called greenback or buck?
The US dollar is called the greenback because the paper notes issued during the American civil war had green colour on the back. The nickname buck comes from the time when hunters traded the skin of male deer. A male deer is called a buck and the name continued to be used when paper money came to circulation.
Why is the euro called fibre?
The nickname fibre could be related to the paper used for the euro banknotes which are made out of pure cotton fibre. The currency pair EUR/USD is also known as fibre. While the GBP/USD was once the most traded currency pair in the world, when the euro was launched, the EUR/USD took its place as the most traded FX pair.
Which currency pair is known as the cable?
The GBP/USD currency pair is called the cable which refers to the cable under the Atlantic ocean connecting the UK with the USA. The cable was laid in 1858 and was used to transmit currency prices from London to New York via a telegraph.
Which currency is the Loonie?
The Canadian dollar is called the Loonie after Canada’s national symbol, the aquatic bird loon which is depicted on the Canadian one-dollar coin.
What is the nickname of the New Zealand dollar?
The kiwi is the nickname for the NZD and is again another bird, the kiwi, which is the national symbol of New Zealand.
How about Barnie and Betty?
Two currency pairs, the USD/RUB (US dollar and Russian Ruble) and the EUR/RUB (Euro and the Ruble) are known by the nicknames Barnie and Betty respectively. The nicknames come from the fictional couple in Flintstones, Barney and Betty Rubble whose surname looks and sounds a lot like the Russian Ruble.
Have you traded the Ninja?
The USD/JPY is known by the nickname ninja. Obviously, ninjas come from Japan. Did you know that Japan is the third global economy, and the yen the third-most traded currency in the world, after the US dollar and the euro?! The yen accounts for 16.8% of daily trades.
What is the Chunnel?
The EUR/GBP currency pair is called Chunnel after the Channel Tunnel that connects the UK and France (Europe).
Did you find this interesting? The foreign exchange market is not just an exciting market but is full of surprises including some unusual expressions and terminology. Stay tuned for more educational insights!