As Mexican traders journeyed to Los Angeles through the Spanish trail in 1829, a young scout by the name of Rafael Rivera became the first non-Native American to discover a desert oasis which he named “Las Vegas,” which translates to “The Meadows,” in acknowledgment of its life-saving water and lush greenery.
Today, with a population of over 641,000, Las Vegas is the 26th-most populous city in the United States. It is recognized as an internationally renowned major resort city, earning it the appellation of “The Entertainment Capital of the World.”
The city’s gambling, shopping, entertainment, and nightlife make it the leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Nevada. It is no exaggeration to say that there is never a dull moment in Las Vegas, a city that received over 32 million visitors in the last year and hosts over 10,000 weddings per month.
Did you know that according to the Nevada gaming control board, the Las Vegas strip has more than 160,000 slot machines spread across the region? That comes down to one slot machine per resident. Take all my money, Vegas baby!
Table of Contents
- Famous Nicknames for Las Vegas
- 1. Sin City / City of Sin
- 2. Neon Capital of the World
- 3. City of Light
- 4. Entertainment Capital of the World
- 5. Marriage Capital of the World
- 6. City that Never Sleeps
- 7. City of Second Chances
- 8. Lost Wages
- 9. The Gambling Capital of the World
- 10. The Boneyard
- 11. Adult Disneyland
- 12. Glitter Gulch
- 13. Gluttony Central
- 14. Skin City
- 15. Desert Oasis
- 16. That Sleepy Little Town in the Desert
- 17. Hot Vegas
Famous Nicknames for Las Vegas
That said, let’s check out a list of nicknames for the enterprising city of Las Vegas.
1. Sin City / City of Sin
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why Las Vegas has earned the moniker “Sin City” or “City of Sin.” As a paradise for guilty pleasures and uncensored fun, Las Vegas is home to all kinds of entertainment, including adult entertainment, sexual services, gambling, and partying, topped up, of course, by over-the-top levels of alcohol. Las Vegas was also considered to be a city under mob rule at one time. All these combined have enhanced the city’s notoriety as immoral or sinful.
2. Neon Capital of the World
The Las Vegas Strip is universally considered the “Neon Capital of the World” due to the signage that litters its landscape, mostly neon signs powered by colorful flashing lights.
3. City of Light
A nickname shared with Paris; Las Vegas is also widely known as the “City of Light” because it is heavily illuminated. Las Vegas has been reported to be the brightest city in the world, with some 15,000km of neon lights needed to illuminate it, earning it the respected accolade of being one of few cities visible from space.
4. Entertainment Capital of the World
Las Vegas’s nickname as “The Entertainment Capital of the World,” like in the previous entry, isn’t unique as both Los Angeles and New York lay some claim to it, thanks to their Hollywood and Broadway scenes, respectively. Las Vegas, however, proudly bags the moniker due to its broad scope of entertainment options, including nightlife, shows, exhibits, museums, theme parks, pool parties, and so on.
5. Marriage Capital of the World
As we stated, Las Vegas hosts 10,000 plus weddings monthly, bringing the daily average to about 300 a day! So famous is Las Vegas for weddings that an entire Wikipedia page is dedicated to it, earning it the nickname the “Marriage Capital of the World.” This reputation is enhanced by the ease of acquiring a marriage license, the minimal costs involved, and the variety of themed weddings available.
6. City that Never Sleeps
Las Vegas casinos are notorious for having no clocks, luring gamblers into a state of timeless fantasy. For all its hustle and bustle, the “City that Never Sleeps” is an apt moniker for Las Vegas, which it shares with several other cities worldwide, most prominently, New York.
7. City of Second Chances
While Las Vegas’s primary allure is its entertainment, it has also been referred to as the “City of Second Chances” because it is an oasis in the desert, a city of dreams, and a literal place for a true second chance. Perhaps no one better personifies this than Archie Karas, the famous Greek gambler who went on the largest and longest documented winning streak in casino gambling history when he drove to Las Vegas with $50 in December 1992 and then turned a $10,000 loan into more than $40 million by the beginning of 1995.
8. Lost Wages
The money-spinning behemoth Las Vegas churns out more losers than winners. It is humorously known by the simple moniker “Lost Wages” due to the financial losses tourists incur as a result of gambling. As the saying goes, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
9. The Gambling Capital of the World
With one slot machine for every four residents and Las Vegas being the most famous location in the world to place a wager, Las Vegas’s nickname as “The Gambling Capital of the World” is well deserved.
10. The Boneyard
The term “boneyard” refers to where items no longer in use are stored, generally to be prepared for disposal or repurposed. Las Vegas is also known as “The Boneyard” because of the amount of unfinished construction on display.
11. Adult Disneyland
The nickname for Las Vegas as “Adult Disneyland” seems relatively straightforward. It references the unlimited excitement and display for tourists looking to have fun, much like the adult version of Disneyland.
12. Glitter Gulch
“Glitter Gulch” is originally a nickname for the casino area along Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. Due to the abundant electricity from the Hoover dam, neon in Las Vegas turned night into day, earning Downtown Las Vegas the name of “Glitter Gulch” in the 1940s.
13. Gluttony Central
“Gluttony Central” is a nickname Las Vegas has acquired due to the abundance of food in supply in a city where everyone yearns for more.
14. Skin City
A pun on its more famous nickname “Sin City” “Skin City” alludes to the Las Vegas sex industry and its reputation over the years. A book by that same name written by Jack Sheehan sheds more light on it.
15. Desert Oasis
A literal description of Las Vegas, “Desert Oasis” is a nickname for a city situated in the middle of a desert and built on an oasis.
16. That Sleepy Little Town in the Desert
This nickname refers to Las Vegas as a small, unexciting town in the desert. Ironic maybe.
17. Hot Vegas
Similar to Hotlanta for Atlanta and references the humid temperatures in one of America’s most arid cities.
Are there any other Las Vegas nicknames we may have omitted? Let us know in the comments below.